In the next few weeks, the GSDA (Gender/Sexuality/Diversity/Alliance) students from Ellsworth’s High School and members of Ellsworth Pride are going to make a presentation seeking approval for a rainbow crosswalk voted down by council last year.
That vote brought negative media attention to Ellsworth, however it gave our organization an enormous amount of both local and statewide publicity and support.
How does a symbol of love, acceptance, inclusion and understanding reflect a political stance? These things should be something all people feel and would want to see representing our town.
It is important to make clear why this symbol is so important. To troubled LGBTQ youth, it might help make them see that things can get better — reassurance that there are people in their town who understand and care. To someone older like myself, it represents that I am living in a safe environment, having endured rejection and violence in the past.
Last year, a few council members voted against the proposal, citing “safety” issues, and we all know that is not a real problem. Rainbow crosswalks exist all over Maine, the country and the world. It would be more honest had they expressed their true motivation. We need to know who we are electing as our representatives.
I hope this time the council will show more compassion and pride.