THE BLOG

Comment - Is the 'Rainbow Crossing' the Symbol of Solidarity?

11/06/2014 12:08 BST | Updated 09/08/2014 10:59 BST

As recent news stories have declared, Brighton, best known for beaches and the pier, is now becoming known as the City with a 'rainbow crossing.'

The crossing, which was officially unveiled yesterday, has been unveiled as part of celebrations to mark lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender Pride month.

The artwork, which stretches across the road at the artists' quarter of Madeira Drive was painted over two days.

Similar crossings have previously appeared in cities around the world including Los Angeles, Sydney and Tel Aviv.

Brighton MP Caroline Lucas said: "The crossing represents a great tribute to the spirit of diversity and inclusiveness embraced by out City.

"Brighton is such a creative, colourful place and the new rainbow crossing wonderfully reflects that. It's a lovely and fitting addition in the run up to Pride 2014."

As these comments were being made, I began to consider the symbolisation that the crossing created - Does it really showcase a City as diverse and inclusive?

Those that know me, and know of the work that I am involved in, will be well aware that I fully support anything to progress the LGBT community, and to improve attitudes towards this marginalised group, however, through research that I've supported in the past, I've also noted that our heterosexual counterparts feel, at times, that they receive the raw end of the deal, and are sometimes made to have views that they may not necessarily agree with, pushed down their throats, as one person once described to me.

I am in no way saying that a crossing of this kind should, or would, create any animosity between different groups but, noting on the fact that unlike many other crossings in the area, road users will not have priority over vehicles when walking over this piece of artwork, as it is not covered by traffic laws, it makes me question, what was the need for this to be unveiled?

Hundreds of tourists are expected to visit the artwork over the next week, before it is removed in the City.

Unofficial crossings have previously been created in countries such as Moscow, Paris, Shanghai and Cambodia.

With the growth of these crossings across the world, it leads me to ask, is the rainbow crossing the new sign