National Coming Out Day commemorated

The new organization aims to develop and advocate legislation, rules, and regulations in government programs to support the LGBTQ community. (Photo from Visit Guam 2019)

Whether you are lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, or queer, National Coming Out Day (which is celebrated on Oct. 11) celebrates your diversity.

Thirty-two years ago, a national march took place in Washington for the rights of the LGBTQ community. National Coming Out Day was first observed as a reminder that one of the most basic empowerment tools is … well, coming out.

Lasia Casil, founder of Guam Pride, says although the LGBTQ community has made leaps and bounds over the past 50 years, she believes the Trump administration continues to lead the assault on the LGBTQ community’s fight for equality and justice.

Coming out can be a terrifying experience especially for the LGBTQ youth who are at a greater risk of abuse, homelessness, and incarceration, Casil said.

She added that the Leon Guerrero-Tenorio administration has been very supportive of the LGBTQ community on Guam and working with Guam Pride to create safe spaces for LGBTQ youth to exist and express themselves.

She pointed out that Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero has been leading the crowds during the Pride March last year and Lt. Gov. Joshua Tenorio is the first openly gay Lieutenant Governor in American history.

Casil said the LGBTQ community must continue to work together to create these safe spaces and support individuals whether they decide to come out or not and on their own terms.

“If there is someone in your life who is struggling, please reach out and support them. Let them know that they are loved unconditionally and they deserve to exist. They are perfect in every way for God makes no mistakes,” Casil said.

In honor of National Coming Out Day, Dominic Leon Guerrero, a teacher at Guahuan Academy, shares his coming out experience.

“I struggled with the label of being gay in middle school. But in high school, I still find females and transgender individuals attractive and I didn’t think I was gay. As time went by, it was even broader. I guess you can say I had two coming outs. But now I identify as a proud individual who’s pansexual,” Leon Guerrero said.