The first national convention of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) took place in Corpus Christi, Texas in 1929. Brad Veloz, a native of Corpus Christi and a LULAC member is a Vietnam Veteran with the U.S. Navy. He retired from the federal government after 32 years of public service. Two years ago, he and his partner of 40 years, Mike Rodriguez, were featured in a Freedom to Marry TV ad. The campaign, organized by “Familia es Familia” targeted Texas as one of the last states that refused to recognize same-sex marriages.
Veloz, has been vocal about equal rights for the LGBTQ community since he heard Cesar Chavez speak out on the subject. In 1987, he and Rodriguez were living in the nation’s capital when they helped organize the March on Washington. Amid a tremendous turnout, he was moved when the Latino civil rights icon urged LGBT people to stop living in the shadows. Encouraged, Veloz came out to supportive friends, family and co-workers. Veloz’ history of activism includes serving as board member for the National Latino Lesbian and Gay Organization (LLEGO), and the Gay and Lesbian Hispanics Unidos (GLHU). Veloz has also served as co-chair of the San Antonio Lesbian and Gay Assembly (SALGA), and the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center. Presently, he serves as secretary of LGBTQ LULAC Council 22198 Orgullo de San Antonio.
This year at the 88th LULAC National Convention which takes place in San Antonio from July 4 to July 8, Veloz’ LGBTQ LULAC Council will host workshops entitled, Queer Brown Voices: Personal Narratives of Latino/a Activism and LULAC Texas Civil Rights Affirmation: Building an LGBTQ Inclusive & Healthy State. In addition, the council will be hosting the LULAC Orgullo de San Antonio Reception for the LGBT community in San Antonio.