The city of Lethbridge is the first city in the world to approve painting a city crosswalk with the transgender flag, according to Lethbridge Pride.
Lethbridge City Council voted 8-1 Monday in favour of painting two crosswalks temporarily — one with the rainbow flag colours and one with the transgender flag colours — with the goal of making the crosswalks permanent in the future.
“We want to be an inclusive pride that is accepting and open to all members of our community — not just you know, typically lesbian and gay and bisexual people, but also the ‘T’ who are often left out and forgotten at our events,” said Corbin Chenger of Lethbridge Pride.
“We’re going to be setting the standard for other cities — much, much bigger cities around the world who have been debating and talking about maybe doing a transgender flag crosswalk.”
While Coun. Rob Mitashiro calls the move a “win-win for the community,” he admits it’s going to take more than painting crosswalks to drum up support for the trans community.
“Often, the trans people are victimized and minimized by other people in the LGBT community, which we didn’t quite understand the same way going into the initial debate,” he said.
“We need to figure out a way, through inclusive policy, through however it is, that the community has a better understanding of all these issues.”
There are no dates set for when the painting will start.
Lethbridge Pride is paying for the cost of painting the crosswalks, which for now, are temporary. However, if the reconstruction of 3 Avenue South is approved, the rainbow and transgender flag crosswalks will become a permanent fixture.