A virtual proclamation was held Tuesday to declare June as Pride Month.
Since its official establishment, Pride — also known at LGBTQ Pride — Month aims to commemorate the Stonewall riots of June 1969
In her remarks during the proclamation, Governor Lou Leon Guerrero talked about the social struggles that the LGBTQ community still faces today and the continued need to change negative attitudes towards the community.
Lieutenant Governor Josh Tenorio, who is the first openly gay Lieutenant Governor, echoed her sentiments.
He says that the best way for members of the LGBTQ community to change those types of perspectives is to simply be themselves and acknowledge their truth so that the people around them know they are just like everyone else.
“We’re just the same as them. We’re living on this island, in this world, trying to pursue happiness, trying to pursue fairness, trying to pursue prosperity. I would just say that when people come out and they’re able to face that truth, not everybody’s situation is the same. Everybody has a different experience. Some of us grow, tormented up until that point. Some of us suffer from discrimination, some of us get alienated from our own families … but I just wanted to tell everybody that it just gets better,” Tenorio said.
Tenorio adds that other than the social aspects, the community should also continue to strive for equality on the legal side as well.
“This is the greatest civil rights movement of our generation now, this struggle for equality, and I would just like to say that we continue to hope and to push for the passage of the Equality Act in the United States Congress so that we can have federal protections against workplace discrimination, that we can ensure that there will not be housing discrimination and together, we must fight together for parity in health care, especially for trans people who have accessibility issues for healthcare,” Tenorio said.
The Equality Act is a bill that prohibits discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity in areas including public accommodations and facilities, education, federal funding, employment, housing, credit, and the jury system.
Specifically, it defines and includes sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity among the prohibited categories of discrimination or segregation.
During the proclamation, Tenorio also thanked the Governor for appointing 8 cabinet members from the LGBTQ community.