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TAVA relaunches
with new website

For immediate release:
Transgender American Veterans Association (TAVA) has announced it's relaunch and updated mission statement.

Angela Brightfeather, TAVA's President and one of the original cofounders, stated that TAVA is reorganizing and will emerge stronger and more relevant than ever.  "For years our mission had been to get the Veterans Administration to acknowledge the need for transgender health care," Brightfeather stated.  "When the Veterans Administration addressed this need in June 2011, we felt that the bulk of our mission has been accomplished.  However recent events such as the emergence of recent cases of Transgender service members, coping in society after serving in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom have brought to light the fact that we are more relevant than ever." 

TAVA's mission statement has grown beyond addressing only Transgender Veterans. "Our Mission statement will continue to address transgender healthcare in the Veterans Administration, and also look to expand them." Brightfeather explained, "We will also address active transgender military service, spouse and family support, and transgender veteran employment issues among other things."  Primary of TAVA's goals are a way to fund Gender Reassignment Surgery through the Veterans Administration.  "These veterans served honorably, and in silence.  This is an acknowledged medical need and therefore it is incumbent upon the Veterans Administration to find a way so that veterans can receive the proper medical care they deserve.  This includes Gender Reassignment Surgery."

TAVA also looks to be front and center in the current research regarding open Transgender military service.  "TAVA intends to close ranks with many of the organizations that are researching the issue of open Transgender service and, as has been the case in the past, we will stand ready to inform and educate the Department of Defense as to what our findings are," Brightfeather stated.

TAVA, a 501 c 3, is the only Transgender Veterans group in the United States.  "We have been at this for well over a decade and while we have seen some significant improvements, particularly with the Veterans Administration, there is still a lot of work to be done," according to Brightfeather.  "We are looking to re-energize our membership base going forward, while exploring ways to add more concrete services to our membership."

TAVA has launched our updated website, www.tavausa.org, and will be sending out newsletters which will be forwarded to membership.  Additionally, TAVA intends to reach out to more traditional Veteran Service Organizations in order to build ties and also offer services to transgender veterans that traditional venues may be reluctant to work with due to lack of education and knowledge of resources.  "The transgender phenomena had its roots with military veterans," according to Dayna Walker, with TAVA Outreach.  "Christine Jorgensen returned from service in World War II and was the first person highly publicized to seek Gender Reassignment Surgery in the United States.  The fact that it's been nearly 70 years and our military, and society as a whole, are still struggling with this issue indicates there is a huge need for an organization such as this that can lead from the front and educate those that would be our detractors."

As TAVA relaunches, it seeks to bolster its ranks of not only veterans but those serving on Active Duty.  "The sensitivity of those serving silently is paramount, but at the same time we need to be able to develop statistics on transgender personnel serving in our armed forces," stated Brightfeather.  TAVA intends to continue to safeguard it's members information and allow actively serving members of the military to have a voice through this organization while safeguarding their privacy.

For more information, please visit http://www.tavausa.org/.  Media inquiries please contact media@tavausa.org or call 718-849-5665, or outreach@tavausa.org

2013 GayMilitarySignal