The Okanagan Pride Society applauds Vernon City Council’s near unanimous decision this week to approve two rainbow crosswalks for the city’s downtown.
“Rainbow crosswalks have become a simple, economical, physical way for Canadian cities to express support for diverse, inclusive communities,” says Dustyn Baulkham, President of the Okanagan Pride Society. “We were delighted when the City of Kelowna created the rainbow crosswalks here and transformed a city intersection in summer 2015. It’s great to see another community within the Okanagan taking the same steps and showing support and solidarity for the LGBTQ+ community.”
While the rainbow has become an international symbol associated with the LGBTQ+ social movements and pride, Baulkham notes the symbolism extends well beyond sexuality. The stripes of the historical flag—originally eight colours—symbolized life, healing, sunlight, nature, spirit, serenity, sexuality, and art.
Rainbow crosswalks can now be found in several communities throughout British Columbia, including Kelowna, Penticton, Summerland, Maple Ridge, New Westminster, Smithers, Nanaimo, Victoria and Vancouver.
“This is about diversity and inclusiveness and the crosswalks are a reflection of the communities in which we all live today,” says Baulkham.
“Unfortunately, there is still some discrimination towards the LGBTQ+ community, particularly vulnerable groups such as youth, bisexual and the transgender community. Rainbow crosswalks are an easy, public way our cities can show these individuals they are supported and welcome regardless of who they love.”
Dustyn Baulkham, President, Okanagan Pride Society