WILTON MANORS, Fla. – This weekend will mark the somber one-year anniversary of the Wilton Manors Stonewall Pride Parade crash.
A beloved member of the town’s chorus was killed when he was accidentally run over.
Gary Keating fought back tears as he spoke about it Tuesday.
“It’s not sad, it’s just not sad, can’t do that,” he said. “Celebrate a life well lived.”
The Fort Lauderdale Gay Men’s chorus lost one of their own in the tragic accident.
Jim Fahy was struck and killed by a pick-up truck when police say fellow chorus member Fred Johnson lost control behind the wheel.
Jerry Vroegh was also hit and suffered head injuries.
Keating, who was violently bumped to the ground in the accident, says they have all come a long way, especially Johnson and Vroegh.
“(They’re) doing really terrific,” Keating said. “Strong, strong men who are very fortunate that they’ve had the strength of this marvelous energetic positive group to be part of.”
In spite of the haunting memories, the chorus has decided to take part in Wilton Manor’s pride events this weekend.
“That’s exactly the way Jim would’ve wanted it,” said Keating.
He added that there are too many reasons not to participate.
Just ask drag artist Daisy Deadpetals.
“Visibility is important because you need to know you’re not alone,” she said.
Daisy met with Local 10 News’ Christian De La Rosa at a drag queen exhibit presented by history Fort Lauderdale at the Galleria Mall.
She believes the LGBTQ plus community is being targeted by laws passed in Florida and across the country.
And in light of growing fears over safety, Daisy said it’s even more reason to be out and proud.
“You can’t live your life in fear,” she said.