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The Biden administration will now be offering gender transition services to transgender veterans. During a Pride event held in Orlando on Saturday, Denis McDonough — the secretary of veteran affairs — announced the Department of Veterans Affairs plans to offer transgender veterans “gender confirmation” surgery, according to The New York Times. The new policy aims to ensure transgender individuals receive “equitable treatment,” McDonough said. He also noted the treatments for transgender veterans have been “deserved for some time,” adding the “vestiges of bigotry” remain at the V.A. and must be removed under President Joe Biden’s administration. “Even something as simple as displaying V.A.-specific rainbow magnets has proven to make our hospitals more welcoming,” McDonough said, “signaling to L.G.T.B.Q.+ vets that we are here for them.” According to an estimate from the National Center for Transgender Equality, there are more than 134,000 transgender veterans in the U.S. Transgender activists believe providing transgender individuals with such care mitigates the community’s extremely high levels of depression and suicidal ideation (among a handful of other mental health issues).

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