October 9, 2019
The importance of LGBT love, identity, and history in October and all year long
By: Marsha Aizumi

October is LGBTQ History Month, and here are two stories from the Asian Pacific Islander LGBTQ community that capture some of their history. Both of these individuals are over 60 years of age.

Bill Tashima lives in Seattle, Washington where he moved so he could live more freely as a gay man.

“I thought that if anybody ever found out [that I was gay], I would have to kill myself.”

To see Bill’s full story, click here.


Desiree Thompson is a lesbian who moved from Hawaii to San Francisco for love.

“Maybe I would have been okay as a married woman with children living the heteronormative life, but perhaps there would have been something missing.”

To see Desiree’s full video, click here.

They have each generously shared so authentically and courageously some very vulnerable parts of their lives.

I hope they touch your hearts, just as they have touched mine. And I hope you can also see that love can find you at any age or when faced with challenges having community can be the safety net you need to keep moving forward.

On National Coming Out Day, and for all of LGBT History Month, we honor the stories of LGBT older adults, the value of embracing your LGBT identity, and the contributions that LGBT people have made to their communities throughout history.

These videos were produced by Okaeri, A Nikkei LGBTQ Gathering in Los Angeles, CA.



The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Diverse Elders Coalition.