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Kirkland Lake unveils rainbow crosswalk

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Members of the 2SLGBTQ+ community live all over our region, including the small town of Kirkland Lake.

Mayor Stacy Wight unveiled its first pride crosswalk Thursday afternoon, to show the town’s commitment to making people from all walks of life feel safe walking the streets.

Wight said she wanted to make a big statement by installing the crosswalk.

“This is a powerful, powerful moment because we’re not at inclusion yet,” she said.

“So, when we unveil and do things that honour and recognize … community members that are … marginalized … it matters to those people.”

Becky Deforge, vice-president of Timmins Pride, said the significant turnout shows that the region is taking major steps towards inclusivity.

Deforge said Kirkland Lake has been a strong presence in her group’s efforts to bring more supports and services to 2SLGBTQ+ northerners.

“In the end, what it’s going to mean is, for all of the areas of Ontario or even Canada, as a whole, that aren’t safe, at least folks know where they can go, where they would be safe,” Deforge said.

“And Kirkland Lake is clearly one of those places.”

Cheers, smiles and screeches of excitement from local students at the rainbow crosswalk was an acknowledgment that they’re free to show their true colours.

“It makes me feel safer … like the community’s welcoming us,” one person said.

“This community has made me feel very safe, but I am also afraid of other people doing something bad to it,” said another.

Wight said she hopes having the pride crosswalk just outside of the town hall will deter people inclined to vandalize it. While some may be slow to accept people’s differences, she said even more people will happily walk alongside.

“There is a strong pride and alliance group that are willing to come out and say that all members are welcome in Kirkland Lake.” 

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