By Jackson Santy ’13
Jack Flynn ’13 initially came to Brophy his freshman year for the academics, or at least that was the “justification” he had in the eighth grade.
Now as a senior, Flynn has made his mark in far more than just academia, spanning his involvement in Speech and Debate, managing editor of BLAM, the Brophy Literary Arts Magazine, and a volunteer for Teen Lifeline.
“Most of the reasons I love Brophy have to do with the community; the retreat experiences, how involved everybody is and how there’s such a culture of involvement and inclusion,” Flynn said.
For Speech and Debate Flynn participates in philosophical debate, persuasive speaking or “oratory” and prose, which is reciting a short story.
As managing editor for BLAM, Flynn has to “have his hands in everything” within the publication, whether it be the literary submissions, visual sections, making sure graphics are happening on time and making sure communication is occurring through all the different committees and parts of the magazine.
Outside of Brophy, Flynn is a volunteer for Teen Lifeline, a peer crisis suicide hotline based in Phoenix.
“It’s focused on the idea that when someone is in crisis, it really just helps to have someone they can talk to and a friend,” Flynn said.
While this started as a Junior Justice Project, Flynn kept with it long after his 50 hours were fulfilled.
During last year’s Summit on Human Dignity on masculinity, Brophy hosted keynote speaker Jason Evert.
After his speech, Evert distributed a booklet he authored, titled “Pure Manhood.” The booklet included a chapter titled “What if you have homosexual attractions?”
“He laid out the standard Catholic condemnation of homosexual behavior, but also went further, connecting homosexuality to unhealthy paternal relationships, an inability to relate to other men and even sexual abuse,” Flynn said. “He cited outdated and widely criticized statistics about the lifespan of gay men and claimed that this high death-rate was natural proof of how sinful their behavior was.”
“Kids who are struggling with their sexuality already often feel isolated, alone or depressed,” Flynn said. “They’re in an extremely vulnerable position and the last thing they need is to be further ostracized by that kind of misinformation.”
After the distribution of the booklet, Flynn contacted friend and Brophy senior Colin Marston ’13 about composing a petition.
Within a few hours the two had it posted on Change.org.
“We shared it around online, hoping to get maybe a hundred signatures,” Flynn said.
They had 1,000 within 24 hours.
Soon after, Marston and Flynn met with the Office of Faith and Justice and voiced their concerns; this meeting was followed by a school-wide announcement by Principal Mr. Bob Ryan on the loudspeaker, reminding everyone that Brophy is a school where all students are going to be supported, regardless of their sexual orientation.
“It was big, or at least it felt big to me,” Flynn said. “I’m hoping that it made a difference for some of the students on campus who need that kind of support, but aren’t getting it anywhere else, sometimes seemingly small things like that one announcement can make all the difference.
As graduation soon approaches for Flynn, he plans to attend film school next fall.
“It isn’t the most practical thing but I’m passionate about it,” Flynn said. “I’m applying to a bunch of film production schools; I’ve already gotten into USC, LMU and Chapman.”
Long-term, Flynn said he hopes to eventually direct movies.
“It’s what I’ve wanted to do ever since I was little,” Flynn said. “We actually have home videos where you can hear me off-camera, telling my parents what to film and when and how to film it. It’s kind of something that just always been with me, I have a real love for watching movies and being involved in the process of creating and analyzing them.”
Aside from those earlier years of directing, Flynn has produced multiple short films alongside fellow BLAM editor, debater, filmmaker and best friend Sam Wolff ’13.
“Through a life perspective Jack is very industrious in terms of he knows how to get things done, but he also knows how to get things done well, which is this unique mix where he’s never willing to compromise between getting something finished and getting something done well,” Wolff said.
“Jack is very methodical in his filmmaking, he knows what his vision is and he knows how the aesthetic aspect should be,” Wolff said. “When you’re working with him, it forces you to justify everything that you do, just from a creative perspective you always have to have a reason for doing what you’re doing.”
According to Wolff, Flynn is never content with what is in the status quo, even if the status quo is a good situation, and he always sees points of improvements in the world and he makes an active effort to get that improvement reached.
“He sees a better world and he wants a better world and he takes a very deliberate action to make it that way,” Wolff said.