After a difficult summer, clients at an Arizona LGBTQ youth center are gearing up to celebrate Halloween in a very big way.
A Phoenix building occupied by One-n-Ten, which services LGBTQ youth between the ages of 14 and 24, was destroyed in a July 12 fire. Authorities originally believed the blaze was accidental, but video footage that appeared to show a former client dousing the One-n-Ten offices in gasoline surfaced days later. (The suspect, Darren William Beach Jr., was arrested without incident July 28 and charged with one count of arson.)
Though no one was injured, the fire left the local LGBTQ community understandably shaken. Fortunately, Instagram and M·A·C are hoping to help One-n-Ten officials and clients move forward with a spectacular, all-inclusive Halloween bash Friday.
The Oct. 27 celebration is deemed “Festival of Rainbows,” and will be held at One-n-Ten’s new youth center in downtown Phoenix, which opened in September. But supporters needn’t be Arizona-based to celebrate, as Instagram and M·A·C are asking LGBTQ activists and allies to post photos of themselves done up in rainbow makeup and attire on social media with the hashtag #FestivalofRainbows in solidarity.
Despite the “huge loss” his organization suffered in July with the loss of its original home, One-n-Ten Program Coordinator Sam Castro told HuffPost she and her cohorts felt “very fortunate” for Instagram and M·A·C’s support.
“Halloween, combined with our ongoing rainbow theme, especially enables our youth to dress up and express themselves in a comfortable space,” she said. “Overall, our celebrations together create a sense of family and acceptance, and we are grateful for the chance to collaborate with such an amazing community supporter such as Instagram.”
The sentiments were particularly appreciated leading into the holiday season, “which can be tough for a lot of individuals,” she added.
M·A·C Cosmetics Senior Vice President Nancy Mahon said the “Festival of Rainbows” was in line with her company’s history of championing “equality [and] a world of acceptance.”
“It’s in our DNA,” she added.
Take a look at a few of the #FestivalofRainbows images below.