It’s been some 20 years since Lasia Casil yearned to move back to Guam after growing up
around the world in a military family. When she got here, she trained for a job at a newly
opening club in a newly opened hotel, ready to start a new life here.
Once it was revealed, however, that she was a transgender woman, she was terminated
from her job. Pushed to the fringes of Guam society, Lasia jumped ship and moved as far
away as she could from the island she wanted to call home.
She did well for herself selling high-end commercial property stretching from New York to
Los Angeles. Guam, however, remained on her mind, and one day she came back, more
confident about herself. She is now the successful owner of Infinite Charm, a contemporary
jewelry line, which is sold everywhere from the T-Galleria in Tumon to the Guam Museum
Losing her job because of gender identity is something she’s turned around to ensure
others on Guam wouldn’t be faced with the same kind of discrimination. Upon returning on
island, she testified in a public hearing for the Employment Non-discrimination Act. She
helped found ISA Guam, an organization that networks members of the LGBTQ community
to raise their visibility and eventually begin an LGBTQ chamber of commerce. She’s even
been tapped by the Guam Visitors Bureau to develop a plan to make Guam a safe and
desirable place for LGBTQ visitors, a place where they’ll want to vacation and get married.
“I told myself I would never come back to Guam unless I was self-sustaining. Being fired
from [my job], I wanted to make sure if I came home, I’d have my own business and no one
could fire me. All the things I went through, all the challenges and obstacles and the fact
that I had to keep moving from place to place to place after being outed, running away from
discrimination and bullying, have all contributed to the things I’m doing now and have
made me a stronger person,” Lasia says.
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About the Author
Guam born and raised, this contributor has an affinity for island life, people, food and culture. Got a story idea? Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.Follow on Twitter More Content by Lacee A.C. Martinez