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LGBT Program

VA is committed to a diverse workforce and an inclusive workplace. We understand that diversity and inclusion are essential for a high performing organization that delivers the best service to our Veterans. The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community is an integral aspect of our human diversity. To that end, VA has implemented several policies and programs addressing issues facing the LGBT community and is helping VA employees and patients access benefits made available by changes to Federal Policy.

Federal LGBT Policy Developments:
LGB Veterans and employees enjoy new benefits at the VA following the Supreme Court’s ruling on same sex marriage and the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. For information about the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, please click here and here. For more information about the impact of the same sex marriage policy change, please click here.

LGBT Employee Related Policies and Resources:
Since 2009, the VA’s equal employment opportunity protections have included sexual orientation and gender identity in the Secretary’s Annual EEO, Diversity, and No FEAR Policy Statement. To complement this, VA developed and implemented a complaint process to provide employees with an avenue of redress for complaints through the Office of Resolution Management. Additionally, Transgender VA Employees are protected from discrimination based on the Office of Personal Management policy which includes protection while transitioning at work, access to sanitary facilities, and accurate documentation in employee files. For more information about this policy, please click here. Click here to read the VA EEO Policy.

The VA Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI) is committed to increasing education and awareness of the LGBT community by establishing a formal LGBT special emphasis program, providing a VA-wide LGBT Observance Program in Washington, D.C., and developing cultural competency trainings for employees. For more information about the LGBT-Employee related resources, please click on the links below.

LGBT Veteran VA Policy Developments:
In the area of health care delivery, the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) is committed to a patient-centered approach that organizes services around the needs and values of LGBT Veterans. To that end, VA has enacted a variety of policies relating to LGBT Veteran Care, please click on the links below to learn about these policies.
Rights and Responsibilities of VA Patients and Residents of Community Living Centers Rights and Responsibilities of Family Members of VA Patients and Residents of Community Living Centers

The VA has instituted a policy to provide respectful delivery of health care to transgender and intersex Veterans which includes use of preferred name, documentation of sex in the computerized patient reporting system, and hormone therapy. For more information about this policy, please click here.

Contact Us:
Are you a VA employee who has questions or concerns about issues facing Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and/or Transgender (LGBT) VA Employees? The VA’s LGBT Workgroup has established an LGBT e-mail group to address LGBT-related questions and concerns. The e-mail address is LGBTWorkgroup@va.gov. Send your e-mail to this address and a member of the Workgroup will review your e-mail and make every effort to address your concern. The e-mail group is confidential; even if your email is forwarded to another office for guidance, your name will be omitted to protect your privacy. Try it!

If you are a Veteran, dependent, or support person and would like information about VA services for LGBT Veterans please contact LGBT Patient Care Services by emailing LGBTProgram@va.gov. If you are in crisis, PLEASE call the 24 hour Crisis Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 option 1 or please visit: http://www.veteranscrisisline.net/.

LGBT Employee Resources Group Startup Kit:

  • Special Emphasis Program Start-Up Toolkit (Word)
  • Federal Register -- Aug 23, 2011 (PDF)
  • Heterosexual Questionnaire (Word)
  • I Have Heterosexual Privilege If… (Word)

Program Links:

Related Links:

Note: This page links to external information on the Internet. VA is not responsible for the content or privacy policies of these Web sites, and linking to these sites does not constitute endorsement by VA of the sites' sponsors or the information, products, or services they provide.