LGBTQ Pride Month

Permanent Rainbow Crosswalks Are Coming to Atlanta Just in Time For Pride

"Our city has rallied around our LGBT community, and we have not shied from demonstrating our unity and solidarity."

June 1 marked the beginning of Pride Month — a worldwide celebration of the LGBTQ community — and to celebrate, the city of Atlanta has announced four rainbow crosswalks are about to become a permanent fixture in the Georgia capital's midtown neighborhood.

The announcement came from Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, on June 12 — the one-year anniversary of the deadly Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida. "For the past year, Atlanta has grieved alongside Orlando. Our city has rallied around our LGBT community, and we have not shied from demonstrating our unity and solidarity. And with this spirit, I cannot think of a more important time to reaffirm our unwavering and unqualified support for our LGBTQ residents," Reed said in an official statement

"I believe that symbols of unity matter; in recognition of the outstanding and ongoing contributions of Atlanta's LGBTQ community to our city, I am pleased to announce today that the City will install the rainbow crosswalks at the intersection of Piedmont Avenue and 10th Street year-round," he added. "This intersection in Midtown is recognized for its history as a hub for Atlanta's LGBTQ community, and it is fitting that such an important and recognizable place should feature the rainbow flag."

According to HuffPost, the rainbow crosswalks at Piedmont Avenue and 10th Street first made their debut during Atlanta Pride Week in 2015, though at that time they were only temporary.

The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports Atlanta musician and LGBTQ advocate for Care2, Sarah Rose, launched a petition in April to make the colorful crosswalks permanent. "This is an amazing day for Atlanta's LGBTQ community," she tells the publication. "This Care2 petition was about more than a crosswalk, it was about over 20,000 people coming together to show they exist."

As Rose alluded to, thousands of people signed the petition to ensure the continued existence of the crosswalks, including mayoral candidate Ceasar Mitchell. Mitchell tells Atlanta's WSB-TV, "I believe this is a model for what we can do around the entire city. There are neighborhoods that may want to show their neighborhood spirit at a particular intersection, and this can be a model."

And it seems many Atlanta residents are pleased with the colorful change as well, with one woman telling WSB-TV, "I think it's a great idea. It celebrates the history of this neighborhood. It's a lot of fun. It's a great photo opportunity. I think we should do it."

Cities around the world are embracing pride month, with many (like Atlanta) vowing to make lasting changes to be more inclusive of their respective LGBTQ communities. Dozens of traffic lights in Madrid, for example, have already begun to display same-sex couples.

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