Calgary’s first permanent Pride crosswalk is at MRU

They’ve become more a fixture in Calgary over the last few years, but this time it’s permanent.

In a special ceremony Tuesday afternoon, Mount Royal University unveiled the city’s first year-round rainbow crosswalk.

It’s part of an effort for the last several years to increase support for the LGBTQ+ community on the campus.

“Just to show students and show the community that you can come as you are to Mount Royal, and you do belong here,” said Eduardo Ramirez.

As part of MRU’s Pride Parade Committee, Ramirez and other students then pushed for something new.

“This year we were wondering, what else can we do? So we started talking about t-shirts and having them sold at the bookstore, and we talked about how cool it would be to have a crosswalk representing the LGBTQ+ community.”

Then with some help and lots of enthusiasm, it became a reality, as the crosswalk was painted across from Riddell Library and Learning Centre at the kickoff to Pride Week, and officially introduced Tuesday.

“The importance of a permanent walk is just saying that you do belong not just one week out of a year, that we acknowledge that we have queer students, queer staff, coming every single day of the year on campus and that is important — the visibility, saying here we are for you,” added Ramirez.

Other advocates at the event reiterated how important it is to have a year-round symbol of support, and it shows a promise from MRU staff to continually support all students.

“It warms my heart that MRU has put in a permanent symbol of commitment to my community,” said Eddy Robinson, with the MRU Pride Advisory Committee.

Some may think the crosswalk looks a little different, as it also features the new addition of black and brown stripes.

Introduced in 2017, those two colours are in honour of queer people of colour, who are often overlooked in the Pride movement.

Making it even more special, the crosswalk is a donation. A local company, Zoom Painting, donated the cost of the crosswalk and they will maintain it for free for the next five years.

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