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Veterans Day

Wednesday, November 11th, 2020 marked the first ever Veterans Day event coordinated by the Virginia Tech LGBTQ+ Resource Center which featured a keynote by Shane Ortega, the first out actively serving transgender soldier in the US Army. 

When first celebrated as Armistice Day, the day marked the end of World War I, formally recognized on the “11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month” in 1918. Today we continue to celebrate the day as Veterans Day, still recognizing the original tie with November 11. 

In a report from 2014, authors Gary Gates and Jody Herman estimate that approximately 15,500 transgender men and women are serving and that an additional 134,300 trans Americans are veterans. Given a national population of 700,000 (another rough estimate), this suggests that over 1-in-5 (or 21.4%) of all openly transgender Americans are in the military or have served at one point. Compare this to the average adult American service rate of 10.4%. Transgender Americans, in other words, are estimated to be twice as likely to join the military. These figures make the military the country’s largest employer of transgender Americans

For Veterans Day 2021, we will be joined by Bryce J. Celotto.

Veterans Day with Bryce J. Celotto November 11th @ 6pm

Zoom link:

Bryce J. Celotto (he/him) is a Black, queer, transmasculine policy advocate, educator, facilitator, and writer. Bryce has almost a decade of experience working at the intersections of race, class, sexuality, and gender in education, social change movements, and politics. Bryce has expertise in education equity, progressive policy, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives, Civil Rights history, and LGBTQ advocacy. He also has experience working on political campaigns and crafting messaging for political causes. He has worked at nationally recognized LGBTQ organizations such as the National LGBTQ Task Force and the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network (GLSEN) where he advanced inclusive non-discrimination and anti-bullying policy at the local, state and federal level. He developed strong leadership skills while serving as a board member at the National Center For Transgender Equality, TransLaw, and the Massachusetts Commission for LGBTQ Youth.

Bryce is an accomplished writer publishing both scholarly work and social commentary for many outlets including The Huffington Post, Point Foundation blog, URGE For Reproductive Justice blog, and others. His undergraduate senior thesis, which focused on federal education law and school desegregation in Washington, D.C. received the top departmental History prize in the Spring of 2016 at his university. He received his Bachelor of Arts in History, Magna Cum Laude, from the Honors College at the University of Massachusetts at Boston along with his Master of Arts in Teaching from Brown University. He is a Point Foundation Scholar Alum, a Commonwealth Honors Scholar, and a member of several national collegiate academic honors societies.

Bryce is also a veteran of the U.S. military, serving four years in the Army National Guard in North Carolina and the District of Columbia. He is an outspoken advocate who has been featured in many major press outlets such as CNN, for his work advocating for open, inclusive transgender military service.

Sponsored by: HokiePRIDE, Black Cultural Center, & the LGBTQ+ Resource Center

If you are an individual with a disability and desire an accommodation, welcome! Please contact Dr. Bing at or 540-231-8584 at least five business days prior to the event.