VA recognizes March 21-25, 2022, as “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ+) Health Awareness Week.” VA takes seriously its charge to provide care for all Veterans, including LGBTQ+ Veterans.
As a result of stigma, stress and discrimination, Veterans with LGBTQ+ identities face increased health risks and unique challenges in health care. We want Veterans to be comfortable talking with their VA providers about all aspects of their lives so VA can offer the best care possible.
“All Veterans, all people, have a basic right to be identified as they define themselves. This is essential for their general wellbeing and overall health,” said VA Secretary Denis McDonough. “Knowing the gender identity of our patients helps us better understand the population we serve.”
Being honest is essential to health care
While coming out is a personal choice, being open and honest about your sexual orientation, gender identity and sexual practices with your provider is essential to patient-centered health care. It can help your provider personalize your care plan to meet your unique needs and improve your health care experience.
VA encourages Veterans to talk about all aspects of their lives with their providers, including sexual orientation and gender identity, so that we can provide the best care possible. Conversations and the information you share with your VA provider are confidential.
In the fact sheets below, learn more about health risks and why you should talk to your provider about your sexual orientation identity, birth sex and self-identified gender identity.
VA program information
We invite you to check out the Subscribe to our LGBTQ+ email list and never miss an update.
You can also find your local facility’s LGBTQ+ Veteran Care Coordinator or visit our Patient Care Services LGBTQ+ Health program office website for more information on available health care services, online training, policies, research and resources.