A handful of members of Acadiana PRIDE worked up a sweat Tuesday morning and afternoon at Parc Sans Souci as they painted the LAFA-ETTE sculpture in the colors of the rainbow — an international symbol of gay pride.
The local LGBT nonprofit — PRIDE is an acronym for Pride, Respect, Individuality, Dignity and Equality — were transforming the public art ahead of a candlelight vigil set for 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the public park. The vigil will include speakers and live music.
“We’re just trying to gather as a community and remember for Orlando, and just stand united for our community,” said Tara Guy, Acadiana PRIDE’s president.
Ted Richard, a PRIDE past president and well-known LGBT activist in Lafayette, said the paint for the project was donated by the Lowe’s home-improvement store in Carencro. He’s encouraging everyone to wear yellow to tonight’s event: “The thing about yellow is that even through all the darkness we can still be the light,” Richard said, adding that it’s “sad that it took this kind of tragedy to get us to do this.”
Guy says the Sunday morning massacre at an Orlando, Fla., gay night club sent shock waves through the international LGBT community. Forty-nine people — most but not all of them gay, young and Latino — were killed in the shooting and 53 were wounded. Some survivors remain in grave condition.
“It could have been me,” Guy said. “This has affected everyone and shown us that we really need to come together and stand together — and not just the LGBT community but our allies; we really need them to step up with us, too.”