Rainbow crosswalks for LGBTQ pride in NYC should be permanent, petition says

A New Yorker is looking to take LGBTQ pride beyond the month of June by permanently painting at least one of New York City’s crosswalks the colors of the rainbow.

Following the success of similar endeavors in Washington, D.C., and Atlanta, Tim Robinson recently spearheaded an online petition asking Mayor Bill de Blasio to install rainbow and transgender pride crosswalks as a way for the city to acknowledge the struggles of the LGBTQ community.

“LGBTQ people still experience a lot of issues in our society — housing discrimination, medical gatekeeping, and disproportionately high rates of suicide and homicide,” Robinson said. “My husband and I want our daughter to grow up in a city that openly embraces people like us.”

If the de Blasio administration agreed, Robinson said it would show that the city stands with the LGBTQ community.

“New York City has been a leader in the LGBTQ movement going back to the Stonewall Riots, and we should continue to lead today,” he said during a phone interview on Friday. “New York City should stand proud and tell the world that it supports the LGBTQ community and the equality we continue to fight for today.”

In 2016, two crosswalks featured rainbow decals during the Pride March. The rainbow-colored crosswalks were installed at 36th Street and Fifth Avenue and at the Christopher Street crossing near the Stonewall Inn, marking the beginning and the end of the Pride March.

But Robinson said having even one permanent rainbow crosswalk would make a world of difference.

“I would love just one to start,” he said, adding that he hopes it becomes an active conversation with the city on how many there should be and where they would be placed.

Given the history of the Stonewall Inn riots, Robinson said a permanent rainbow crosswalk near the bar would be great, but that Chelsea’s vibrant LGBTQ community also sprang to mind as a possible option.

As the anniversary of the Stonewall Inn riots approaches, Robinson said he hopes the de Blasio administration will seriously consider his petition.

“It would be great if we could make an event out of this as well,” he added.

The petition is closing in on a goal of 17,000 signatures, with over 16,200 as of Monday night.

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