This year, Cobourg celebrates the beginning of Gay Pride month with a rainbow crosswalk at King and Second Street (not Third as reported earlier). There was a large crowd at a ceremony today in front of Victoria Hall: Mayor John Henderson, Police Chief Kai Liu, Councillor Adam Bureau and Ashley Bouman (Leader of the local pflag chapter) spoke about inclusiveness, community and a supportive environment. The size of the audience at event this year was noticeably bigger than previous years – in 2016 there was less than half a dozen at the flag raising at the Police Station. As in previous years, there will also be a parade later in the month. Council has been supportive by proclaiming June Pride Month and all councillors except Emily Chorley were at the event.
Creating the rainbow crossing and the event today was organized by Ashley Purdy but the annual flag-raising event was started four years ago when Adam Bureau (in his DBIA role) got together with Ashley Bouman and Kai Liu.
Because the sidewalk is reminiscent of the famous sidewalk the Beatles walked across for their Abbey Road album, the ceremonies were kicked off by the Police Board walking across it, led by Chair Dean Pepper. Others in the group then did the same thing.
In his speech, Adam made a point of recognizing Ashley and Kim MacArthur Jackson for their leadership in the LGBTQ community – Ashley also made Adam’s “awesome tie” (see photos below).
Chief Kai mentioned that after raising the flag in a previous year, he received a letter from an 11 year old who was pleased that that action validated her family with two Moms.
The painting of the crosswalk was organized by Ted Sokay of the Public Works department – on short notice he hired Grafton based Prime Pavement Markings to do the work – on Saturday.
Police – in the person of Deputy Chief Paul Vandegraaf – stopped traffic to help photographers with the many “photo ops”.
After the speeches and some more photos, the entire group marched to the Police Station where the Gay Pride flag was raised.
But the story is also told by the photos below.