Serving LGBTQ+ Veterans
American Association of Retired People (AARP)
AARP connects national and local programs for our aging population, and our older veterans can benefit from identifying these resources, events and quality information related to the LGBTQ+ community. To learn more about AARP’s resources for our aging LGBTQ+ veterans, visit:
American Job Centers and CareerOneStop
Located in all states and territories, the network of nearly 2,500 AJCs provides a wide array of employment-related services.
American Bar Association (ABA) Military and Veterans Legal Center
The ABA Military and Veterans Legal Center brings together all of the ABA entities, programs, and projects focused on legal services for military personnel, veterans, and their families, and provides access to all of these ABA resources to both the public as well as legal professionals. https://www.americanbar.org/groups/legal_services/milvets/
American Veterans for Equal Rights
American Veterans for Equal Rights is dedicated to advocating and serving the needs of America’s LGBTQ+ armed forces veterans with information, referral, and limited legal consultation regarding VA benefits claims.
Birth Certificate Corrections
To make a correction to your US birth certificate, it is necessary that you contact or go to the correction/amendments department at the vital records office that issued the original birth certificate. This department will be able to help you make a change to your birth certificate. https://www.usbirthcertificates.com/articles/how-to-correct-error-birth-certificate
Blue Alliance is an American non-profit organization of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Alumni of the US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Its mission is to promote respect through education and advocacy for LGBTQ+ individual at the Air Force Academy, within the Academy’s alumni community, and throughout the entire USAF.
CalVet Department of Veterans Services
CalVet is committed to ensuring all Veterans have access to and receive the benefits they have earned without regard to sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, age, mental or physical disability. The Minority Veterans Division promotes the use of U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits, programs, and services by Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Veterans. We advocate on behalf of LGBT Veterans by identifying gaps in services and by making recommendations to improve service. We support and initiate activities that educate and sensitize the public to the unique needs of our LGBT Veterans. https://www.calvet.ca.gov/MinorityVets/Pages/LGBT.aspx
City of Alexandria, VA
The City of Alexandria offers residents a variety of events and opportunities to celebrate LGBTQ+ Pride Month and to recognize LGBTQ+ people and their contributions to the city’s diverse community and the nation. https://www.alexandriava.gov/LGBTQ#LGBTQResources
Corporate Equality Index
This national benchmarking tool measures policies, practices, and benefits that impact LGBTQ+ people in the workplace. An employer search is available. Download the report document to see top ranked employers. You will also find information about nondiscrimination policies and equal benefits that can help you evaluate an employment offer.
http://hrc.org/resources/corporate-equality-indexDepartment of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Programs
- Cultural Competency. Agencies across DHHS are working with health care providers, grantees, employees and others to improve cultural competency with respect to LGBTQ+ populations. https://www.hhs.gov/programs/topic-sites/lgbtq/index.html
- Family Violence. Violence affects everyone regardless of sexual orientation. The CDC reports that LGBTQ+ persons experience intimate partner violence at rates equal to or higher than those of heterosexuals. The Family Violence Prevention and Services Program administers the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA), the primary federal funding stream dedicated to the support of emergency shelter and supportive services for victims of domestic violence and their children, including LGBTQ+ survivors. Since 2013, ACF has funded FVPSA’s Capacity-building Learning Center dedicated to Improving Service Accessibility for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning Victims of Domestic Violence. https://www.acf.hhs.gov/fysb/programs/family-violence-prevention-services
- Aging Services. DHHS funded the Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE) to establish the first national resource center for older LGBTQ+ individuals. https://www.sageusa.org/
DOL Office of the Assistant Secretary for Policy
At the U.S. Department of Labor, our mission is to promote and protect opportunity for all workers. Our nation and workforce are stronger when we embrace diversity, and when workers can apply their unique skills and talents to jobs that provide fair wages, benefits, and safe and healthy working conditions, and ensure respectful inclusion. https://www.dol.gov/agencies/oasp/resources/lgbt-workers
Employment and Rights in the Workplace
In June 2020, the United States Supreme Court decided that the 1964 Civil Rights Act protects gay, lesbian, and transgender employees from discrimination. This blog topic covers current legal issues, like the June 2020 decision, that impact LGBTQ+ workplace rights. http://tinyurl.com/y6z28gly
Employment and Training Administration (ETA)
The ETA administers federal government job training, apprenticeship and worker dislocation programs, federal grants to states for public employment service programs, and unemployment insurance benefits. These services are primarily provided through state and local workforce development systems.
GenEQ Guide to Entering the Workforce
This guide is for LGBTQ+ people who are transitioning to the workplace. It helps job seekers understand the considerations around disclosing gender identity and/or sexual orientation during the job search process and after starting a new job. It also offers detailed information and links to help job seekers understand employment laws, employer non-discrimination policies, and how to evaluate employer benefits.
Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD)
GLAAD works through entertainment, news, and digital media to share stories from the LGBTQ community that accelerate acceptance. This link leads to a valuable Glossary of Terms – Lesbian / Gay / Bisexual / Queer resource to help better understand and communicate respectfully.
Healing Warrior Hearts
Whether it was before, during, or after Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, being in the military and identifying as LGBTQ+ has historically meant service members did not feel safe or accepted. Unique experiences of injustice, discrimination, and abuse, both physical and emotional, are the emphasis in this special-focus Healing Warrior Hearts retreat. This confidential environment offers a safe place to talk about the struggles of sexual orientation within the military. Staff of these weekends are veterans and civilians who share similar experiences or who have been identified as LGBTQ targets and their allies. The staff offers empathy and compassion for the pain these veterans carry, connecting from the heart, recognizing that our hearts have no gender or sexual preference and that all healing begins within. https://www.healingwarriorhearts.org/lgbtfocus
Housing Discrimination Under the Fair Housing Act
The Fair Housing Act protects people from discrimination when they are renting or buying a home, getting a mortgage, seeking housing assistance, or engaging in other housing-related activities. Additional protections apply to federally-assisted housing. Learn about the History of the Fair Housing Act, and read Examples of the many forms of housing discrimination. https://www.hud.gov/program_offices/fair_housing_equal_opp/fair_housing_act_overview
Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
Part of HUD’s mission is to give every person and family access to a safe, secure, and affordable home including ensuring fair and equal access to housing for all Americans, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status. HUD is working to promote, strengthen, and create opportunities for LGBTQ+ inclusion in its federal programs and regulations. This website provides information related to equal housing access, knowing your veteran client’s rights under the Fair Housing Act, the Gender Identity Rule, and how to file a Housing Discrimination Complaint.
Human Rights Campaign
Fighting for equality means we can’t afford to let anyone fall through the cracks. We work locally, nationally and globally on issues that affect the LGBTQ+ community. LGBTQ Professional and Student associations: https://www.hrc.org/resources/lgbt-professional-and-student-associations. LGBTQ+ Professional Recruitment Events: https://www.hrc.org/resources/lgbt-professional-recruitment-events.
Detailed information about the process and issues around amending the name and gender associated with both federal and state identity documents. http://transgenderlawcenter.org/resources/id
Knights Out is an organization of West Point alumni, staff and faculty who support the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people to serve openly in the US military and who wish to educate young officers about the issues and contributions of LGBTQ+ troops. https://www.knightsout.org/
LGBTQ Policy Spotlight: Mapping LGBTQ Equality: 2010 to 2020
Select the following link to open LGBTQ Policy Spotlight: Mapping LGBTQ Equality: 2010 to 2020. https://www.lgbtmap.org/file/2020-tally-report.pdf
LGBT People in the Workplace
These brief details the history, demographics, and experiences of LGBT people in the workplace. In addition to outlining the barriers facing LGBT workers because of prejudice, the brief also examines the added challenges facing workers and how these challenges also impact LGBT employees. https://www.lgbtmap.org/policy-and-issue-analysis/lgbt-workers-brief
LGBTQ+ Vocabulary: Pronouns
A person’s identity doesn’t always fit into binary gender descriptions. Use the correct personal pronouns to create an inclusive workplace. This resource discusses why pronouns are important and offers examples of how to share personal pronouns in a professional setting. https://www.binghamton.edu/centers/lgbtq/pronoun_s.html
If a servicemember has misplaced their military records, they can request their DD214, DD215, Report of Separation, or other release papers from the milConnect portal. https://milconnect.dmdc.osd.mil/milconnect/
Military.com’s 2022 State Veterans Benefits
For information about Military.com’s listing of state veteran benefits, visit: https://www.military.com/benefits/veteran-state-benefits/state-veterans-benefits-directory.html?ESRC=banner.nl
Modern Military Association of America (MMAA)
MMAA was formed through a merger of the American Military Partner Association and OutServe-SLDN, and is the nation’s largest hon-profit organization dedicated to advancing fairness and equality for the LGBTQ+ military and veteran community. Through education, advocacy, and support, MMAA is making a difference in the lives of LGBTQ+ servicemembers, military spouses, veterans, and family members.
National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC)
NGLCC advocates for social change through economic equality is the exclusive certifying body of LGBT-owned businesses. NGLCC recognizes that a growth business needs not only a strong local network where business owners live and work, but also business certification and access to all the strategic growth opportunities.
National Resource Directory
The National Resource Directory is a searchable database of resources vetted for service members, veterans, family members, and caregivers. By creating a keyword search on “LGBTQ+ veterans,” career coaches will discover national and local resources for LGBTQ+ veterans.
National Veterans Legal Services Program (NVLSP)
Since 1981, NVLSP has become a national, high-impact veterans service organization fighting for justice for those who served us. https://www.nvlsp.org/
Office of Disability Employment Policy-Diversity and Inclusion
By fostering a culture of diversity—or a capacity to appreciate and value individual differences—employers benefit from varied perspectives on how to confront business challenges and achieve success. The term “culture of diversity” refers to the infinite range of individuals’ unique attributes and experiences such as ethnicity, gender, age, and disability. Since disability is a natural part of diversity, businesses can benefit by taking steps to ensure people with disabilities are represented in their workforce. Career coaches will find an array of resources that provide more information about disability and diversity and inclusion at the ODEP website. https://www.dol.gov/agencies/odep/program-areas/employers/diversity-inclusion
Office of Resolution Management, Diversity & Inclusion (ORMDI)
The mission of this program is to grow a diverse workforce and cultivate an inclusive work environment, where employees are fully engaged and empowered to deliver the outstanding services to our Nation’s veterans, their families and beneficiaries. It is our vision that VA is the leader in public service in creating a high-performing workforce by capitalizing on its diversity, purposefully embracing inclusion, and empowering all employees to perform to their highest potential.
Oregon Department of Veteran’s Affairs
Oregon is proud of the strength and diversity of our veteran community, which spans five eras of service and four generations. To better serve you, ODVA’s new lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LBGTQ+) veteran coordinator office was created to help LGBTQ+ veterans and their families learn about and gain access to the full range of their earned benefits. https://www.oregon.gov/odva/Resources/Pages/LGBTQ-Veterans.aspx
Project New Hope
Project New Hope is a New England-based, military-affiliated, resource hub that finds and delivers the wellness resources needed by veterans, servicemembers, their families, and full units that have deployed together. Their network of support allows them the ability to identify and align the appropriate support by wrapping services and resources around the entire family. 2021 Initiatives include No Cost Retreats for PTSD, TBI, MST, LGBTQ+, Women Veterans, and Caregivers.
Repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT): Archived Site
This is an archived site that can provide information on DADT repeal. For career coaches, you will find Quick Reference Guides and other data that can aid in your support of a veteran client’s military discharge upgrade case and access to benefits. https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/blog/2012/09/20/archives-end-dont-ask-dont-tell
SPART*A is a group of LGBTQ+ people who currently serve or have served in the military, their families, and veteran and uniformed allies. They are a membership organization, built by, for, and with members from all parts of the LGBTQ+ military community.
State Departments of Veterans Affairs Locator
For more information on state agency Departments of Veterans Affairs, use the following National Association of State Directors of Veterans Affairs (NASDVA)-sponsored link to find a state Department of Veterans Affairs by state or territory:
Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) Program
SSVF was created to promote housing stability among very low-income veteran families who reside in or are transitioning to permanent housing. Grants are awarded to nonprofit organizations and consumer cooperatives offering supportive services, including outreach, case management, referrals to VA and local resources, and temporary financial assistance. https://www.va.gov/homeless/ssvf/
Transgender American Veterans Association (TAVA)
TAVA is an advocacy group for transgender veterans from the US military. http://transveteran.org/
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, How to Apply for a Discharge Upgrade
Answer a series of questions to get customized step-by-step instructions on how to apply for a discharge upgrade or correction. If your application goes through and your discharge is upgraded, you’ll be eligible for the VA benefits you earned during your period of service. https://www.va.gov/discharge-upgrade-instructions/
USNA OUT is an American non-profit organization of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Alumni of the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. USNA Out is an independent 501 organization that does not represent the Naval Academy Alumni Association nor the U.S. Naval Academy.
VA Facilities with LGBTQ+ Veteran Care Coordinator (LGBTQ+ VCC)
There is an LGBTQ+ Veteran Care Coordinator (LGBTQ+ VCC) at every facility to help you get the care you need. VHA policies require that your health care is delivered in an affirming and inclusive environment and that VHA employees respect your identity. LGBTQ+ VCC can answer your questions, advocate for your right to quality care, handle complaints or concerns you have about your care, and help you get started with any of our services for LGBTQ+ Veterans. This page includes a directory of LGBTQ+ VCC by state and U.S. territory. https://www.patientcare.va.gov/LGBT/VAFacilities.asp
VA Fact Sheets
Review the VA Fact Sheets through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Patient Care Services webpage. https://www.patientcare.va.gov/LGBT/
VA Patient Care Services—VA Facilities with LGBTQ+ Program Websites
Connect with your LGBTQ+ Veteran Care Coordinator (LGBTQ+ VCC) at your VA facility. They can answer your questions, advocate for your veteran client’s right to quality care, handle complaints or concerns they may have about their care, and help them get started with any of the VA’s services for LGBTQ+ veterans. Some states have multiple VA LGBTQ+ resources, while others may have fewer resources, but since 2016 each VA facility has a local VCC who is in charge of promoting best practices for serving LGBTQ+ veterans and connecting LGBTQ+ veterans to services.
Veteran Readiness and Employment (VR&E)
Formerly called Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment and also known as Chapter 31. The VA offers five support-and-services tracks to help veterans find and sustain employment, and to live as independently as possible. VR&E provides direct referrals to JVSG staff to maximize the provision of services leading to successful career selection and placement for disabled Veterans and Service members enrolled in the VR&E Chapter 31 program. https://www.benefits.va.gov/vocrehab/
VHA Office of Health Equity (OHE)
Equitable access to high-quality care for all Veterans is a major tenet of the VA healthcare mission. OHE champions the elimination of health disparities and achieving health equity for all veterans. OHE supports the VHA’s vision to provide appropriate individualized health care to each veteran in a way that eliminates disparate health outcomes and assures health equity. https://www.va.gov/healthequity/
What You Should Know: The EEOC and Protections for LGBT Workers
Find information about the enforcement of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act against sex discrimination for LGBTQ+ people. In addition to information about Title VII you will find contact information for starting the complaint process if your rights have been violated. https://www.eeoc.gov/sexual-orientation-and-gender-identity-sogi-discrimination