ATLANTA — LGBTQ community advocate Sarah Rose said Tuesday we may soon be walking on rainbows at the Midtown intersection of 10th Street and Piedmont Avenue.
“At its most basic, it’s just paint on the street,” she said.
But the LGBTQ community knows it means so much more.
“There’s one in Hollywood, one in San Francisco, but ya know, Atlanta is really the first in the South to have these," Rose said.
In 2015, the city of Atlanta temporarily installed rainbow crosswalks, but they were removed after Gay Pride festivities. Monday, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed approved their permanent return.
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The decision was made on the one year anniversary of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida, where 49 people were killed.
“Last year when the massacre occurred, that’s where we were. We were right on that corner,” said Reed.
Currently, one street marker lets the public know about the importance of the area, but once the intersection is painted rainbow, there'll be no denying that 10th and Piedmont is the epicenter of the LGBTQ community.
Rose started a petition that gathered more than 20,000 signatures for the rainbow crosswalks. Now that they’re coming, the community is embracing the change.
“It’ll be a good addition,” said Lori Browne. “I think it’s artistic and supportive of the people in the community.”
Atlanta resident Ramese Long called Atlanta a melting pot and added, “I think it’s wonderful.”
Reed said he is meeting with the Public Works Department this week and expects the intersection to be complete by next month.
For Rose, it signals inclusion.
“It’s the city of Atlanta saying the LGBTQ community is part of our story. It’s part of who we are and it’s here to stay," she said.
Cox Media Group