Pride takes pride in Guam's openness

Guam Pride members held a wave event at the ITC intersection on Marine Corps Drive in Tamuning June 12, 2020.

Photo by Johanna Salinas

As they join the nation's Black Lives Matter movement, members of Guam's LGBTQ community take pride in their own island community for its openness to alternative lifestyles.

“It’s important for us to remember and commemorate our LGBTQ pioneers and everything they’ve done to help us move forward in our community and to celebrate the LGBTQ people in our community. There are so many people who contribute to our island that are LGBTQ—doctors, teachers, and government workers and hospitality people,” said Lasia Casil, founder of Guam Pride.

For the LGBTQ community, Pride Month in June is a time to come together to celebrate and bring awareness to their journey. However, like many events in 2020, Covid-19 has cancelled the Pride Parades and Pride concerts.

Across America today, with many protests taking place over the deaths of George Floyd Jr., Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, Guam Pride and GALA decided hold a rally in support of Black Lives Matter. The rally was in honor of African American LGBT activist Marsha P. Johnson who was murdered in 1992.

“There’s the youth—we need positive events like this so the youth will see that there are positive role models out there they can look up to and be positively influenced by. There are a whole bunch of reasons we do these rallies and why we continue to do these rallies and raise visibility and support the LGBTQ community,” said Casil, who is also the executive director of Hagatna Rehabilitation and Restoration Authority.