Though Pride Month is soon coming to a close, Guma Gela’ celebrates the existence of the LGBTQ+ community continuously, boldly, and proudly, no matter the month.
PNC caught up with Guma Gela’s founder Roquin Jon-Siongco, to discuss the events that the collective has hosted throughout Pride Month.
Earlier this month, Guma Gela’ hosted a series of Zoom talks for the first three Sundays of June, intending to provide a safe, loving, and supportive space for individuals to share their experiences.
When asked about his experience with hosting the Zoom talks series, Roquin stated how honored he was to hear about each individual’s perspectives and contributions to the LGBTQ+ community. Roquin also mentioned how beautiful it was to listen to stories of triumph and celebration.
“It brought me so much joy— you know, oftentimes we’re talking about the fight that we have to fight or how we are not treated fairly and not treated with equality, to really have these moments of shining through and triumph, and celebrate these moments of celebrating ourselves and celebrating each other is really beautiful,” Roquin said.
On Thursday night, Guma Gela’ hosted a special “gualafon” full moon ceremony to open the Ginen Inagofli’e art exhibit. Friends and family gathered at the Sagan Kotturan CHamoru Cultural Center to celebrate the intimate opening, which showcased art and zines from members of the LGBTQ+ community.
The exhibit also consisted of an altar dedicated to honoring members of the community, both past, and present. When asked about the importance of acknowledging and amplifying the existence of Guam’s queer Saina’s, Roquin stated: “When we talk about Pride, we think about Stonewall or we think about the marriage equality act, and although those are great and beautiful, I think here, in particular in the Marianas, we have our saina being open and accepting. Having our…these were our rights being taken away. So, it’s very important to acknowledge the history before … to really get a full scope and if anything, find inspiration in, and something to return back to.”
Guma Gela’s Ginen Gof Li’e art exhibit will be open this weekend, from 11 am to 5 pm at the Sagan Kotturan CHamoru Cultural Center, House 7- Guma’ Atista.
For more information, visit @GUMA_GELA on Instagram.