Diversity Center hosts LGBT rights activist Oct. 3

September 27, 2011

The MSU Holmes Cultural Diversity Center and Spectrum student organization will celebrate Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender History Month with a keynote address by Eric Alva, Iraq War veteran and LGBT rights activist.

The free Oct. 3 program begins at 7 p.m. in Lee Hall's Bettersworth Auditorium.

Alva, a retired staff sergeant, was the first American soldier injured in the Iraq War. Hailed as a hero, he was decorated and visited by U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Vice President Dick Cheney and President George W. Bush.

Alva says he was only able to be true to himself when he came out as a gay man after retirement. He will discuss his role in the repeal of the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy and what it meant to stand next to President Barack Obama as he signed the law. Using his own experiences as examples, he will examine various difficulties faced by military gays and lesbians.

He also will urge support for LGBT community members who continue serve the nation.

For more information on his address, contact the Holmes Cultural Diversity Center at 325-2033.

For more on LGBT History month, click here.