It’s not known exactly when the vandalism occurred, but Calgary Pride shared the news publicly in a tweet on Sept. 27.
At the time, Calgary Pride said it had requested the spray paint not be touched or changed, saying it supported the Black Lives Matter movement and message.
Since then, Calgary Pride has connected with Black Lives Matter YYC and together the organizations made the decision to repaint both the Pride and Trans Pride flag crosswalks.
In a news release, Calgary Pride said that both organizations think the spray paint was meant to divide the communities, and both see it as an “opportunity to work together and acknowledge the intersections of the two movements.”
“The Pride movement was born inside the courage of people who could not hide their identities; Black and Trans people,” Calgary Pride said.
“This is just one of the reasons that the black and brown stripes are now incorporated into newer versions of the Pride flag, and why these stripes were included on the permanent rainbow crosswalks when they were first painted in 2019.”
Calgary Pride said it will work closely with Black Lives Matter YYC to honour the overlap in the two communities and that the re-painting of the crosswalks is just one of their upcoming collaborations.
“We see the marks on the Pride crosswalks as an act of violence trying to cause a division between our two groups, but it has only brought us closer,” Black Lives Matter President Adora Nwofor said. “Pride and BLM have been working together before this act, and we will continue to grow together long after.”
“Pride organizations are only beginning to understand the experiences of our Black and Indigenous community members, and it’s becoming clearer and clearer that we must do more than promote and celebrate diversity and inclusion,” Calgary Pride’s Shone Thistle said.
“We must become anti-racist, and it only follows that we must support the Black Lives Matter movement and all of its intersections within the queer community.”
The rainbow and Trans Pride crosswalks were painted on Stephen Avenue immediately east and west of Centre Street in 2019.
Zoom Painting has committed to painting and maintaining the crosswalks for up to 10 years.