Veterans Affairs Opens First Clinic For Transgender Service Members

There are an estimated 134,000 trans veterans in the U.S.

The Department of Veterans Affairs opened its first health care clinic dedicated to transgender service members on Wednesday.

Housed within the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center in Ohio, the clinic will offer primary care services alongside hormonal therapy and mental health care. The VA center, which provides care to more than 112,000 people, is currently treating around two dozen transgender patients.

The clinic will be officially opened on Thursday with a ceremony.

The Human Rights Campaign noted there are an estimated 15,500 transgender service members in active duty, and 134,000 trans veterans.

The Pentagon continues to ban transgender troops from serving openly, but that policy is expected to be lifted sometime next year. Vice President Joe Biden announced his support for an end to the ban last month during the Human Rights Campaign's annual dinner.

"No longer is there any question transgender people are able to serve in the United States military," Biden said.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has also announced her strong support for transgender troops and veterans.

"We need to say with one voice that transgender people are valued," Clinton told a group at the Human Rights Campaign. "They are loved, and they are us."

Calls to the Louis Stokes Medical Center and the VA were not immediately returned.

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