Upwards of two dozen people gathered in Cannington Tuesday (July 9) morning for the official unveiling of Brock Township’s rainbow crossings.
As a show of support for the LGBTQ community, rainbow crossings have been painted on Albert Street at Park Street in in the village, as well Park Street at Church Street in Sunderland and the steps at the Beaverton Town Hall.
Representatives from PFLAG Durham and the DRPS joined Township officials and local residents for a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
In a brief address. Mayor Debbie Bath-Haden said it was a historic moment for the municipality.
She also formally challenged her council colleagues in Uxbridge and Scugog to follow suit, noting that Brock has set the “example” for North Durham.
“If we can do it in Brock – the smallest municipality with the smallest freaking budget in the world to work with – they can do it too,” she said.
Jake Farr, a representative from PFLAG Durham, applauded council for their efforts.
“It shows acceptance and support. We couldn’t be more pleased,” he said.
“Congratulations to the Township of Brock for doing this and leading the way in North Durham,” added Dylan Robichaud on behalf of area MP Jamie Schmale.
“It’s a tremendous way – and a permanent way – to show support.”
Council approved the initiative following a presentation from Farr during a committee meeting last month.
“There is a vibrant, hidden LGBTQ community here in Brock Township and in Durham Region,” Farr said at the time, 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.