The SUR owner, 61, looked back on some of her proudest moments as a “huge LGBTQ activist” on Vanderpump Rules, exclusively telling Us ahead of Pride Month that she wants to use her Bravo platform to champion the community. She cited a Pride parade after the 2016 Pulse shooting as one of her most memorable experiences as an ally.
“Standing up for what’s right, getting on that bus because everybody was scared … that’s what I want to teach the kids,” the U.K. native told Us, remembering how it felt to attend the march — and film her reality show — after the “devastating” tragedy. “[It’s about] courage in the face of adversity.”
More than 53 people were wounded and 49 killed at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Despite the fear and uncertainty, Vanderpump and her costars still showed up for the LGBTQ+ community in West Hollywood. The parade — and the Dancing With the Stars alum’s inspiring rallying cry — were caught on camera for season 5 of the Bravo hit.
“I applaud your courage for still coming here … but this is what we do,” Vanderpump said in front of the crowd at the time. “We stand even stronger, and we unite and we stand defiantly in the face of a heinous act like that.”
The Simply Divine author isn’t the only Real Housewives of Beverly Hills personality who has a special connection with the queer community. Sutton Stracke and Erika Jayne are each ready to show LGBTQ+ love this summer.
“Listen, I have done every Pride from coast to coast,” the “Pretty Mess” singer raved. “I’m going to support my friends that are in the LGBT community that have supported me all my life.”
Stracke, for her part, told Us, “I have been supporting LGBTQ [people] for a long time and it’s really something near and dear to my heart. … I will always support and always — I feel like I’m not an ally, I feel like I’m part of the family.”
While allies play an important part in celebrating Pride, the month is even more meaningful for those who are “still growing” in their identities, Kressley told Us. “Growing up as an LGBTQ person … you have a sense of shame and like, ‘Oh, there’s something wrong with me,'” the original Queer Eye star explained. “And Pride is a great day to remember that you are perfect the way you are, you are worthy [of being] celebrated.”
Billy Porter reflected on the history of the event, throwing it back to Pride’s roots in activism. “Let’s get back to that,” the Pose alum exclusively told Us. “What we need to be talking about is our fractured government, how to vote, where to vote, who to vote for. … We have to start understanding that too.”
Watch the video above to see how celebrities are making Pride memories this year.