D’Youville has organized its first ever LGBTQ+ event on campus. The college celebrated National Coming Out Day with a new mural by Buffalo-born artist Casey William Milbrand. The work of art – titled “As Is” – was painted on a campus sidewalk in front of College Center. The painting of the mural on the sidewalk represented the campus-wide event, From the Closet to the Sidewalk. The occasion also paid tribute to the 31st anniversary of National Coming Out Day.
“Today’s celebration is an important moment in D’Youville’s history. I am pleased to welcome Casey Milbrand to campus as we celebrate an important campus and community pride event. D’Youville welcomes students of every culture, background, and faith. This mural will serve as a visual affirmation that we prioritize inclusion and celebrate diversity,” said D’Youville President Lorrie Clemo, who was representing D’Youville in China at the time of the event.
“There is a special moment between coming out to yourself and coming out to the world that I want to capture in my design,” said Milbrand, who affirmed that the work represents individuality, acceptance, and inclusion.. “One rainbow color at a time, my mural unfolds like a colorful origami accordion. This mural is about the moment you start accepting yourself as you are,” he continued.
“It’s important that students, employees and community members feel accepted and validated when it comes to their sexual orientation and gender identity,” said D’Youville student Matthew Wild ‘20, who organized the event with the Office of Student Engagement. Wild also noted that the mural will have a broader impact than beautifying the campus and the West Side of Buffalo.