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D’Youville Commemorates National Coming Out Day With First-Ever LGBTQ+ Event on Campus

D’Youville Commemorates National Coming Out Day

Buffalo-born artist Casey William Milbrand debuts his newest mural, “As Is”  

Today, hundreds of D’Youville students, faculty, and staff celebrated the 31st anniversary of National Coming Out Day at the campus-wide event From the Closet to the Sidewalk.

Friday marked D'Youville's first-ever LGBTQ+ celebration. The event culminated with the unveiling of the pride mural, “As Is,” from celebrated LGBTQ+ artist Casey William Milbrand at the College Center.

Ben "BG" Grant introduces the speakers at the "As Is" unveilingAssistant Dean for Student Engagement, Benjamin "BG" Grant
speakers at the "As Is" unveiling.

D'Youville President Lorrie Clemo was representing D'Youville in China at the time of the event, but she issued a statement welcoming Milbrand to campus and supporting the event.

Casey Milbrand As IsArtist Casey Milbrand speaks to the D'Youville community at the unveiling of his "As Is" mural.

“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 LGBTQ+ 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 Clemo.

Casey William Milbrand, is an architectural artist, designer and urbanist based in Brooklyn. He was born and raised in Buffalo, NY. “As Is” is his third installation of public art in Buffalo. His other works include “Greetings from Buffalo” and “Lookin’ Good.” 

Vice President of Institutional Advancement, Pamela Say, speaks to attendees. Vice President of Institutional Advancement, Pamela Say, speaks to attendees. 

According to artist Casey Milbrand, “As Is” represents individuality, acceptance, and inclusion. “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. “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. 

D'Youville student Matthew Wild ‘20, organized the event with the Office of Student Engagement. Wild said the mural will have a broader impact than beautifying the campus and the West Side of Buffalo.  
“It's important that students, employees and community members feel accepted and validated when it comes to their sexual orientation and gender identity,” Wild said.   

Matt Wild shares his story at the As Is unveiling.Matt Wild '20 shares his story at the "As Is" unveiling.

Celebrated every October 11 since 1987, National Coming Out Day promotes a safe world for LGBTQ+ individuals to live truthfully and openly. The date was chosen to commemorate the first large-scale national demonstrations for the LGBT community, beginning with the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights on October 14, 1979. 

Matt Wild and Casey Milbrand pose on the As Is mural.Matt Wild and Casey Milbrand pose on the As Is mural.

"This pride mural is much more than paint on a sidewalk," added Wild. "It's a symbol of the progressive direction our school is taking, and a reminder that you can be yourself here."

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