Tonga, a distant memory.

Protesters hail their bible quoted signs.
“Go back to your country”

It was my first time flying as far as Guam, by myself. I went to the Kingdom of Tonga representing my group, LGBTQ-PALAU, in attending the 1st Pacific Human Rights Conference on Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression in the Pacific.

When I look back on that experience, I am filled with so much inspiration and motivation. It’s been months since then and I still feel that churning in my stomach; that feeling I had when I heard all the testimonies and the life experiences. The goosebumps come crawling back under my skin and I find myself tearing up.

I cry, not tears of sadness, but of joy. A joy that screams that I am not alone. The protesters (some depicted on the picture above) only reaffirmed the thought that what we are advocating for, is a real issue. The friendship that was made in that very center, the oneness, was undoubtedly chained by the passion and love we all shared for our own countries, our people, and our Pacific.

I was overwhelmed by the unity and the support, to which that has fueled me to this day and until my very last days on this Earth. I love them all. I miss them. I miss the bright smiles, the songs, and the taki. Although, it’s so long ago and it seems as just a distant memory, I hold dear those moments I shared with my fellow brothers and sisters. I will cherish those moments for the rest of my life.

The amount of bravery, love, and sacrifices it took for just that conference to happen, cannot be measured. I am so proud and honored to have been able to take part in that event. I am so proud to call myself a Pacific Islander and also to say that I am a Lebsian and a Palauan.

Change is coming to the Pacific. We can all be a part of that change. All we need is Love, and to spread the message of Love.

Love knows no genders, no boundaries.

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