Trans Pride crossing gets green light in West Hollywood with rainbow crossing to be given black and brown stripes

Rainbow crossing in Long Beach, California

West Hollywood City Council has voted unanimously to add brown and black stripes to its rainbow crossings and to paint a new Trans Pride crossing.

The famously queer neighbourhood was the first to have permanent rainbow crossings, painting its first tribute to the LGBT+ community in 2012.

Now, a brand-new blue, white and pink trans flag crossing will be placed on a crossing on Santa Monica Boulevard, with the city’s current rainbow crossings on Santa Monica and San Vicente boulevards revamped to include black and brown stripes to represent queer people of colour.

Councillor Sepi Shyne commented: “The reality is, during this pandemic, the mortality rate for Black and brown lives is absolutely higher than every other person and it is incumbent upon us as the progressive city that we are to do everything that we can to recognise Black and brown lives.”

Other cities have already created trans flag crossings, such as Toronto, Chicago and Almere, the Netherlands.

Amber Hikes, the original creator of the More Pride More Colour eight-stripe flag, welcomed the announcement.

“The symbols we use, the representations we highlight, matters,” Hikes said. “It matters to people who have not always seen themselves in West Hollywood and it matters to people who would prefer to keep it that way.”

Hikes is an LGBT+ activist who created the now-widely used flag during her role leading Philadelphia’s Office of LGBT Affairs to highlight issues of racism in the city’s LGBT+ community.

The flag was first flown at Philadelphia City Hall for LGBT+ Pride month in June 2017 and has amassed huge popularity since then.

Directly addressing the new plans, she stated: “Updating your flag proclaims with everything that Black lives more than matter.

“You’re saying that queer Black and brown representation is who we are, that Black and brown trans lives are precious and ought to be celebrated, that centring the leadership and voices of those who are impacted is the only way we will arrive at collective liberation.”