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2011 RISD Grad a Gay Role Model

11 Jun Posted by in • Robin Lowey | Comments Off on 2011 RISD Grad a Gay Role Model
2011 RISD Grad a Gay Role Model

Last week I attended my niece’s graduation from Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, RI. I’ve been a graphic designer for over 30 years and this crop of graduates filled me with excitement about a new generation of talented artists, photographers and designers. I’m thrilled that my darling niece will follow in my footsteps as a graphic designer. Watch out world for my neice Liz Lowey, as she will surely take the world by storm.

The ceremony was long and I listened patiently while a dykey looking Provost blathered on about honorary degrees, and the hours were dragging by…

Suddenly, a young man took the stage—the senior class speaker, a photography major, Affandi Setiawan. He had a white boa wrapped around his graduation cap and arrived at the podium pumping his hands in the air, palms up. This got my attention.

He proceeded to give a heartwarming speech about being closeted in his native Indonesia, coming out at RISD and how accepted he felt. Attending RISD had changed his life in a HUGE way, not only academically, but also as a person. The teary-eyed crowd was astonished as he ended the short speech with a few bars of Lady Gaga’s “I was born this way” sung in perfect pitch.  Afterwards we had a quick chat, where I thanked him and had the honor of meeting his lovely Mother.

Huge props to Affandi! Your brave speech just helped make the world a better place!

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