Council settles on location of ‘rainbow crossings’ in support of LGBTQ community

Brock Township council has settled on three locations to show their support for the LGBTQ community.

Rainbow crossings will soon be painted on Albert Street at Park Street in Cannington, Park Street at Church Street in Sunderland, as well as the steps at the Beaverton Town Hall.

The move came following a presentation from Jake Farr, a representative of PFLAG Durham, during a committee meeting last week and the work should be completed by the end of July.

“There is a vibrant, hidden LGBTQ community here in Brock Township and in Durham Region,” Farr said, estimating that roughly 10 percent of the local population would identify as members of the LGBTQ community

“I am here to ask that the Township of Brock be willing to stand up, acknowledge and show support for folks who are often marginalized, discriminated against and mistreated in not only public spaces but within private spaces in their lives. A pride or rainbow crosswalk can be a life-saver. It can be a symbol of acknowledgment that the community is seen and is welcomed and included.”

He told councillors that those in the LGBTQ community are four times more likely to attempt suicide than the “general public.”

“We often teased, mocked, physically assaulted, called names and told that our existence in this world is not needed…Being involved in the Durham LGBTQ community, I can confirm that we do lose folks every year to suicide because of family and society rejection and not feeling like they belong. It is real, right here in our backyards,” Farr said.

Members of council were quick to offer their support, unanimously approving a motion that would see the initiative move forward locally this year.

The three locations initially identified by council – Laidlaw Street South at Cameron Street in Cannington, Albert Street at River Street in Sunderland and the front steps of the Beaverton library branch – were changed during Monday’s meeting.

According to interim CAO Garth Johns, locating the crossings on intersections with roads maintained by Durham Region, such as Cameron and River, would be a “bureaucratic nightmare.” As well, the steps at the Beaverton library are currently closed to the public.

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