First clinic for transgender veterans opens
The Department for Veterans Affairs has opened a clinic for transgender veterans, a first for the US.
The clinic will provide hormone therapy and specialised mental health care for transgender ex-service members, in-spite of a Pentagon ban on transgender people openly serving in the armed forces.
According to a report from Palm Centre, an independent research institute, there are an estimated 15,500 actively serving transgender armed forces personnel and an estimated 134,000 veterans in the US.
Dr. Megan McNamara heads the new clinic, which is based in the Louis Stokes Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Cleveland.
Dr. McNamara told Cleveland.com that there was a desperate need for transgender clinics for veterans
“I feel there are a lot of transgender patients in the veteran population who haven’t been able to find the care they need,” she said.
“I really want to be able to provide comprehensive, one-stop care for those patients in a welcoming environment . . . a place where they’re comfortable and accepted.”
Danielle Keller, a transgender veteran and one of the 20 patients at the clinic told cleveland.com that “Oftentimes if I’d go in the private sector, I’d run into problems with doctors who are not informed how to treat [transgender patients],
“Knowing that we can come to a place that is familiar with our issues helps a lot.”
Previously, Vice-President Joe Biden has called for an end to the ban on transgender people serving openly in the military, saying “All Americans are qualified to serve, should be able to serve.”