Dr. Vidal-Ortiz's scholarship cuts across racialization, sexuality, gender, migration and religion, and is interdisciplinary. He coedited two award winning books: The Sexuality of Migration, and Queer Brown Voices, co-authored a book with two former students, Brandon Andrew Robinson and Cristina Khan, titled Race and Sexuality, and is completing a book manuscript about race, gender and sexuality in Santería (an Afro-Cuban religion).
An engaged American Sociological Association (ASA) member, he has served as convener (and first non-elected Chair) of a section called Sociology of the Body and Embodiment, is Past Chair of the Sexualities Section, and editorial board member for Sociology of Race and Ethnicity. He is also a tri-chair for ASA's Sexualities Section Pre-conference for 2018 titled: Sexualities, Race, and Empire: Resistance in an Uncertain Time.
Outside the discipline, he has collaborated with AU's Center on Latin American and Latino Studies, and as an editorial board member for TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly.
In the past, he has supported DC community-based groups such as Different Avenues (see related essay on Public Sociology) and the Latino GLBT History Project.
He continues Fulbright-based research on displacement and LGBT people in Bogotá, Colombia. With Juliana Martínez, he is engaged in "Transgendering Human Rights," a newest research project with the Americas as its focus.
Mellon fellows Kristen Schilt & Chase Joynt host Representing Trans*, a day-long symposium on the politics and practices of trans* representation. With keynote speaker Kate Bornstein.