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Shane Ortega      

The US Army's First Openly Trans Soldier

Shane Ortega is an internationally acclaimed public speaker and a continuously evolving, and upscaling multi-disciplined renaissance creator. He/They have are an active participant in social justice and equity advocacy, a diversity educator, a small business founder and owner, a sound therapist, a former fitness model, a DJ/Producer, and a mixed-media artist. They are a disabled retired U.S. Army Staff Sergeant and Marine Corps Veteran. Ortega describes his race, gender, and sexual identity as transmasculine, non-binary, queer, and mixed-ethnicity. He is a descendant of the Machapunga and Tuscarora of Indian Woods Reservation, North Carolina. After holding two Club DJ residencies in Bangkok, Thailand they released a hard techno mix incorporating Nordic healing music that reached no. 46 on the Global Hardcore Techno 100 Charts.

Ortega is featured in the Emmy-eligible and GLAAD award-nominated documentary "Trans in Trumpland." He can also be seen in HBO's “The Trans List” and the History Channel's "History Now" Series. Ortega is featured in the photo series book "American Boys" by Soraya Zaman and has modeled campaigns for companies like Belvedere Vodka and 2xist underwear.

Ortega received numerous awards for outstanding service during his military career and in 2019 Harper's Bazaar awarded him the Icon award -as one of the most influential People of Color in America working in human rights advocacy. Ortega has co-authored in the peer-reviewed journal Gay and Lesbian Mental Health, "Trans in the United States Military - Fighting for change.” The article is the proceedings of a symposium on the experience of trans people in the United States military and the advocacy to end the trans military ban. This symposium was co-sponsored by AGLP: The Association of LGBTQ Psychiatrists and took place at the American Psychiatric Association’s 2017 Annual Meeting in San Diego, California.

In DEI keynote speaking and advocacy, they inspire organizations and companies with measurable skills of compassion, equity, and traditional Indigenous perspectives. Thus elevating collective consciousness and expanding opportunities for other marginalized communities and voices. Leading to dynamic and harmonious workplaces with perspective, creativity, cohesion, and increased productivity. They use their own lived intersectional experience of generational trauma, womanhood/ness, disability, military service, multiple minority status, and public health education to support and expand the client's lens. Currently, they are in the process of completing their Masters of Indigenous Law with the University of Oklahoma by Spring 2024 and finishing their first full-length techno studio album. He plans to continue on to a Ph.D. in Governance.

Best known for co-founding the 503(c) non-profit organization Spart*a, Ortega directly supported military members through the years of the repeal of DADT and the transgender military ban. He concurrently worked as an intrinsic member of the Military Freedom Coalition which lobbied for 8 years in the same equity effort.


Transgender veteran sees 'panic and unrest' for trans troops - NY ...
Nearly 100 calls from worried service members flooded Shane Ortega's phone after Trump tweeted that their military career is over.
Transgender Army Sergeant Shane Ortega Opens Up About His ...
Transgender Army Sergeant Shane Ortega Opens Up About His Journey. FUSION. By Jorge Ramos and Jorge Rivas. Posted: 07/30/2015 09:58 AM EDT ...
Meet Shane, The Army's First Openly Trans Soldier

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