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LGBTQ+ Veterans

Resources and Information

Elliott Larsen Civil Rights Act (ELCRA)

The Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act (ELCRA) prohibits discriminatory practices, policies, and customs in the exercise of those rights based upon religion, race, color, national origin, age, sex, height, weight, familial status, or marital status. In 2023, the law expanded language to include sexual orientation and gender identity or expression as prohibited categories for discrimination.


What You Should Know as an LGBTQ+ Veteran

This may be the first time you are trying to access benefits and resources or identify as a veteran. We acknowledge that there are historical challenges that LGBTQ+ veterans have experienced, and MVAA and its partners are working to address these challenges in a trauma-informed and culturally competent way. Please feel empowered to reach out the MVAA at 800-MICH-VET if you have questions or need additional resources that are local to you.

•Resources for name changes are available

• If you were discharged from service due to your sexual orientationDD214Form, please contact your local Veteran Service Officer or the MVAA to get connected to services.

• Laws and regulations continue to change. If you were previously denied benefits contact your local Veteran Service Officer or contact the LGBTQ+ Veteran Coordinator in your area to see if appeals rights exist for you.


Self-Help Options and Resources

Ordering DD214s and other military documents:

Request your DD214 through MVAA

Through eBenefits: You may be able to access your military personnel records electronically. 

Through National Archives: You also may be able to request military records online through the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC). 

Through an SF 180: You may also request military records through the use of a Standard Form 180

Online registration for VA health care:

The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) offers an online option to sign up for VA Healthcare if eligible. For more information, visit About VA Health Benefits | Veterans Affairs


Name Changes for DD 214s

Congress has authorized the correction of records when it is considered necessary either to rectify an error or to remove an injustice. DD Form 214 does not list gender, but it does list your name. For most non-transgender people, a service record showing a former name does not communicate any sensitive information. However, for transgender people, disclosure of the former name can be equivalent to disclosure of transgender status. This can be considered an injustice and will be the strongest basis for your request to update your name on the DD 214.

To update your DD 214 military discharge record, you will need two things: 

A completed DD Form 149 (Application for Correction of Military Record) 

Evidence to support your name change request. If possible, this evidence should include proof of your legal name change and gender transition, such as a U.S. passport, driver's license or government-issued ID card showing your updated name and gender.


Federal VA LGBTQ+ Veteran Care

The Veterans Health Administration is the largest integrated health care system in the United States and strives to be a national leader in providing care to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) veterans. In 2012, the VHA's Office of Patient Care Services created the LGBTQ+ Health Program, which provides policy recommendations, provider-education programs, and clinical services to support personalized, pro-active, patient-driven healthcare for LGBTQ+ veterans.

For more information: LGBTQ+ Veteran Patient Care

VA Ann Arbor | VA Battle Creek | VA Detroit | VA Iron Mountain | VA Saginaw


External LGBTQ+ and Veteran-Serving Organizations


LGBTQ+ Centers in Michigan: Find a community center nearby for resources, support and connection.

MiGEN: Formerly SAGE Metro Detroit, MiGEN provides services, advocacy, fun and connection to LGBTQ+ folks ages 45+. MiGEN believes in vibrant, authentic lives at any age, safe spaces and connected communities. 



American Veterans for Equal Rights is an organization dedicated to full and equal rights and equitable treatment for all present and former members of the U.S. Armed Forces, especially the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender current and prior military personnel who have been historically disenfranchised by armed forces policy and discriminatory laws governing military service and benefits.

Human Rights Campaign is a national organization that advocates for LGBT equality and educates the public about LGBT issues.

Modern Military Association of America (MMAA) is the nation’s largest organization of LGBTQ service members, military spouses, veterans, their families and allies. Formed through the merger of the American Military Partner Association and OutServe-SLDN, MMAA is a united voice for the LBGTQ military and veteran community.

Transgender American Veterans Association (TAVA) engages with their members, governmental agencies, other advocacy groups, media and the public to ensure members receive full services and dignified treatment by promoting the values of equality, fairness and respect on behalf of our members and provide a supportive community for veterans who identify under the “Transgender Umbrella”.

PFLAG was founded in 1973 and is the nation’s first and largest organization dedicated to supporting, educating, and advocating for LGBTQ+ people and those who love them. PFLAG has a network of hundreds of chapters and more than 325,000 members and supporters. They offer support for military families with the publication At Ease: Support for Military Families with LGBTQ+ Children and teens 


Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program ( (TVC) is the leading national 501(c)(3) charity providing free legal services in federal venues for veterans in need. TVC Discharge Upgrade Program reviews discharge cases and primarily represents veterans who received an Other Than Honorable discharge due to misconduct related to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Military Sexual Trauma, traumatic brain injury and other related mental health issues

VetLex is a national, dedicated web-based network of coordinated pro bono service providers to serve the legal needs of veterans. VetLex does not provide legal services; rather, it is an online cooperative system of intake, assessment, and referral envisioned to quickly and effectively connect veterans in need of legal services with those who stand ready to provide them.


External Trainings for LGBTQ+ Veterans and Allies

MiGEN: Provides in-person and virtual trainings with groups who want a better understanding of how to with LGBTQ+ older adults and how to make their organization more LGBTQ+ friendly. CEUs are offered for some trainings. 

Modern Military Association of America: MMAA created their Rainbow Shield program to bridge the gap in culturally resilient services for the LGBTQ and HIV+ military and veteran community. Rainbow Shield is an online certification program that educates community service providers and advocates through an initial certification training and yearly continuing education trainings.

National LGBTQIA+ Health Education Center: Provides educational programs, resources, and consultation to health care organizations with the goal of optimizing quality, cost-effective health care for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual, and all sexual and gender minority (LGBTQIA+) people. They host an extensive library of webinars, publications, and more with some earning CME credit.