Reasons for Pride: 12 Picks from Gay Mayors and Reality Stars

Mayors John D'Amico (West Hollywood), Ron Strouse (Doylestown, Pa.), Jerry Pierce (Valley Mills, Texas), and other public figures share why they're smiling this Pride season.



Reason No. 6: We Conquered The Bullies!
Anthony Pazos (WE tv's L.A. Hair)
"I think, after being made fun of and being beat up in high school, and being called 'faggot' — the whole nine, you know? — I’m proud because we’re unique, and I think we’re all very strong to have to go through ‘the hardship of being gay,'" Pazos says. "I’m proud because we conquered. We’re here, we’re proud … and we dress nice! Let’s get real."


Reason No. 7: Small-Town Mayors!
Jerry Pierce, mayor of Valley Mills, Texas (pictured right, with his son Quinnton)
"What makes me proud is the ability to be free and be myself and who I am, regardless of whether I’m LGBT or not," Mayor Pierce says. "I think our community, our nation, and our world is changing right before our eyes. When I, as a mayor, was elected last year in a small, Christian community in Texas, that speaks volumes. I live in a community of 1,236 people that are all very compassionate Christians, and the fact that I’m gay was never made an issue of. So that tells me, in my heart, that we’re doing the right thing as a community: coming together and not only teaching our own mantra of tolerance but also being tolerant of others who may be against us."

Reason No. 8: Officiating Gay Weddings!
David Cruz (Millionnaire Matchmaker)
"Because I believe in love, and because I always believe in marriage and equality and everything six degrees of that, this is such a great year to celebrate, and it’s such a great year to really look back on how far we’ve come," Cruz says. "I’m officiating over my first wedding this weekend! A good friend had asked me to do his wedding live on a radio show ... and so I couldn’t say no. ... From when I was a 20-year-old to where I’m standing now, we’ve come a long way. And this is such a great moment to celebrate."

Reason No. 9: Online Hits!
Patrick James (The Horizon)
"I’ve had great success in [The Horizon becoming] the most watched Web series in the world," says James, pictured left. "It’s a huge feat from the whole team itself. I think the other night really confirmed that by having the launch in Los Angeles, It’s huge. It makes me very proud."

Tags: Pride