Another rainbow crosswalk in a B.C. city has been vandalized – this time in Golden.
A dark black tire mark marred the surface of the rainbow crosswalk Sept. 6, which was funded and painted by the Interact Club of Golden last month.
The Interact Club was able to remove the tire mark from the crosswalk, which represents pride and inclusion in the LGBT+ community.
“Those kids were so great to do it. I thought, maybe it’s good, it’s stemming conversations,” said Joy Guyot. “When it was on [a Facebook group], and people were talking about it, there were a lot more positive responses.”
But those responses turned into a mixed bag of negative comments after she posted the black tire mark online. Within hours, Guyot had thousands of hurtful and threatening Facebook messages lashing out against her and the gay community.
“It’s probably the last thing in the world I ever would have done, is comment about something like that because it’s my worst fear,” she said. “When people say there’s no need for things like rainbows or pride, there are damn good reasons. We shouldn’t be treated any differently.”
The crosswalk is located in a 30 kilometres-per-hour zone at the east end of 9th Avenue S., at the entrance to the Golden and District Arena.
Other rainbow crosswalks that have been painted across B.C. have been vandalized in the past, including in Cowichan Valley and another in White Rock over the summer.
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The Interact Club of Golden worked with the Town of Golden to find a suitable placement for the rainbow crosswalk, and decided on a location that does not require a mandated crosswalk. The crosswalk is also close to Golden Secondary School and Alexander Park Elementary School, and across from the Golden Municipal Campground, beside the Golden Swimming Pool, and near the Golden Seniors’ Centre and the Mount 7 Rec Plex.
After months of planning paint types, securing funding, and planning with the Town of Golden, the Interact Club received the conditional go ahead to create the crosswalk as a symbol of pride in Golden at the end of June.
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The Golden-Field RCMP have opened a file to try to find whoever committed the act. The case number is 2018-2890, and information can be reported anonymously. Joy Guyot and Lori Baxendale have committed $1,200 as a reward for information that leads to finding the perpetrators.