June 19, 2021

Chairman Takano Statement on Expansion of VA Care to Include Gender Confirmation Surgery

Press Contact

Miguel Salazar | 202.779.1846

RIVERSIDE, CA —Today, House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Chairman Mark Takano (D-Calif.) issued the following statement applauding the announcement by Denis McDonough, Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, that VA will begin the first steps to expand care to include gender confirmation surgery for transgender veterans. Secretary McDonough spoke at the Orlando VAMC to celebrate Pride month and mark the passage of 5 years since the Pulse nightclub shooting. Statement as follows:


“Throughout my time as Chair, this Committee has worked to ensure that every veteran is treated with dignity and respect but that they also feel welcomed when they enter the doors of their VA.


This decision, is a critical step in continuing to assess disparities that exist for our veterans and ensure we build an equitable and welcoming VA for all. Veterans in need of gender confirmation surgery should not have to seek healthcare outside of the VA health system or navigate complicated processes to get the care they need. VA must be inclusive of all veterans who have served, regardless of their identity. 


“For many generations, LGBTQ Americans have stepped up to serve our country in uniform, even when discriminatory policies prevented them from serving openly and when facing higher rates of harassment just for being who they are. The time has come for our nation to reckon with the effects of these discriminatory military policies and undo the damage that has been done. I applaud VA’s decision to begin the rulemaking process to expand care to include gender confirmation surgeries, and ensure the VA is inclusive of all veterans who have served, regardless of their identity.”