City of North Vancouver Mayor Linda Buchanan inaugurated the first rainbow crosswalk at 14th and Lonsdale Avenue early today. The crosswalk is a joint initiative of the CNV and North Shore Pride Alliance, a group that aims to create an inclusive community in the North Shore.
“Our new Pride crosswalk sends an important message about who we are as a community,” Mayor Buchanan said. “Our City embraces and celebrates diversity in all forms including sexual orientation and gender identity. I’m very proud of our rainbow crosswalk, a symbol of our solidarity with the LGBTQ2+ community, demonstrating that everyone is welcome in our City.”.
“Through outreach, advocacy and movement, we unite the diverse populous in solidarity to overcome challenges, break down barriers and stereotypes. We want to generate a safe, understanding and empowering environment where we all have a sense of belonging,” said Chris Bolton, who co-founded the group this year with Gary Fluffer Woods.
“We wanted to have this umbrella where we could bring the community, LGBTQ and straight community, together in the North Shore,” he said.
Woods emphasised that the alliance was inclusive and sought understanding and support from the entire community, and not just members of the LGBTQ community.
“Just because someone is straight, it doesn’t mean they can’t support what we are doing. What we want to do in North Shore is to make sure everybody is welcome to come as they are,” he said.
North Shore Pride Alliance started a discussion with the Mayor about the crosswalk a few months ago, and it was finally approved by the city. The mayor was accompanied by members of the council and neighboring businesses such as TD Canada bank and Money Mart.
“We are very excited. I think the crosswalk is a great visual clue to people and this can start a positive conversation in our community,” Bolton said. He said the alliance would soon organise a bingo social and more events in future.
Woods said the alliance had gained a lot of support from the straight community. He said everyone was welcome to be part of this alliance.