A young woman comes on stage today in Fitchburg. Introduces herself as Lavender. Tells us that she blind and autistic and wants to sing a song in honor of LGBT Pride.— Rufus Gifford (@rufusgifford) June 23, 2019
She sings one of my favorite songs and brings us tears. pic.twitter.com/cYWJNxJDNY
A young woman with autism is inspiring the internet with her stirring performance of "Part of Your World" from The Little Mermaid. Lavender Darcangelo, who is also blind, recently performed the song at a service led by her father, Wil Darcangelo, a minister at First Parish Church in Fitchburg, MA. Given Lavender's remarkable talent, it should come as no surprise that Wil is also a singer and vocal coach.
Lavender's song choice was partly inspired by her own life. In an interview with Good Morning America, she said, "It also means a lot to me because I felt like I was lonely in my life because I have multiple disabilities, being blind and autistic. Sometimes having more than one disability can make you feel like you have a foot in all these different worlds, but you don't feel like you have a home in them completely."
According to former ambassador Rufus Gifford, who attended the service and recorded the now viral video, Lavender also dedicated her performance to the LGBTQ+ community and Pride Month. Lavender was adopted by Wil and his husband Jamie in 2017. In an interview with BuzzFeed News, Wil said, "I've kind of always have felt at some point people would notice her, because here in Fitchburg she's quite a little celebrity, and her story is so touching."
Lavender might not remain a local celebrity for long: the video of her performance has been shared over 6,000 times on Facebook and 8,000 times on Twitter, with thousands of "likes" on both platforms. Her father is hopeful that the world will continue to witness her talent. "Even if this is only a flash in the pan, she'll still be able to make good use of this 15 minutes in the spotlight," Wil told BuzzFeed, adding, "She'll definitely have a meaningful career and that, to me, is all I ever wanted for her."