An openly gay man was elected to the City Council in the conservative Fort Worth suburb of Watauga, Texas, last week.
Scott Prescher captured 54 percent of the vote in a four-way race to fill an unexpired council term, becoming Watauga’s first openly LGBTQ elected official.
Speaking in council chambers at his swearing-in on Wednesday, Nov. 14, Prescher began by thanking his husband, Cody, “for putting up with all this.” Then, he mentioned that his father could not be there, because he committed suicide when Prescher was 17.
“I will never forget that morning being pulled out of marching band practice to be told he was no longer alive,” Prescher said. “If you are thinking of suicide, please call me or call a friend. I promise you, whatever is going on will pass, and it will get better.”
Prescher went on to say that his mother also could not be there because she has advanced Alzheimer’s disease.
“I wish more than anything that both of them could be here tonight, but they cannot,” he said. “In many ways, Cody and I do not have a connection with most of our immediately family, for many reasons, including being a gay married couple. At times, it is hard not to feel orphaned. But then we met all of you. From the moment you all met us, you have embraced us, you have loved us, and you have made us part of your family.
“We slowly went from being the quiet couple on the corner who always works in their yard, to being Cody and Scott, part of the Watauga family,” he added. “This election proved that this community is a place that values people for who God made them to be. In a four-way race in the state of Texas, this community turned out in truly historic numbers and elected its first openly gay council member, winning 54 percent of the vote. This is no small thing, and you should all be proud of your community.”
Earlier this year, Prescher helped lead opposition to a massive mixed-use development in Watauga, a city of 25,000. He is one of at least 15 LGBTQ candidates in Texas, out of 35 on the ballot, who won their races on Nov. 6.