UPDATE: At Monday’s City Council meeting, the Council unanimously approved the plan to find a location for a crosswalk in the colors of the transgender flag and also to update the rainbow cross walks.
Should West Hollywood paint a crosswalk on Santa Monica Boulevard the colors of the transgender flag? And should they add to the colors brown and black to the rainbow crosswalks?
Those are the questions the West Hollywood City Council will consider at its Monday night meeting. Newly sworn-in councilmembers John Erickson and Sepi Shyne are bringing the issue to the Council.
They note the rainbow crosswalks at the intersection of San Vicente and Santa Monica boulevards have become part of West Hollywood’s identity and a symbol of the city as a place of tolerance and acceptance for the LGBTQ community.
In their proposal, they suggest crosswalks the colors of the transgender flag will have a similar effect for the transgender community, saying it will “call attention to the city’s support for transgender rights and be inclusive of the transgender community.”
The proposal does not name a specific crosswalk that should be painted the pink, blue and white colors of the transgender flag. Instead, they leave it up to city staffers to make a recommendation for the best intersection to use, with input from the Transportation Commission, the Transgender Advisory Board and the Lesbian and Gay Advisory Board. The City Council will then have the final say on where to put them.
Their proposal notes that the colors of the transgender flag are much lighter than those of the rainbow flag, so the crosswalks will likely need regular cleaning and/or reapplication. Thus, traffic flow and pedestrian count will be factors in determining which intersection to use.
Their proposal also calls for the thermoplastic pavement markings on the rainbow crosswalks to be reapplied, this time adding the colors of the “inclusive rainbow flag.” In addition to the red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple of the standard rainbow flag, the inclusive rainbow flag adds the colors brown and black.
The inclusive rainbow flag was introduced in 2017 as part of Philadelphia’s pride observance. The black and brown colors symbolize LGBTQ people of color who have often felt excluded from the LGBTQ community which they see as being oriented toward white people.
Since then, some other groups/communities have added the black and brown colors to their rainbow flag. However, the issue has sparked controversy for some who say the six colors of the rainbow flag were always intended to be inclusive of all.
The cost to replace the thermoplastic pavement markings of the rainbow crosswalks is estimated to be $85,000. If an intersection is selected for a transgender flag crosswalk, it would likely have a similar cost.
Although many cities now have rainbow colored crosswalks, West Hollywood was the first to adopt them. Originally intended to be temporary as part of the June 2012 pride celebration, the initial rainbow crosswalks were merely paint on the pavement, done at a cost of $13,000.
However, the rainbow crosswalks quickly proved so popular with both residents and tourists, the city opted to make them permanent. The colored thermoplastic pavement markings, which are skid resistant, were installed in Oct. 2012 at a cost of $67,000.
The city routinely steam cleans the rainbow crosswalks, although it is hard to tell from all the dirt and skid marks that still show on them. The hot water used to steam clean them can’t be too hot, otherwise it voids the warranty. Presumably, thermoplastic technology has advanced in the last eight years and the new pavement markings will be more stain resistant and easier to clean.
Those who want to make a comment by telephone during the meeting are asked to email City Clerk Yvonne Quarker at firstname.lastname@example.org no later than 4 p.m. on Monday to be added to the public speaker list for the meeting. Please include your name, the phone number from which you will be calling and what you wish to speak about.
Then, dial into the meeting ten minutes prior to the start. You will be placed on hold in the virtual meeting room until it is your turn to speak. The dial-in number is (669) 900-6833 and the meeting I.D. is 974 8186 3267, followed by the # symbol.
The City Council meeting can be viewed live on the WeHo TV portion of the city website (www.weho.org). Additionally, it will be broadcast on Spectrum Cable Television’s Channel 10 within West Hollywood’s borders. The meeting will also stream live on YouTube, Apple TV, Android TV, Fire TV and Roku by searching for “WeHo TV.”
I’m a gay republican living in West Hollywood. That statement alone will get a lot of negative comments. Democrats can all walk down the street wearing Biden and Harris shirts and face mask, yet if I walk down the street with my MAGA hat I will be harassed and likely physically assaulted. Clearly I do nothing feel welcome in my own city. So can I request a MAGA sign painted on a sidewalk?
The original pride flag had the colors pink and turquoise removed for a reason. The remaining colors represent Life, Healing, Sun, Nature, Harmony, Spirit.
This is why the rest of America laughs at us
Serious people live here…….but they don’t have the time or interest to run for city council.
So what’s left are silly unimpressive people.
Love this idea. The trans community should feel welcomed and embraced. Also love the idea of adding more colors to the rainbow flag. I would venture to guess that the people most against adding brown or black stripes to a rainbow flag are predominantly not a part of the brown or black community and have no idea how it may feel for those in that community that don’t always feel welcome in Weho and live there. Myself being one of them.
Apparently the new council members don’t understand the real significance of what they are doing. or the actual meaning of the rainbow flag. It raises serious concerns about their awareness & judgment going forward. The colors of the rainbow flag do not represent any particular “group” of people, it represents everyone, no distinctions whatsoever. So what they’ve done is a blatant disregard for the history of the rainbow flag by specifically setting two “groups” apart from all others. Sad & bad move. I hope the other 3 members of the council will vote against this & the facts & common… Read more »
Instead of having taxpayers pay for this why not let community organizations pay for it. WeHo could rent out sections of the street for a fee. The people who support this or that group could pay to show their support. If they aren’t willing to pay for it voluntarily then the people should not be forced to pay for it through taxes. If it proves to be really popular then they could actually lower taxes a bit and rent out more street space to raise revenue.
Thank God John Erickson (he/him) and Sepi Shyne are focusing on virtue signaling rather than the real quality of life issues in West Hollywood. Businesses in crisis? (Probably didn’t cover that in gender studies coursework.) All the empty storefronts that were closed even before the pandemic? (Can’t be bothered.) But an opportunity to burnish their progressive bona fides, and they’re all over it. But they’ve learned their lessons well from Lindsey Horvath. How about setting your focus just a little more towards the majority or WeHo residents? Take a walking tour on our streets and engage residents. Ask them what’s… Read more »
The majority of Weho residents?
John and Sepi got the most votes while more moderate candidates (cough cough John Duran and Larry Block) were not even close.
Also, I did not know that a trans flag is going to hurt small businesses. You can very easily show support for the trans community and small businesses. I did not know that these are mutually exclusive.
Sad first step for the two new council members. So many pressing issues and we are wasting time on this! Are they trying to pander to the people who voted for them? What’s next?
This was my first thought when I read this article – huh? The rainbow flag is a living legend around the world & was indeed “invented” to include ALL human beings, all races, creeds, nationalities, colors & sexual orientations & it must always stay exactly as it is, untouched by ambitious meddlers. How dare they have the audacity to try to change this work of art, especially in such a needless & controversial way. I suppose they’ll keep messing with it till it becomes a symbol of confusion & irrelevance & division. That’s what politicians do. However if changing &… Read more »
THE RAINBOW FLAG CROSSWALK has become a very common thing done in many big and small Cities across the US and Europe. It is now recognized and understood as a welcoming peaceful recognition of all gay people are just people with good and bad sides in complicated live … Exactly like straight and part of being human. A lot of work on Transgender Equality is so far away, the current focus is stopping the murder of Transgender people in all the small isolated or racist big cities. Not a “Universal” or even “Commonly” recognized Flag (I was unaware of it… Read more »
I mean do they not have better first proposals? Why did I vote for one of them….
because we had no serious people to vote for.
Oh wow, some folks six months ago said they were against the trans flag being painted at the SMB/San Vicente intersection only because it “did not follow the process” and only because of that.
Now that the trans flag and the update of the rainbow flag are being proposed through the official process (and the trans crosswalk may not even necessarily be at SMB/San Vicente), I see some people are still against it.
Many black and brown people don’t feel accepted in predominantly white LGBT spaces. Weho has a history of this…
It still happens in 2020
No individual groups are being called out by adding black and brown to the rainbow flag. You need a different hill to die on.
Exactly, JF1, this could go on and on, including everyone so no one feels left out. I’m getting so tired of the words diversity, inclusion, equality, and all the other buzz words that have their base in “feelings”. I knew this was the way it was going to be with Sepi Shyne and Erickson. They know how to develop a following by promoting the concept of victimization. There are a lot of people who will jump on that train because it means their problems are someone else’s fault.
At least you’re admitting your opposition wasn’t about “not following the process.”
I’m really sorry but we are going to make BIPOC LGBT community members and trans people feel welcome in Weho.
And what have we done to make any group feel unwelcome? I can’t imagine that is true. Yeah, there are people who identify with some group who SAY they have felt discriminated against, but were they really? I highly doubt it! Just because they say they were not welcomed doesn’t mean they actually were. People who identify as victims quickly learn there is power in claiming victimology and Sepi Shyne is here to let them know she’s gonna take care of them. I’ve heard the stories of blacks and Studio One back in the ’70s, but I was there and… Read more »
JF1, you’re absolute right. Who are we failing to include when we add certain stripes, or prioritize certain flags (pieces of cloth) but fail to recognize other large groups? What of the Russian Jews who settled in WeHo. What of the seniors–should we add an icon representing a social security card? I know this sounds silly, but it’s precisely because the entire exercise is silly. When you elect a student government you get student governance. Shyne and Erickson have already proven themselves to be practitioners of identity politics above all else. It speaks volumes that this is their out-of-the-gate policy… Read more »
You do realize they can work on more than 1 issue at a time, right?
How did this not even occur to you?