Chad Callander, vice president of the Pride London Festival, walks across one of London's rainbow cross walks to honour Pride London Festival, July 13, 2016. (Photo by Miranda Chant)

CK Gay Pride Association Thanks Community For Rainbow Crosswalk Donations

The Chatham-Kent Gay Pride Association is pleased to hear that a local company has stepped forward to make Chatham a more inclusive community.

President of the Canadian Executive Search Group Inc. Kyle Pinsonneault announced on Friday that the company is donating the full $2,000 needed to paint a rainbow crosswalk in downtown Chatham.

The rainbow crosswalk is set to be painted at King St. and Second St. by next summer.

CK Gay Pride Association President Marianne Willson says she is surprised that the donations came in so quickly, but never doubted the support and generosity of the Chatham-Kent community.

“I believe that there is a lot of people in Chatham-Kent who believe strongly in equality and eliminating discrimination. I’m pleased that Canadian Executive Search and all the donators were willing and eager to come forward so quickly to provide those funds,” says Willson.

She says a rainbow crosswalk is so symbolic for the Chatham-Kent community.

“It allows us to have a faith in the community all year round. It allows us to be recognized and seen. It also provides a great welcome and warmth for our people to feel that they are appreciated, recognized, and accepted in Chatham-Kent,” says Willson.

Willson says there is always going to be a part of the community that wishes to interject their negativity, disregard, and discrimination into conversations on social media and online, but she thinks Chatham-Kent is moving in better direction.

“We are starting to see more and more of our youth and their parents and families embracing all forms of sexuality and gender identity within the community. I think that that is only going to increase and only going to get more positive. I think it’s about opening up the conversation and allowing everybody to have their point of view and perspectives heard,” says Willson.

Willson says she would like to thank Councillor Brock McGregor and municipality’s support for introducing the motion and says she is so pleased to be able to have this opportunity in Chatham-Kent.

*With files from Natalia Vega