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

RDN budget includes unexpected $1.5 million for sewer pipe replacement

Pipe corrosion at Departure Bay discovered in December

Beefs & Bouquets, Feb. 20

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Nanaimo loses longtime soccer supporter

Leo Beier had an impact on hundreds of athletes during a decades-long devotion to soccer

‘Stretched’ art show returns to Gabriola Island

Artists challenged to create works on six-by-36-inch long canvases

Snuneymuxw flag once again flying atop Nanaimo City Hall

Ceremony held Thursday to return flag after it was taken down in 2017

Snuneymuxw flag once again flying atop Nanaimo City Hall

Ceremony held Thursday to return flag after it was taken down in 2017

Petition seeks to remove local police department from Lindsay Buziak murder case

American woman starts online petition in hopes of helping Buziak family

Health officials confirm sixth COVID-19 case in B.C.

Woman remains in isolation as Fraser Health officials investigate

Study says flu vaccine protected most people during unusual influenza season

Test-negative method was pioneered by the BC Centre for Disease Control in 2004

Saskatchewan and B.C. reach championship round at Scotties

British Columbia’s Corryn Brown locked up the last berth in Pool B

Resident discovers five discarded hog heads in Vancouver Island ditch

WARNING: Graphic image may be upsetting to some readers

Malware infiltration slows production at Island pulp mills

Infestation affecting Crofton, Alberni, Powell River Paper Excellence operations

B.C. lawyer, professor look to piloting a mental-health court

In November, Nova Scotia’s mental-health court program marked 10 years of existence

COLUMN: Not an expert on First Nations government structures? Then maybe you should calm down

Consider your knowledge about First Nations governance structures before getting really, really mad

Most Read