By Graham Richard with Zachary Grosse —
This year’s Global Pride Week has brought colour to the streets of New Massett. To celebrate diversity and individuality, community volunteers painted the rainbow flag on crosswalks downtown on Friday, June 26. By a happy chance, the painting coincided exactly with the US Supreme Court’s landmark decision to legalize marriage for all couples regardless of gender.
“[The painting] had been planned for the previous day but was postponed due to weather,” explained organizer Natanis LaBoucane. “Who could ask for better timing?”
While the project’s aim is to support LGBTI children in Haida Gwaii’s community, “[the rainbow flag] has taken on even greater meaning, symbolizing equality and love for all regardless of sexual orientation, gender or label,” said Ms LaBoucane.
To help with efforts, the Haida Gwaii Society for Community Peace provided funding for paint. But they weren’t alone – other organizations made their own contributions to Pride Week. Haida Health organized a youth discussion night at the Old Massett Youth Center, the Wellness Centre hosted an opening barbeque, and the Adult Day Program presented a movie night. Finally, of course, festivities included a colourful Pride Parade.
“In all the places I have lived never have we found the kind of acceptance and love that we have found here,” Ms LaBoucane concluded. “I think the crosswalks represent very well the extent of this acceptance and the beauty of the people that make up the communities of Haida Gwaii. Every community should have one.”
On that note, Old Massett Village Council has confirmed that it will also paint rainbow flag crosswalks in G̱aaw this August.