Color Us Impressed: Painting the Town Proud in Chicago

Written by | The Lens

Riddle me this: what do you get when you combine all the colors of the rainbow? Answer: much love.

The hues of the ubiquitous Pride flag represent the spectrum of light. Each stripe has its own individual meaning, but together, they illuminate the hope and promise of our LGBTQ’mmunity as a whole.

But how can the mixed media of Styrofoam, paint and fabric swatches bring the concept of inclusion to a whole new level? Step up to Nicholas Vasquez and Jesse Campbell.

These two Chicago area dads are giving their neighborhood a magnificent makeover, and they’re painting with broad strokes. They created a giant brush drenched with panache in the forms of streaming red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple material.

To add context to the compassion, the couple emblazoned the words “Don’t be afraid to show off your true colors” on the staircase leading to their abode.

So, who is the audience for this dazzling display? Their baby boy, Rocco, naturally (and adorably).

“Kids are kids, and they start asking questions,” recounts Vasquez in an interview with the Chicago Tribune. So, they answered his curiosity with fabulosity.

The oversized paintbrush really drew people in. Enthusiasts and aesthetes marveled at the cascade of colors raining down from the homo heavens, but when they looked closer, they got an even more brilliant glimpse of humanity.

Campbell and Vasquez embedded QR codes on nearby lawn signs. When visitors scanned the codes, it brought them to a fundraising page where they could donate to The Trevor Project.

The green started rolling in, and it made the couple tickled pink.

“It started to feel really special, and people were coming up to us and telling me how wonderful and great this makes them feel,” beamed Vazquez. “This is a time when we really need something like this.”

As Pride Month wanes to a close, it will become a fading shimmer of happiness in our memories. Much like an actual rainbow, symbols are fleeting. Fabrics become tattered and paint eventually chips away, but the donations that benefit The Trevor Project will endure via the lives that they save.

Surviving and thriving are the most important stripes in our metaphorical flag. Wave it with Pride.

Photo: Instagram @raqzal




Last modified: June 21, 2021