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TAVA’s Policy Proposal for the Democratic National Committee Has Been Adopted

Thanks to the vision and hard work of TAVA co-founder and vice president Angela Brightfeather, TAVA was successful in persuading the Democratic National Committee to adopt policy that aims to remove discriminatory barriers to medically necessary healthcare for Veterans, service members and eligible family members.
The specific revisions enhanced and expanded platform policies to read:

“VHA POLICY – We will (DNC) reverse the Trump Administration’s hateful Transgender ban and it’s discriminatory exclusions in military health care and insure that LGBTQ+ service members and families enjoy equal respect, benefits and care.”

“DOD POLICY – We will ensure that VA benefits address the full needs of our women Veterans, including reproductive services. And that every Veteran receives [comprehensive and] culturally competent care and
[equal] benefits regardless of their ethnicity, race, gender identity, or sexual orientation, and eliminate transgender
exclusions.”

TAVA believes that these changes in the party platform of the DNC will potentially facilitate legislation in the next Congress so that Transgender Veterans and those on Active Duty will be able to obtain Gender confirming Surgery as an equal right for all Transgender people in the military.

Angela Brightfeather Sheedy, TAVA’s Vice President noted that, “These changes will finally support us on an aggressive path to obtain equal and fair health benefits, educate others in their importance to transgender people and provide a path for the entire transgender community to follow in obtaining their equal rights. When that
happens, it will save many thousands of Transgender lives, surrendered to the discrimination, hatred and lack of hope in the past.”

Current regulatory and policy restrictions on gender confirming surgery prevent Veterans and service members from obtaining these well-established procedures, which have been determined by virtually all major medical associations to be effective treatment for reducing the potentially life threatening effects of gender dysphoria. TAVA looks forward to the day when trans Veterans and service members can obtain the medically necessary health care they have earned.

Evan Young

Evan Young

Evan Young is originally from Little Rock, Ark. He graduated basic training in 1989, transitioned from a sergeant to lieutenant in 1998, and rose to the rank of Major before retiring. In 1998, Evan graduated from Northwestern State University of Louisiana with a B.A. in English. From there, he continued his studies while on Active Duty and graduated from Nova Southeastern University in Florida with a M.S. in Management Information Systems. He earned his public affairs credentials in 2004 and broadcasting management credentials in 2007. He served in the Reserves, Guard, and Active Duty. He was the Hawaii National Guard as a Public Affairs officer and a Media Officer at NORAD and US NORTHCOM. Evan began transition in 2011. He retired from the Army as a Major in 2013. Since then he began his own web development company, EF Young, has written for OutServe magazine as a blogger, is the former president of the Arkansas Transgender Equality Coalition, and currently serves as the national president of the Transgender American Veterans Association. Evan currently lives in Dover, AR. with his two children.

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