UH Students Celebrate 'National Coming Out Day'

Ka'ili Adachi
Ka'ili Adachi
Noah Solomon
Noah Solomon
Marshall Tokunaga
Marshall Tokunaga

Honolulu (KHNL) - It is a day of honesty.

"So this day, we all just band together and feel free, to be one, to be real, to be who we are," said Ka'ili Adachi, a transgendered student.

They say acceptance is the key, especially on National Coming Out Day, a day when some lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people begin to lead open lives.

"You're not alone out there," said Noah Solomon, a gay student. "There are people who go through the same thing. Luckily, I have a supportive core of friends and my family is supportive."

"It's okay to be gay," said Marshall Tokunaga, Mr. Gay Pride 2006. "It's okay to have these feelings. It's okay."

Gay students weren't the only ones marking the occasion.

"I'm here to support my mom," said UH student Weston Lambert. "She's a lesbian and she lives in Washington and she came out about five years ago. So, I'm here to support her and my friends."

And Susie Roth is the mother of a gay son.

"For me, it was really important to let him know that we loved him," said Roth.

A campus organization that supports gay students says more than 700 students come to use its services. Today's event is geared to fostering a discrimination-free environment.

"Really, it's an important time to make sure everyone shows aloha no matter their sexual orientation or gender identity is," said Camaron Miyamoto, director of the campus organization.

The aloha spirit Hawai'i is famous for, and a spirit students hope extends beyond our islands.

"Eventually, I hope there's no stigma, no negative, nothing negative," said Solomon. "I hope there's no labels. I hope one day in a perfect world there'll be nothing to inhibit people from expressing their sexuality at all."

A world - they hope - is in the near future.