M/M Passion in suits

2013 Hop Against Homophobia and Transphobia: Rainbow Street Crossings & a Giveaway.

For this post, the Hop Against Homophobia and Transphobia and for the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (May 17), I thought it would be relevant and important to talk about the rainbow crossing that was in Sydney.

Once upon a time, someone had the brilliant idea to put down a rainbow street crossing on Oxford Street, Sydney, for the 35th Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade. The crossing went down in February, 2013, and was an instant hit.

Photo: Sydney Morning Herald.

The council laid down the new street crossing, in all its bright, beautiful glory, and all was well. It gave a lot of people pleasure and it supported the GBLT community. For the 35th Mardi Gras, which also saw for the first time, members of the Australian Defence Forces permitted to march in full uniform, it was the colourful symbol of GBLT rights. The rainbow flag, in such a prominent, public location in one of Australia's most visited cities, was a wonderful addition.

Photo: David Gray/Reuters, The Guardian UK.

After the Mardi Gras was over, people would stop and take photos, and basically simply enjoy the crossing. The GBLT community were proud of it, most of the locals were proud of it, and then, in a twist of fate, the council decided to remove it. A petition to stop this removal was ignored and finally, when the deed came to be done, it was done late at night and the crossing wasn't just washed off the road or painted over—it was completely dug up.

Photo: Bill Hearne, The Daily Telegraph.

Passersby who witnessed the removal stood and booed as it was done, and a lot of the residents and the GBLT community were angry and sad to see that it had been removed.

From SBS, an article reads in part, "The walkway, painted in the lead up to this year's Mardi Gras, was supposed to be a temporary feature, but Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore and the gay community campaigned to keep it.

However the government insisted the painted rainbow had to go because there was a safety risk as pedestrians sat or lay down on the crossing to have their photos taken."

However, in response to the removal of the crossing, James Brechy, a social media activist, launched DIY Rainbow Crossing. He chalked a colourful crossing onto his own street, tweeted it, and soon, all over Australia, chalked rainbow crossings were popping up. It wasn't long before this spread, and soon, there were chalked rainbow crossings appearing all over the world, from as far away places as Nairobi, Africa and China, to Belgium, the UK and the USA.

There is a Twitter and a Facebook for the DIY Rainbow Crossing project, both of which have heaps of amazing and wonderful photographs from all around Australia and the world. It has received media attention from the likes of Al Jazeera, The Guardian, and here in Australia, from The Northern Star. There are lots more news articles, videos and reports about this, as the rainbow crossings are chalked on roads, rocks and sidewalks all over the world, in a heartwarming show of solidarity and support for the GBLT community internationally.

There are too many awesome photos to post them all, so I've selected some of the ones I personally like the best. Click on the thumbnail to see the full size; it opens in a new window/tab.

Left to right: Salay, Thailand; Blue Mountains National Park, New South Wales, Australia; China (unknown location); Fiji; Papase'ea Sliding Rocks, Samoa; Sydney, New South Wales, Australia; Shanghai, China; Soho, London, England; Surry Street, Darlinghurst, NSW, Australia; Parliament House, Canberra, capital of Australia; Zurich, Switzerland. Photos from Gay News Network Australia and the DIY Rainbow Crossings Facebook page, where there are MANY more.

2013 2 Click on the image to go to the Blog Hop home and see all the other awesome posts that are part of the hop.

And, leave a comment here to go in the draw to win a pdf copy of my latest ebook release, "The Body on The Beach." There are no rainbow crossings in this story, but there is a m/m romance and a murder mystery set in Australia in 1920.

BB Blurb: In 1920, a body is found on Brighton Beach, Adelaide. Billy Liang has been living a respectable life as the representative of Adelaide’s Chinese community—with his lover, lawyer Tom Williams, discreetly at his side. When evidence seems to implicate the people Billy represents, he steps up to help solve the murder. He and Tom deal with illegal opium dens, fantan games and gambling, racism, and being shot at. Though Billy’s family accepts the love he and Tom share, Australia’s laws against sodomy and homosexuality pose a constant danger. Now, the body on the beach brings a whole new threat to Billy and Tom’s life in Adelaide.

Part of the Under the Southern Cross anthology.
It looks so awesome, doesn't it? I was devo they dug it up. But out of that came the fantastic international rainbows which is fabulous. I really want to see the one in Africa, but I can't find the photo, alas.
I was one of the many Aussies who was pissed beyond all recognition after the removal of the crossing and I'm not even gay - I just think they destroyed something beautiful that meant so much to so many.
They really did. It was such a gorgeous crossing and it had so much relevance and meaning there in the Cross.
That crossing was gorgeous! If it had been gorgeous, but politically neutral, it would still be there, and touted in the guidebooks! Thanks for a great post.
Yeah, I think you're right, sadly. Still, there are rainbows popping up all over the world now, which is fantastic.
Kind of sad they got rid of the crossing. But love this post. Thank you
I love the crosswalk it looks awesome but it's horrible to hear that all that hard work putting it down was so easily taken away. Thanks for sharing the other pictures and for bringing attention to the rainbow crossing.

humhumbum AT yahoo DOT com
How did they ever justify the expense of removing something that so many supported? Pathetic waste of your tax dollars. Kinda like killing a mosquito with a bazooka. Loved all the DIY rainbows, may have to put one on my drive.
They said it was a traffic hazard because people were allegedly stopping in the middle of the road to get their photos taken and that was causing problems with oncoming cars. You're right, though, it was like killing a mosquito with a bazooka. If you do put one on your drive, post a photo! I'd love to see it. :D
Such a shame to get rid of it but it's great other countries coloured their streets to.

A shame it was taken down... Thanks so much for your post in this blog hop and for sharing your own story! Such an important subject.
OceanAkers @ aol.com
Such a great post. I loved the crossing and it's so sad they dug it up.
sstrode at scrtc dot com
This is an awesome idea!! Thanks for letting me know about this movement. Now I'm off to paint my own rainbow :)

What an awesomely cool idea! The power of social media and one person :)

penumbrareads(at)gmail(dot)com or whitestar

Edited at 2013-05-28 03:47 am (UTC)