As I walked to church with my 2 year old grandson, Ulrich, this past Sunday, we passed the new Pride Crosswalk across Mountain Highway. I wanted him to understand the significance of these colors. I wanted him to know that they aren’t just a pretty pattern so I told him that they mean Love Everybody.
When we got to the church, I pointed out the banners and the balloons in the windows and mentioned again that those colors mean Love Everybody. In the North Shore News a couple of weeks back, the Pride Crosswalk was featured on the front cover. They mentioned that the crosswalk had already been vandalized with hateful messages. That got me thinking. If symbols are erected and they get vandalized, does that mean we should pull back and not put up items that might invite vandalism?
I think not! If those people think it is okay to vandalize public property, how do they treat members of the LGBTQIA2S+ Community? When public property is vandalized, it creates a sense of outrage in the public who do not agree with hate. It stirs people who might otherwise be complacent to stand up for what they believe in, acceptance and support for the Queer Community.
The more Pride symbols that are present in our Lynn Valley Community, the more comfortable people will be in discussing the issues that arise and the more comfortable members of the LGBTQIA2S+ Community will be to come forward as their authentic selves.
Our Pride Bench will be another public symbol of support and acceptance. I want my grandson to grow up seeing rainbows as symbols to remind him that God Loves Everybody.