ANDERSONVILLE — A massive Pride display in Andersonville has returned for a second year, this time with a unicorn and dozens of flags representing the LGBTQ community.
Jesse Campbell and Nicholas Vazquez’s house — now known as the Chicago Pride Home — last week rolled out its oversized Pride Month decorations.
Last year, the couple’s home in the 1700 block of West Balmoral Avenue showcased a 12-foot-tall paintbrush with a rainbow paint trail leading from the curb to their porch’s roof.
The paintbrush is back. New this year is an oversized unicorn named Diamond Buttercup Mist.
The nearly 6-foot-tall unicorn is made from wood and styrofoam and is meant to looks like a large model toy. Campbell, an interior designer, bought a blueprint for a model unicorn figure and blew up the proportions to design Diamond Buttercup Mist.
Planted around the unicorn are 38 flags representing segments of the LGBTQ community. The unicorn is named after a pony Campbell owned as a child growing up on a farm in Ohio.
The unicorn and mini flags continue on a theme started last year: to celebrate the LGBTQ community and teach people about acceptance and pride.
“It’s about being different and unique,” Vazquez said. “We felt we could do something like this to get more education out there, to create a conversation.”
This year’s Pride display also has a charitable effort.
A sign next to the unicorn touts the group Men Having Babies, a nonprofit that seeks to help LGBTQ couples become parents. Campbell and Vasquez had a child through surrogacy, and their son, Rocco, was the inspiration for the Pride display. The couple wants to let others know LGBTQ couples can be parents and there are resources to help, they said.
“We did this for him,” Campbell said. “We want to be the best dads out there and to teach him the best morals, that love is love.”
The sign includes a QR code which allows donations to Men Having Babies. To get more information and donate, click here.
Last year’s fundraiser brought in $25,000 to the Trevor Project, a group offering suicide prevent resources to the LGBTQ community. Campbell and Vazquez hope to raise that much for Men Having Babies.
Campbell and Vazquez decided to bring back the Pride display after last year’s effort went viral. But there was some hesitation about its return.
While admirers poured out to take pictures and bring kids to see it, there was some online backlash to the display, they said.
“Online hatred is out there,” Vazquez said. “There were threats. It got scary.”
The couple decided to bring back the display — and make it bigger — because there is still much progress to be made in acceptance of LGBTQ people and communities, they siad.
“They win if we don’t” bring the display back, Campbell said of those disapproving of the lawn decorations.
“It’s part of the fight,” Vazquez said. “How could we not continue to fight this struggle?”
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