Most of us know what LGBT means. But what are the extra letters at the end of the acronym?
Tucson’s historic Fourth Avenue commemorated its support of the LGBTQ community Tuesday by unveiling four rainbow-colored crosswalks.
Visitors and residents of the vibrant thoroughfare known for its eclectic shops, lively bars and frequent street fairs will be walking on rainbows at the busy intersection of Fourth Avenue and Sixth Street.
Spearheaded by the city, the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation, Historic Fourth Avenue and Speedy Striping, the dedication ceremony observed Tucson’s diversity and inclusivity.
City council member Karin Uhlich said she hoped the intersection would be a place to turn when she and others “need a little dose of courage or pride.”
“I don’t know about you, but I’ve spent a lot of time in new places searching around for this flag hoping to find a kindred spirit who is proud, who had courage and could send me the message that we’re safe, we’re valued, we’re loved,” she said. “I’m so proud to be a member of the LGBTQ community and I’m so proud of this city, our city.”
Uhlich said the colorful crosswalks “make it crystal clear our community loves us and we belong here.”
Local media reports Tuesday morning showed one of the crosswalks splattered with white paint in a possible act of vandalism hours before the dedication ceremony. The paint was cleaned that morning, reports state.
The intersection was closed for part of the weekend and Monday as crews filled in the lines with six colors representing the symbol for LGBTQ pride. The paint was topped with a durable stained glass, said Lucas Boring, president of Speedy Striping.
Boring said his company was honored to help create the crosswalks and donated time and equipment to the project.
Former Tucson city council member Fred Ronstadt said it was a proud moment to see the colorful crosswalks along “the heartbeat of Tucson” where “hippies, entrepreneurs and people who love people” flock to absorb the city’s culture.
“We could not be more proud to be the host and steward of the rainbow crosswalk in our community,” Ronstadt said. “[It’s] a celebration of who we are in Tucson, the Old Pueblo.”
On Sept. 29, the 40th annual Tucson Pride parade will march along the thoroughfare, sure to become an Instagram hot spot.
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