One of Brock Township’s rainbow crossings in support of the LGBTQ community has been featured in a video making the rounds on social media.
The Uxbridge Sexuality and Gender Alliance (SAGA) recently posted a video to YouTube that highlighted the initiative in Brock – which features a pair of rainbow crossings in Cannington and Sunderland along with painted steps at the Beaverton Town Hall – as a means to build support in that community.
Like their counterparts in Brock, politicians in Uxbridge fielded a request from PFLAG Durham to create a rainbow crosswalk this spring but have yet to take action.
We reached out to Uxbridge SAGA to explain the motivation that prompted the video and the debate the request has sparked.
Q: What is the intent of the video and what do you hope will be accomplished?
A: The intent of the video is to illustrate the ridiculousness of the notion that a rainbow crosswalk is any less safe than a regular crosswalk. In fact, one could argue that it’s more safe, as the bright colours increase visibility, and the deviation from the standard white crosswalk design is more likely to catch people’s attention and prevent ‘autopilot driving.’
We hope that the video will put an end to the discussion about whether or not a rainbow crosswalk is safe and turn the focus onto the positive impacts it would have on the community, should it be installed.
Q: What message would you send to politicians that are hesitant to embrace the rainbow crosswalk (or crossing) initiative?
A: The rainbow crosswalk is more than just a ‘pretty decoration’ for the road. It’s more than just shallow attention-seeking by the LGBTQ+ community. It’s hard to understand why it’s important if you are straight, but try putting yourself in the shoes of an LGBTQ+ high school student living in a town like Uxbridge. It’s an isolating experience.
Many will feel like their identities are wrong, or disgusting – especially if these ideas are reinforced through the vocalized opinions of their family members, friends, or acquaintances. Having a rainbow crosswalk prominently displayed in Uxbridge, without being mixed with religious imagery or symbols representing other groups in an attempt to remove the focus from it, would be life changing for that young member of the LGBTQ+ community. Mainly, because they will know that they ARE part of a community, and that there are others like them who pushed to have this crosswalk installed.
They will also know that their municipal government agreed to the installation of the crosswalk and feel like a welcome and accepted member of the Uxbridge community as well. Acceptance of LGBTQ+ youth decreases suicide rates – and if this crosswalk could play even a tiny role in that, what argument can you possibly make against it?
Editor’s note: The crossings in Brock are not formal crosswalks.