Guam's first transgender candidate in the running - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Guam's first transgender candidate in the running

Posted: May 17, 2018 1:14 PM Updated:

Lasia Casil is ready to run. As Guam's first transgender candidate for public office, Lasia says she knows that the road to where she stands now hasn't always been easy to travel on.

 “I was met with discrimination, bullying, violence – for the person that I am, for identifying as transgender,” Casil said.

Casil says she has gotten used to dealing with it, but she's concerned that Guam's youth are more vulnerable – especially since many of them feel pressure to conform to society's so-called norms.

“A sixteen year old kid came up to me and told me he was being bullied at school. A couple weeks later, another kid came up to me told me his mother had taken in two of his friends – sixteen year old kids – because their parents had thrown them out for being gay. These are problems that I thought would've gone away.”

Casil says if she wins a seat in the Guam Legislature, she'll stand up for the youth – and push for more accountability in GovGuam.

“I would love to go in there and craft bills that would reorganize some of these agencies, so that there are no conflicts of interest,” Casil said.

If Casil has a familiar face, it's because she's made headlines for her work with Save Southern Guam – an environmental group calling for responsible development. She's also the founder of Guam Pride – an LGBTQ pride and rights group teaming up with GVB to tap into the region's billion-dollar LGBTQ tourism market.

As a Democrat, Casil hopes her platform of progressive values will help the party retain the Legislative majority.

“People want a change,” Casil said. “A real change. I'm here to work for the people, with the people. I've already been doing it – I've been very active in advocating for land rights, for LGBT rights and equality.”

“I advocate for women's rights, the #metoo movement – all these people, they're our resources here on our island – and they need to be protected,” she added.

Casil hopes to level the economic playing field if elected, saying foreign business need to do more to pay their fair share.

“I'm a small business owner. I'm the president of the merchant association here at Chamorro Village – I advocate for the 42 small businesses, artists, indigenous carvers and farmers here. I would like to advocate on a higher platform for all the small businesses here on Guam.”

While much is made about how to address transgender persons – especially among the conservative crowd, Casil says it's not that complicated.

 “I identify as female, I am female on my ID, I present myself as female 24 hours a day and 7 days a week,” Casil said. “I have fought for my right – I deserve the respect to be addressed the way that I want to. It's just a simple matter of respect.”

Raised a military brat living abroad, Casil says she is not opposed to the military buildup – as long as we keep sacred what makes Guam special.

 “This island is our resource for survival,” Casil said. “People come here to rest and relax and vacation – to experience the sun, the sand and the sea. If we cut open the goose that laid the golden egg, what are we going to be left with?”

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