On the first day of October, there were rainbows seen around the BYU–Hawaii campus but not a single umbrella was needed. Students, faculty and staff sported rainbow-colored masks, bracelets and stickers to show love for the LGBTQIA+ community.
BYUH alumnus Hao Le, who is also a representative of the Affirmation Hawaii Chapter, said their off-campus club received generous donations from BYUH faculty, which enabled them to give away rainbow masks, bracelets and stickers to students and faculty.
Branden Lee McQueen-Bryers, a senior from New Zealand majoring in intercultural peacebuilding, explained Rainbow Day “is an opportunity for students and faculty across CES schools to show their support, solidarity and unity with those in the LGBTQIA+ community.”
McQueen-Bryers is a student representative of the local Affirmation Hawaii Chapter, who sponsored the event.
Sierra Allred, a junior from Oregon majoring in intercultural peacebuilding, said, “It is really important to give visibility to LGBTQIA+ students on campus, to show our love and support and also recognize there is more love than hate.”
Color the Campus, a human rights group, organized Rainbow Day to encourage students attending CES schools to wear rainbow colors to show love and support for the LGBTQIA+ community, says the Color the Campus Instagram page.
Brandon Galli, a junior from Draper, Utah, majoring in elementary education, who is openly gay, said he feels like Rainbow Day is something “Christ would want.”
He continued, “If you can support the [LGBTQIA+] community, you are truly accessing God’s love, the love where you don't understand someone’s situation but you love them anyway. That is the most powerful testament and manifestation of love.”
On the same day, the official BYUH Instagram page shared in a post, “Diversity and unity work together here at BYU–Hawaii. ... Every difference between us, whether it is race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, culture, political views, or something else, is part of the beauty and complexity of this University community.
“We must practice Christlike love for one another as we strive to fulfill the words of President David O. McKay and be … ‘an example in this little place of the purposes of our Father in Heaven to unite all peoples by the gospel of Jesus Christ.’”