There are an estimated 1 million lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer veterans in the United States.
For many years, our LGBTQ veterans were forced to live closeted lives in order to serve their country. Often, they were dishonorably forced out of the military because of who they loved or simply because of who they were. Not only have our LGBTQ veterans historically served at home and abroad in many eras and conflicts, they have also risked much to push our country toward the promise of equality.
In 2014 Stonewall Columbus proclaimed November LGBTQ Veterans Recognition Month in appreciation of those in our LGBTQ community who have served so bravely and selflessly.
Below you will find a general listing of information/resources for veterans that may be of use to you or someone you know.
City of Columbus Veterans Resources: https://www.columbus.gov/hr/veterans-affairs/Veterans-Resources/
Franklin County Veterans Service Commission: https://vets.franklincountyohio.gov/
- Services include
- Burial And Memorial
- Education Benefits
- Eye Glass Program
- Financial Assistance
- Health Care Benefits
- Home Loans
- Life Insurance
- Preventive Dental Program
- School Supplies Program
- Survivor Benefits
- Transition Assistance
- VA Claims Assistance
- Vocational Rehabilitation
Ohio Department of Veterans Services: https://dvs.ohio.gov/
- Conducts outreach to veterans and provides training and oversight to the 88 County Veterans Service Offices (CVSOs).
- Coordinates programs and operations with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), which provides benefits to Ohio veterans.
- Works with the Ohio General Assembly and Congressional representatives to craft legislation in support of veterans and their families at the state and federal levels.
- Communicates and coordinates with other state agencies concerning veterans’ programs and support to veterans.
Administers the Ohio Veterans Bonus for veterans of the Persian Gulf War era and post-9/11 era conflicts, a program that is funded by bonds approved by Ohio voters.
- Operates the Ohio Veterans Homes in Sandusky and Georgetown which are open to Ohio-resident veterans who served in periods of armed conflicts.
- Manages one federal education-related program: The State Approving Agency.
- Hosts several veterans’ ceremonies each year including the Governor’s Wreath-Laying Ceremony which honors Ohio’s killed in action and the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
- Maintains custodianship of more than 1.9 million veterans’ records dating back to World War II.
US Department of Veteran Affairs – https://www.va.gov/ Many veterans may receive care at the Department of Veterans Affairs, but others may be unaware of what services are available or have concerns about discrimination. The VA is working to be a national leader in health care for LGBTQ veterans and wants to assure that high-quality care is provided in a sensitive, respectful environment at all VA healthcare sites nationwide.
Each VA facility is required to have an LGBTQ coordinator who can connect veterans with culturally competent providers, educate staff about where gaps in knowledge/training exist and to help create a more welcoming environment. (VHA Directive 1341, May 23, 2018)
The VA is authorized to provide:
- Hormone treatment
- Substance use/alcohol treatment
- Tobacco cessation treatment
- Treatment and information on prevention of sexually transmitted infections/PrEP
- Intimate partner violence reduction and treatment of after effects
- Heart health
- Appropriate cancer screening, prevention, and treatment
The VA is not authorized to provide gender-confirming or affirming surgeries or reconstructive surgeries for cosmetic purposes. However, the VA does provide support letters for veterans who seek those surgeries outside the VA and will work with the surgeons to provide letters that help make that individual qualified to get those surgeries.
- VetSuccess on Campus at The Ohio State University – https://www.va.gov/find-locations/facility/vba_325c
- Columbus VA Clinic – https://www.va.gov/central-ohio-health-care/locations/columbus-va-clinic/