Celebrations in honor of Pride Month are being held across the country. Each June, events recognizing the impact the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual community have on the world are put on spotlight.

In an exclusive interview with KITV 4 Island News local poet and scholar Jamaica Osorio shared how she found acceptance with her sexual identity after studying ancient Hawaiian legends.

The Palolo native is no stranger to the stage. Osorio's poetry has earned her an opportunity to perform in front of the nation's former first family in 2009. She also comes from a family of accomplished musicians, naturally embracing her identity as a Native Hawaiian.

But being comfortable with her attraction towards the same sex wasn't always easy for her to grasp. That didn't come until later when she discovered homosexuality was openly accepted in ancient Hawai'i.

Osorio researched legends and discovered Hawaiians referred to same sex relationships as, aikane. The bond wasn't always sexual, but deeply intimate. 

The bulk of her research was centered around stories about Hawaiian goddess Hi'iakaikapoliopele. The legendary beauty is known for her infamous battles alongside female companions. 

"Sometimes you read translations and you’re like, 'Oh, her intimate friend.' But what does that mean? Yeah, they’re lovers,'" said Osorio. 

One of Hi'iaka's most famous friends was Hopoe.

"She’s absolutely taken aback by her, she witnesses her beauty. There’s a commitment between them that they will rest their bones together...that wherever one shall go the other will follow," Osorio explained.

Osorio says she saw a piece of herself in the ancient stories.

Her research also revealed ali'i had aikane too. But it appears the practice dwindled after missionaries and Christianity arrived in Hawai'i. The connection set off a major realization.

"A part of me feels really sad because had I experienced this mo'olelo as a child there would’ve been less trauma over trying to understand, was I wrong for the way that I loved," Osorio said.

She hopes others struggling to make sense of their sexuality will see a reflection too.

"I didn’t have to identify as a 'queer Hawaiian' because these are Hawaiian practices. I’m just Hawaiian," said Osorio.