Calgary’s Stephen Avenue Walk got a colourful makeover on Sunday as Trans and Pride flags were painted on the pavement.
The area by Centre Street on the pedestrian mall was packed with people watching as work began on painting the crosswalks.
Many were on board with the work being done to support the LGBTQ community but some people took to Facebook to voice their displeasure with the project in general, questioning why the LGBTQ community needs a flag to be painted at all while others were unhappy with the cost of the painting.
Taxpayers, however, will not be taking on any of the cost. That’s thanks to Zoom Painting, which committed to painting and maintaining the crosswalks for up to 10 years.
LGBTQ advocates say the negative comments online are examples of why the pavement needs to be painted.
“I do experience a lot of hate myself being an openly queer member of the legislative assembly,” said Janis Irwin, MLA for Edmonton-Highlands-Norwood, who was in Calgary for a GSA rally at city hall.
“Every time I get hateful comments, it just shows again why we need Pride — and I am a grown adult. We have kids who are experiencing that kind of online bullying all the time and it just shows we need to continue to show our commitment to the queer community.”
A celebration of the new painting will be held on Monday from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.