On Saturday (5 May), the Texas town of Del Rio elected Bruno ‘Ralphy’ Lozano as their new mayor with 62% of the vote.
Lozano is a gay Air Force veteran. At 35, he’s the youngest mayor of the town, as well as the first openly gay elected official in Del Rio.
He served as a security law enforcement officer in the Air Force during the ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ period. It was because of this policy that he chose not to continue in the military.
‘I am not ashamed of who I am, so I chose not to reenlist,’ Lozano told Into More. ‘I kept going. I moved on with my life.’
He did just that. He became an activist to help clean up the town’s local waterwars. Furthermore, he never shies away from who he is.
Last year, Lozano marched in the veterans parade — in a pair of high heels. He said during the event, many women and girls came up to him and hugged him, thanking him for his bravery.
Representing the small town
Del Rio is in Val Verde County, Texas. It has a population of just over 40,000.
Lozano is proud to represent his town as an out gay man.
‘In the ‘90s and 2000s, [LGBTQ people] started moving away to safe zones in cities like Lakeview in Chicago, Chelsea in New York, or the Castro in San Francisco,’ he said. ‘But now we’ve started to go back to our communities and be part of it. I think it’s such an amazing opportunity to show that we are equal.’
Texas is known for being one of the foremost conservative states in the US. This election, therefore, makes a bold statement.
It’s another positive sign for the numerous LGBTQ people running for office in this year’s midterm elections.