The Department of Veterans Affairs will reverse its ban on gender-confirmation surgery, Secretary Denis McDonough announced Saturday. McDonough made his pledge at a Pride Month event in Orlando, Florida, a state where transgender rights have come under attack by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Republican-led Florida legislature. Earlier this month, DeSantis signed a bill preventing trans girls from participating in women's sports in schools.
The process will take up to two years to implement, but McDonough, who called it “the right thing to do,” said he believes it will lead to a better result and easier access to the procedure. “This time will allow VA to develop capacity to meet the surgical needs that transgender veterans have called for and deserved for a long time, and I am proud to begin the process of delivering it,” McDonough said to a crowd, per the Orlando Sentinel. Gender-confirmation surgery allows trans individuals to take on the features of their identified sex.