The Dawson Creek Pride Society would like to express our extreme frustration and disappointment with the damage done to the rainbow crosswalk in front of Dawson Creek Secondary School on June 2nd.
June is considered Pride Month, and every June the City of Dawson Creek repaints this crosswalk as a peaceful symbol of love and community. The vandalism of this crosswalk is seen by the queer community as a blatant act of homophobic violence and hatred. It is also a reminder of why Pride is so important.
Frankly, we are exhausted. We are a small group of queer people living in a small town and seeing this kind of homophobia is disheartening. Many of us attended the South Peace campus of Dawson Creek Secondary School ourselves. When we first saw the rainbow crosswalk being painted it felt like hope.
It felt like progress. We thought of ourselves as young queer and trans kids, and felt like this crosswalk was such a brave and hopeful symbol for today’s youth to see. The crosswalk is a symbol of love from the community, and it has so much potential to say “You are welcome here, you are safe here. Dawson Creek can be your home.”
Unfortunately, this crosswalk, the only permanent symbol of the LGBTQ2S+ community in Dawson Creek, has been vandalized repeatedly since it was first painted. Everytime it is vandalized, Dawson Creek feels a lot less like home and a lot less safe for everyone. We know firsthand that growing up queer in a small town and in a non-supportive or outright violently homophobic family is terrifying. This sidewalk is a small way to speak to those feeling lost and alone and assure them that they are not.
There is community. We are strong and we are here for you. Dawson Creek, your LGBTQ2S+ citizens need you right now.
● We call on community leaders to make a statement supporting the LGBTQ2S+ community, and express that homophobia and transphobia are not welcome here.
● We call on Dawson Creek residents to consider putting rainbow hearts or flags in their windows. We have flags that can be purchased for display, and small stickers for business windows. These public displays of support go a long way for youth who might feel unwelcome in their own town.
● We will be hosting a solidarity photoshoot at the rainbow crosswalk. We call on all supportive community members to attend this photo shoot in solidarity with the LGBTQ2S+ community.
We would love to see a large gathering come out (standing six feet apart) in a show of support, unity, and love. We would like to thank the City of Dawson Creek for committing to the painting and repainting of this crosswalk. It is inspiring to so many. We know that Dawson Creek is our home and our community and that these actions represent the feelings of the so very few, rather than the many. In Love and Solidarity, Dawson Creek Pride Society