October 13, 2010 was Denim Day at Loyola University Maryland; a day in which all who accept sexual minorities and support them through the adversities they face should wear denim clothing. This event hopefully provided openness and hopefulness, just as in like “Happiness” by Jane Hirshfield. This is important because it shows this campus is friendly to all types of people not just through events, but also with openness and tolerance being taught in the classrooms.
In the 1990s and earlier, there was no recognition of gay pride on campus. This changed when two students started a pride group called GLOBAL, which was changed to Spectrum. This group was created in order to provide support and show the openness of Loyola to the members of the gay community here. On Denim Day, Spectrum held a lecture, where a speaker came to Loyola University, and spoke about their experiences growing up as a sexual minority. They also talk about their lives at Loyola, and how their sexuality affected their studies and social lives. The speaker on Denim Day was a man named Kevin, who graduated from Loyola a couple years ago. Kevin was a sexual minority at Loyola. He provided examples of the adversities he faced during his life, such as trying to please his father, growing up Catholic, and his unhappiness with his life. Ultimately, Kevin came out to everyone, and while he was at Loyola he found his place. He joined Spectrum, and had others to talk to who were facing the same issues he was. He felt at home. The overall message of was that life is full of surprises, and we do not know where we can end up in life. He stated one must fight through adversities they find in order to find the true openness they deserve, a statement I truly believe.
I believe everyone deserves the same dignity and respect. We are all human beings. We are all one people in the world. I believe there is a place for all of us in life and at Loyola. No one should be discriminated against due to his or her sexuality. Kids are dying because of discrimination and bullying, and this is not acceptable. We must do our best to set the world aflame, like the Jesuits, with the idea that everyone is equal, and that no matter peoples’ differences, all people deserve to be treated as oneself would like to be treated. The same world Spectrum and I imagine is portrayed in “Happiness” by Jane Hirshfield. The poem speaks about the openness of St. Francis, and how he accepted all types of animals, no matter their personality, good or bad. He accepted every living thing no matter their size or shape. I interpreted this is to be an illusion towards how all humans should be open, just like St. Francis, and accept all types of people. It shows a unity between all members of the human race. The poem gives the idea that we should welcome everything and everyone, no matter their lifestyles of looks. Ultimately, it provides the prime example of openness and how we should live in this world.
Denim Day provided Loyola University Maryland with an extraordinary thing. On Denim Day, we were provided with the openness and unity we truly need in today’s world. We are also provided with the ideals with works we read in the classroom like “Happiness.” By doing this, we are creating a more peaceful and accepting world.