By Sean Foran | October 25, 2010
Canisius is a Jesuit college, which carries a few connotations with it. While Jesuit colleges have a history of being open and accepting of all creeds and lifestyles, they are considered conservative Catholic institutions.
I grew up in a group of friends that included several LGBTQ people. I gained an appreciation for and acceptance of the lifestyle, and it stopped seeming different to me. It became part of my normal. I was, however, a bit concerned that LGBTQ students would be few and far between in a school like Canisius, where the identity was defined by a religion that tended to disagree with the lifestyle.
I was, upon arrival, pleasantly surprised to find a healthy LGBTQ community existing within the college, with acceptance and respect. Canisius observes National Coming Out Day every year, sponsored by its own Gay-Straight Alliance, Unity. Just recently, a large portion of the campus participated in a day of remembrance and support for the six homosexual students who committed suicide, rather than face bullying for their sexuality. Students and faculty donned purple clothing as a show of support, and sent the message that bullying will not be tolerated, towards any group of people.
I bring this up because I was accused, albeit in a non-aggressive way, of being homophobic by a teacher during a presentation due to a simple communication error on Friday. I was a little thrown, and didn’t really know how to respond. I had encountered so little homophobia in Canisius, it seemed like an idea that was far away.
I guess I just wrote this to let anyone of the LGBTQ persuasion that was considering Canisius that they are welcome here. Some of our students and faculty don’t agree with your lifestyle, but everyone here will support your right to it. And that’s something I’m proud of.
– Mr. Charming