WeHo Council Approves Transgender-Themed Crosswalk

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Tuesday December 22, 2020

The West Hollywood City Council has approved a proposal to add a crosswalk in the colors of the transgender flag on Santa Monica Boulevard, as well as adding black and brown stripes to existing rainbow crosswalks, local news outlet WEHOville reports.

The site reports that the council "unanimously approved the plan" in a meeting on the evening of Dec. 21.

"Newly sworn-in councilmembers John Erickson and Sepi Shyne" brought the proposal to the council, the reports said, pointing out that "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."

The two councilmembers said that "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,' " WEHOville News added.

No location has been selected as yet for the new transgender-themed crosswalk, approval for which follows the brief appearance of an unapproved mural using the colors of the transgender flag that was hurriedly painted at a city intersection just before a Black Lives Matter march last summer.

That mural, which WEHO Times noted "was painted without a vote, a permit, or approval from the City Manager or West Hollywood City council," disappeared after only a week. But it could never have endured for long, given its location and the city's traffic patterns, councilmember John Duran noted after its sudden appearance.

"So while I understand that the painting on the street is part of the symbolic protest for Trans Equality," Duran posted at his Facebook page, "we are left with the choice to either let it fade over time and look horrible for many months or restore the corner to its original form."

A carefully considered location for the new crosswalk and the use of thermoplastic pavement markings rather than paint should help avoid such problems.

Meanwhile, the council also approved a plan to update the city's current rainbow crosswalks with a fresh application of thermoplastic markings that will include two new colors - black and brown - to reflect the modern Pride flag's increased diversity.

"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," WEHOville noted.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.