In the center of Chicago’s Boystown neighborhood sits a colorful stretch of road – a first of its kind and a long-awaited symbol of inclusion.
Rainbow crosswalks pepper the North Side neighborhood, featuring the colors of the pride flag and transgender flag to represent the LGBTQ and trans communities in the city. On Thursday, they received a special dedication as the city prepares for the start of Pride Month.
"As we step onto the crosswalks we have to remember our history and how hard it was and as we walk forward to a brighter future," said Stu Zirin, vice president of the Northalsted Business Alliance.
The colorful crosswalks were installed on east-west streets parallel to Halsted from Melrose north to Bradley, excluding Addison. The same location, a nearly one-mile stretch on Halsted Street, is home to 20 golden rainbow pylons.
"These crosswalks will create an aerial rainbow when viewed from above that hugs both sides of Halsted Street," according to the alliance. "This will be a visually stunning symbol for those flying into O’Hare International Airport as they fly over Lake Michigan towards Chicago."
Funds for the crosswalks come from donations made during the city’s Chicago Pride Fest and Northalsted Market Days.
The crosswalks come one month before the city holds its 50th Pride Parade. The 2019 Pride Parade is set to step off June 30.