City unveils Pride crosswalk

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The City of Sault Ste. Marie unveiled a new rainbow crosswalk on Monday located at the southern portion of the intersection of Bay Street and East Street in dedication to the local LGBTQ2SI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Two-Spirit) community.

As a result of the community engagement process that formed the basis of the FutureSSM final report and recommendations, four pillars were developed to guide community development: Economic Diversity and Growth, Cultural Vitality, Environmental Sustainability and Social Equity.

The ‘Future State’ envisioned for the Social Equity pillar stated, “Sault Ste. Marie will be a welcoming and inclusive community where everyone is valued and respected, has access to an acceptable standard of living, can fully engage and participate in all aspects of community life, and is able to realize their full potential.” Staff identified the establishment of a rainbow crosswalk as a means to help fulfil the aforementioned vision, and it was approved by City Council on July 13, 2020.

“It is important that we all work together to ensure that Sault Ste. Marie is a welcoming and inclusive community, a place where everyone feels at home and feels that they belong,” said Mayor Christian Provenzano. “I continue to be impressed by the leadership and efforts of our community at-large, in particular Sault Pride, and I’m happy to unveil our Pride crosswalk together.”

The following is what Susan Rajamaki, Chair of Sault Pride had to say about today’s unveiling:

“Our Queer history in Sault Ste. Marie has been going on for many years, with a true queer underground, and unfortunately many of those folks who were a big part of the LGBTQ2SI underground in Sault Ste. Marie are no longer with us to see this unveiling. I am sure those folks are celebrating that a visible symbol is being put forth to show how far our city has come, because for them there was not a time they could openly celebrate who they were.

Murray Carson, who organized many dance events through an early organization called Algoma Pride comprised of volunteers of the community, Wendy Elizabeth Houle a proud member of our community who fought for trans recognition and rights for all trans folk and worked on many pride events, and Bob Goddere, Mother Goddere, as he was known to most, hosted over two decades worth of queer dance parties in the basement of his small town house. He was the central figure of Sault Ste Marie’s gay underground – its organizer, therapist and archivist in the 70’s and 80’s. These folks are only a small list of Saultites that were in the early fight to create a culture of diversity and acceptance in Sault Ste. Marie.

Honouring their memory and tireless work and yes, many times in fear, this Rainbow Crosswalk is a proud moment for all of the community to celebrate the work that has happened to make our community a much more open, diverse and accepting one. However, we need to recognize there is always work to be done. Especially today, with world events against trans folk and POC, we all need to stand against such hate that happens here in our community as well.

The six stripes in the widely popularized rainbow flag of today each represent an idea that resonates with LGBTQ2SI people: Red for life, Orange for healing, Yellow for sunlight, Green for nature, Blue for peace, and Purple for spirit.

This installation of a Rainbow crosswalk is a definite viable symbol to the LGBTQ2SI here that the city stands with us against all forms of discrimination and hate. It is yet another stepping stone in the right direction that the City of Sault Ste. Marie is taking to be a more inclusive, diverse and accepting community, not only for the queer community, but for all who call Sault Ste. Marie home.”

 

65 COMMENTS

  1. What a waste of taxpayers money by this city council they are supposed to be guardians of the Publics Purse .Waisting time and money on a rainbowed coloured crosswalk.What ever happened to Common Sense ?
    We have families in need,homelessness and people with alcohol and drug problems .We have thieves roaming the streets at night .Yet this out of touch City Council ignores the problems of our City and the needs of its citizens.

  2. I will not lend a hand to those who spend foolishly. There is no need for it. Be proud of who you are and don’t worry about what other people think. But dont be thinking it’s ok to spend what little tax dollars we have. Priorities are a must these days. If you want to pay for it , great!

  3. Jocelyn Corbett just came to say everything you said is wrong and your attitude sucks. Also, why are you equating being queer to being a pedophile? “Your old road is rapidly changing, please get out of the new one if you can’t lend a hand”.

  4. Can we get an indigenous cross walk? I mean this continent was built on stolen land. And built by the same people that this land was stolen from. Just a suggestion. 🤷🏽‍♂️

  5. I would like one for the Humane Society…..support the people doing difficult job. 🐾🐾👍🐾🐾👍🐾🐾👍

  6. the comments about the costs…..its just paint right? or did they build a whole new street for it, maybe they flew in piccaso to paint it- this city has suffered for its backwardness for decades, Im glad we are finally joining the 1990s – gj

  7. Ivana Filice uhuh. I am aware. I am worried about children. And our tax dollars being spent responsibly. Love who you want. As long as they are at least of adult age and they consent. But stop wasting money so ridiculously.

  8. Really. Of all that can be done in the Soo, you choose to spend tax payers money on this! I hope they at least used better paint then they use to paint the lines because they only last about a year.

    • Donna Lynn oh no, how dare they show support for a group of people that are STILL persecuted based on their sexual orientation. How dare they try and show support for a marginalized community of people and try and make them feel safe?

      Shut up, Karen

    • Charli Edwards bahahahaha. Oh yes we are just waiting to spend more money on the white cross walk, black crosswalk and oh ya dont forget the red crosswalk for all the redheads burned at the stake.
      I’m all for support. Some of my closest friends are gay and I love them dearly.

    • Harold Thompson the 2, in lgtbq2 means 2 spirit, which is an identification often used by natives to Express their identity. So actually this cross walk goes for them too 😘

    • Robert Nevitt and non too spirited natives? How are they represented I am happy you are being represented and applaud your lifestyle choice but some of us are not two spirited like you

    • Harold Thompson I’ve got plenty of spirit my friend
      How about you?
      Or was that just your clever way of trying to throw insults?

      Grow up man, there are plenty of justifiable causes to troll on. Leave this one alone.

    • Robert Nevitt how about you grow up and stop trolling me? I don’t care about your sexual preferences I applaud your lifestyle! And I really don’t care about the crosswalk I have a problem with tax dollars being spent! By all means fundraise for it I’ll donate!! But wasteful spending is a serious issue when people are struggling with employment and we are still recovering from this pandemic.

    • Robert Nevitt and trust me I could care less if they painted many more, I don’t want to fund it! If I chose to donate that’s different. It’s the use of public funds is what irks me

    • And it’s not about speaking your mind, you deliberately attack people and specific causes and events. You are a bully. And when I see it, I will stand in your way.

      I’m glad I’ve entertained you. But I dont block anyone and you are far from the worst I’ve dealt with. I worked in customer service for 7 years.. you are mild!

    • Robert Nevitt this is true I’m not mean at heart and if you think because I will speak my view whether they are popular or not and perceive that is bullying that’s sad and part of what’s wrong with this world. I have my views and stand by them I dare you to find me on any post bullying anyone for their views! Unlike most I have never been nor ever will be scared to speak my mind. And if some liberal snowflakes feel that is bullying well maybe social media is not for them.

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