“I’m not going to bow down,” says Lozano. “I am who I am. Accept me or not.”
A gay service member who once wore heels in a Veteran’s Day parade will become the next mayor of a small border town in Texas.
Democrat Bruno “Ralphy” Lozano captured more than 60% of the vote in the May 5 mayoral election in Del Rio, Texas, about 110 miles west of San Antonio. His opponent, Republican incumbent Robert Garza, picked up just 38%.
Lozano is the first openly gay elected official in the town of fewer than 41,000 people. And, at, 35, he’s also its youngest mayor.
Prior to seeking office Lozano worked to clean up local waterways. He ran on a platform of bringing back tourism to Del Rio, as well as making investments in culture and infrastructure.
While serving in the Air Force, it was actually Lozano’s job to enforce “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” informing LGBT service members when they were being discharged. He described the role as “heartbreaking” to Into
A a result, he chose not to reenlist, saying, “I am not ashamed of who I am.”
When he donned pumps to march in the Veteran’s Day parade last year, Lozano says he received hugs and praise. But after the parade, a meme circulated on Facebook featuring pictures of him in heels and a tutu, and text calling him a “faggot” with AIDS. Lozano brushed off the incident, and his orientation didn’t appear to have an impact on the race.
“Stonewall happened because drag queens and a minority group stood up to animosity, and I had to go back in the closet because of that same hatred,” Lozano told Into. “I know what that was like, and it translates to today’s campaign. I’m not going to bow down. I am who I am. Accept me or not.”
Read more at: NewNowNext.
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