Students and teachers from Rossland Summit School celebrate the opening of Rossland’s rainbow crosswalk last September. (Chelsea Novak/Rossland News)

EDITORIAL: Minority rules in our colourful culture

Quibbles over symbolic rainbow crossings belie critics’ genuine concerns

There’s something all-too revealing in the critical comments that swirl around online whenever the media reports on community efforts to install rainbow-coloured crosswalks.

You likely have heard of such crosswalks by now. After bursting on the scene in major cities a half-decade ago as a form of protest art and a symbol of support for people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered, sanctioned versions have been popping up in smaller communities as a way for civic leaders to show acceptance for those in the minority.

And even in these inclusive communities, critical comments typically begin with a question of cost; include arguments about the message being exclusive by highlighting ‘gay pride’; and usually finish when skidmarks mar the crosswalk soon after installation, with armchair critics demanding proof that the vandal was targeting the rainbow’s message and not just simply spinning his wheels.

For some, these arguments are locked, loaded and ready to fire.

Such comments popped up when we reported of the enthusiastic embrace received last week by two woman who had approached White Rock council to seek permission to raise funds for rainbow crosswalks at Five Corners. (Not only did Mayor Wayne Baldwin champion their cause, his suggestion that the city fund the crosswalk was unanimously endorsed.) And we expect to hear similar criticisms this week as the City of Surrey announces a similar project near Holland Park at the north end of town.

The question for such commenters, though, is – why?

Why publicly question such costs, when surely the price of installing a multicolour crosswalk is a pittance compared to expenditures that warrant nary a peep? Why point out the exclusivity of such a symbolic message for the LGBT community, when recorded history has shown a desperate lack of greater public inclusiveness for its members? And why note that the vandal who defaced the rainbow might not be making a political statement?

In short, why make the effort to post such microaggressions if your real message is that you don’t want society to be seen as accepting of non-straight people?

Say it loudly and proudly.

Just note that in our culture, you are at long last in the minority.

– Peace Arch News

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Just Posted

“We have to make a call out to address this now so our people don’t have to feel fearful,” said Tribal Chief Mina Holmes. (Carrier Sekani Tribal Council Facebook photo)
Carrier Sekani Tribal Council seeks Indigenous-led task force in northern B.C. hospitals

Request made in an open letter to federal minister Carolyn Bennett

NDP headquarters on election night, Oct. 24, 2020. (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)
ELECTION 2020: Live blog from B.C. party headquarters

BC NDP projected to win majority government – but celebrations will look different this election

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau outlines her party's climate action platform at Nanaimo's Vancouver Island Conference Centre earlier this month. (News Bulletin file photo)
Green leader Furstenau declared victor in her home riding on Vancouver Island

Cowichan Valley voters elect freshly minted party leader for her second term

Submitted
BC VOTES 2020: John Rustad re-elected in Nechako Lakes riding

The result is based on preliminary vote count and the final results will be available after Nov.6

John Horgan has been re-elected the MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca. (File-Black Press)
Horgan trounces challengers to be re-elected in his Vancouver Island riding

MLA has represented constituency of Langford-Juan de Fuca and its predecessors since 2005

FILE – Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides the latest update on the COVID-19 pandemic in the province during a press conference in the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, October 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. shatters COVID-19 records with 817 weekend cases; masks now expected indoors

Three people have died over the past three reporting periods

The voting station mimicked a real voting station in Nicole Choi’s classroom at Chilliwack middle school on Oct. 22, 2020, where students had to show their ID (student cards), be checked off a list, and mark a secret ballot behind a screen. (Jessica Peters/ Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. students choose NDP majority in mock election

More than 90,000 youth took part in school-based election process

Crew transport bus at the Trans Mountain pipeline project work site in Burnaby, March 2020. (Trans Mountain)
Check your workplace COVID-19 safety plans, Dr. Henry urges

Masks in public spaces, distance in lunchrooms for winter

B.C.’s Court of Appeal is in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Judgment reserved in Surrey Six slayings appeals

Six men were killed in suite 1505 of the Balmoral Tower in Whalley on Oct. 19, 2007

Kelowna City Hall has been vandalized overnight. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Kelowna City Hall hit by anti-pandemic vandalism

Graffiti condemning the virus appears overnight on City Hall

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

FILE – A woman smokes a marijuana joint at a “Wake and Bake” legalized marijuana event in Toronto on October 17, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov
Home nurse visits could play big role in reducing cannabis use, smoking in young mothers

The program, dubbed the BC Healthy Connections Project, involves public health nursing home visits

The ‘new normal’ for hockey parents in Chilliwack and elsewhere in B.C., watching their kids from outside of the arena due to COVID-19 protocols. (Submitted photo)
Chilliwack hockey parents petition to be let back in the arena

Refused access due to pandemic protocols, parents are now applying pressure to loosen the rules

Most Read