Members of the Burnaby Pride planning committee woke up to the sad news this morning that someone had vandalized their new rainbow crosswalk.
The crosswalk, located on Jubilee Avenue across from the baseball fields, was painted by the City of Burnaby on Thursday in anticipation of the city’s first Pride event, happening Saturday (tomorrow).
Evelyn McGowan, from the Burnaby Youth Hub and one of the organizers of Burnaby Pride, said she was disappointed to hear about the vandalism.
“The rainbow crosswalk was installed as a symbol of hope and love, inclusion and belonging and to recognize and celebrate the LGBTQ2S+ community in Burnaby, which exists and has always existed, and vandalism to this crosswalk shows a fundamental disrespect for the residents of Burnaby, particularly the LGBTQ2S+ community,” she said.
While the crosswalk will be repaired in time for tomorrow’s Pride street party, McGowan said the vandalism is a good reminder of the work that still needs to be done to ensure the LGBTQ2S+ community feels welcome and safe in Burnaby.
“I was disappointed, but I also see this as an opportunity for deeper community dialogue and understanding around identities, and it’ll hopefully help to build a more compassionate and unified community,” she said.
The Burnaby Pride Street Party is happening Saturday, Aug. 11 from noon to 4 p.m. on Jubilee Avenue between Imperial Street and Nelson Avenue. There’ll be drag performances, music, spoken-word poetry, food and stalls from a variety of local organizations. For more information, go to www.burnabypride.com.