LEXINGTON, Ky. — The next time you stroll around Lexington, you might find a colorful surprise below your feet. On Monday, Mayor Linda Gorton cut the ribbon on updated rainbow crosswalks in honor of Pride Month.
What You Need To Know
- Mayor Linda Gorton cut the ribbon on updated rainbow crosswalks Monday in honor of Pride Month
- Pride Month is celebrated nationally each June
- The annual Lexington Pride Festival will be held in September due to recent COVID-19 restrictions
- Lexington was the first Kentucky city to install rainbow crosswalks in 2017 before repairs required their removal
“The hard work put in by our community’s many fairness and equality advocates has made a tremendous, positive change in our city,” Gorton said. “During my time serving on the council and as mayor, I’ve been committed to promoting fairness and working to secure a safe and supportive community for our LGBTQ residents and visitors. From the Fairness Ordinance passed in 1999, domestic partner benefits in 2013, and recently the ban on conversion therapy, our city is focused on making sure all people — no matter race, gender, age, or who you love — feel safe, that they belong and are accepted here. We want you to know you are important to our community.”
Pride Month, celebrated nationally each June, is rooted in the 1969 Stonewall Riots, a turning point for the LGTBQ+ rights movement. The annual Lexington Pride Festival will be held in September this year due to recent COVID-19 restrictions, a release from the city said.
Lexington installed Kentucky's first rainbow crosswalks in 2017. Located at the intersection of North Limestone and Short streets, the crosswalks are positioned in the heart of the city. Discussion of resurfacing North Limestone in 2019 led to the need to remove the previous rainbow crosswalks. A new design was developed for the crosswalks through a private fundraising effort, and they were installed Sunday, June 6.
Kentucky Transportations Cabinet Secretary and former Lexington Mayor Jim Gray attended the ribbon-cutting.
“Repainting the rainbow crosswalks reinforces Lexington as a welcoming and inviting community,” he said. “To many of us, this is much more than a place to cross the street. It’s a place in the center of our city that proudly says we all belong here.”
“We have a responsibility to value and invest in the diversity of our city, to ensure a future where all members of our community will thrive," said Councilmember Hannah LeGris, who represents the area where the crosswalks are located. "This means taking steps so that people can live, work, and pursue their dreams with dignity and respect, regardless of their background, orientation or identity."
Monday's event included representatives from the Blue Grass Community Foundation and JustFundKY, both of which committed funding to help install the new crosswalks. Nearly 30 individual donors, including PNC Bank, Fairness Campaign and Lexington Fairness, provided support for the new installment. The Blue Grass Community Foundation formed The Rainbow Fund to provide an easy option for receiving donations to support the crosswalks. Anyone who wants to support the fund for future crosswalk maintenance can do so online.