Pride Week kicked off unveiling the progressive Pride flag crosswalk at Sebastian Beach and A1A (aka gAy1A for this week) in Fort Lauderdale.
While this iteration is a temporary, thin, sticker-like installation, a permanent version is in the works.
At the unveiling ceremony on Nov. 15, Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis told SFGN first that the rainbow will return.
“We’re now going to permanently paint it, that will be the next phase. But we needed to get something down here in time for Pride.”
This is the first rainbow crosswalk in Broward County, and many in the community groused that the installation is temporary.
“The reason why it’s temporary,” Trantalis says, “is because we couldn’t get the paint out here quick enough once we finally decided to do it. The quickest thing we could do was something like this.”
The goal is to finish the project by the time Pride of the Americas comes to Fort Lauderdale beach next November. Many other elected officials and organizers at the unveiling were unaware of these developments. The location was chosen because it is, bureaucratically, the easiest spot near Sebastian Beach. Painting a section of A1A would require federal intervention and Florida owns the other side of the road. But this short stretch across from the beach is controlled by the city of Fort Lauderdale.
The cost will be about $21,000 and Trantalis says he’s working to raise the money from private individuals and businesses and is about halfway to the goal. Kevin Clevenger, Pride Fort Lauderdale’s executive director, believes it will pay dividends for years.
“If we can show the county and the community that this is something important, that it draws tourists to come to this destination, we can get it here.”
The flag on the street is the relatively new version of the Pride flag that reflects the inclusion of the trans community and people of color.
“We want people to know we are focusing on awareness.”