The essence of this spirit was captured in a moving speech about tolerance given last year by the student body president of one of your sister colleges. She related the story by Robert Fulghum about a young pastor who, finding himself in charge of some very energetic children, hits upon a game called "Giants, Wizards and Dwarfs." "You have to decide now," the pastor instructed the children, "which you are ... a giant, a wizard or a dwarf?"
At that, a small girl tugging at his pants leg, asked, "But where do the mermaids stand?"
The pastor told her there are no mermaids, and she says, "Oh yes there are," she said. "I am a mermaid."
Now this little girl knew what she was and she was not about to give up on either her identity or the game. She intended to take her place wherever mermaids fit into the scheme of things. Where do the mermaids stand ... All those who are different, those who do not fit the boxes and pigeonholes? "Answer that question," wrote Fulghum, "and you can build a school, a nation, or a whole world."
Wellesley College Commencement Address, 1990