The following seeks to address questions from employees of the Department of State, USAID, and other foreign affairs agencies about trans, non-binary, and gender-affirming care resources.
This information is grouped by topic below, was compiled by glifaa, and reflects our understanding of current U.S. Government policy. However, this informal Q&A is not an official publication of the Department of State nor any other U.S. Government agency and has not been cleared by any U.S. government source.
Please reach out to your Management Section, the Bureau of Global Talent Management, the Bureau of Medical Services, and/or your Human Resources office to confirm the accuracy of this information before taking any action based on the contents of this page.
This page was last updated in September 2022.
Trans, Non-Binary, and Gender-Affirming Care Resources
- Trans, Non-Binary, and Gender-Affirming Care Resources
- Workplace Equity and Management Policy Topics
- Trans, Non-Binary, and Gender-Affirming Healthcare
- glifaa’s Transgender Heritage
Workplace Equity and Management Policy Topics
Q: Does the U.S. government hire LGBTQIA+ people, including trans and non-binary people?
A: Yes. The U.S. government does not and cannot discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity in any employment decisions. Transgender employees openly and proudly serve in both the Foreign and Civil Service at the Department of State, USAID, and many other Federal government agencies.
Q: Does the U.S. government publish workforce guidance regarding trans employees’ rights and responsibilities in the workplace?
A: Many Federal agencies have published workforce guidance providing resources for trans employees and agency management. You should ask your agency’s human resources office for guidance specific to your agency. In 2021, Glifaa members worked with the Department of State to draft the Department’s first workforce guidance regarding transgender employees’ and management’s rights and responsibilities in the workplace, available via diplomatic cable 21 STATE 43408.
Trans, Non-Binary, and Gender-Affirming Healthcare
Q: Does the U.S. government’s Federal Employee Health Benefits (FEHB) Insurance Program cover gender-affirming care?
A: Many FEHB plans provide some level of insurance coverage for some gender-affirming care medications and procedures, but coverage can vary widely based on the plan selected. Glifaa members partnered with Pride In Federal Service (an Executive branch LGBTQIA+ employee network) to develop the following resources to help employees and eligible family members/dependents seeking gender-affirming care navigate the FEHB insurance program (presented at the 2021 Pride In Federal Service Summit).
- 2021 PowerPoint Presentation on Navigating Gender-Affirming Care
- 2021 Fact Sheet on FEHB Gender-Affirming Care and Services
- FEHB Comparison Tool and Guide to Navigating Gender-Affirming Care: List of FEHB Insurance Plans with Gender-Affirming Care Information (updated December 2022)
Q: What resources are available to help explore transitioning and/or gender-affirming care?
A: Please visit our Parents of LGBTQIA+ EFMs page for more information on resources for support and treatment.
glifaa’s Transgender Heritage
Glifaa is a welcoming and inclusive home for all LGBTQIA+ people. Glifaa was in the vanguard of the movement that led to gender identity being included in workforce non-discrimination policy guidance at the Department of State in 2010, followed soon thereafter by USAID and other Federal foreign affairs agencies. Glifaa members also worked with the Department of State to draft the Department’s first workforce guidance for transgender employees and Department management, available via diplomatic cable 21 STATE 43408. As an organization, glifaa strives to live up to the goals set by the National Center for Transgender Equality in its guidelines on The Nine Keys to Making LGBT Organizations Fully Transgender Inclusive.
Notable past members of glifaa include Dr. Chloe Schwenke (the first transgender presidential appointee to a foreign affairs agency) and Robyn McCutcheon (glifaa’s 2013-2014 president and the first foreign service officer to transition while assigned abroad).