Eight members of the Guam Legislature were on hand to celebrate LGBTQ Pride Month by presenting a resolution honoring organizations and individuals who have made contributions to the island’s lesbian, gay, bi, transgender and queer community.
Sponsored by Senator Régine Biscoe Lee and co-sponsored by Speaker Benjamin J.F. Cruz, a pioneer on the issue for decades, Resolution No. 158-34 (COR) honors and recognizes Guam Pride, Inc., Guam Visitors Bureau, ISA LGBT Guam, Guam’s Alternative Lifestyle Association and House of Diosa for their pioneering work and for their invaluable contributions to the island gay community.
Senators also presented Certificate No. 96-34 (COR) congratulating Team Umitde for their extraordinary accomplishment in winning Gold in the “B Division” during the 2017 World Out Games held in Miami, Florida, from May 30 to June 2, 2017.
Vice Speaker Therese M. Terlaje and Senators. James V. Espaldon, Joe S. San Agustin, Thomas A. Morrison, Fernando Barcinas Esteves and Louise Borja Muña joined in the presentation.
During her remarks, Sen. Biscoe Lee said:
“When people might question – why pride is important, why waving the rainbow flag is important – we must remember that LGBTQ people have been shamed into closets, attacked, fired, or killed because of who they are.
“I won’t ever forget learning about Matthew Shepard, a college student in Wyoming, who was killed because he was gay – beaten and tied against a fence post and left to die. I cannot forget the 49 people in Orlando who were shot and killed just last year, or the far too many young LGBTQ kids – and even kids who are merely perceived to be gay – who die by suicide every day across the country, because the pain and shame of exclusion and discrimination are too much to bear.
“With every storm comes a rainbow. We know storms here on Guam. We weather them together – and God shows us a rainbow in the end. The rainbow, if I remember correctly from my CCD classes, is a symbol of God’s promise to us. And during this month, it is also a symbol of our promise to each other – that you are welcome.
“On Guam, our strong community bonds and proud CHamoru roots give us the tools to be even more inclusive and address areas of disparity and discrimination – so that those in our LGBTQ community are supported by both the family that they’re born with and the family that they make.”