West Palm Beach LGBTQ Pride Crosswalk Ribbon Cutting Ceremony on June 3
On Thursday, June 3 at 9:30 a.m., West Palm Beach City Commissioners will cut the ribbon to dedicate the city's newest memorial -- the LGBTQ Pride Crosswalks. .
Photo courtesy of joewilliams.dronepilot
The crosswalks are located at the intersection of Northwood Road and Spruce Avenue in Northwood Village, the traditional heart of the city’s LGBTQ business district. They feature red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet stripes, displaying the colors in the iconic Pride Flag.
In 2018, a request for Pride crossworks was made by Rand Hoch, who served on the West Palm Beach Art in Public Places (now ArtLife WPB). Hoch is also President and Founder of the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council (PBCHRC),
PBCHRC is Florida’s oldest, independent, non-partisan, political organization dedicated to ending discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression.
After then-Mayor Jeri Muoio embraced the idea, PBCHRC reached out to LGBTQ residents and business owners throughout West Palm Beach, seeking suggestions for the location of the crosswalks.
"Since the late-1980s, there have been more LGBTQ residents and businesses in the Northwood communities than anywhere else in the city," said Hoch. "It was no surprise the consensus was to install the Pride crosswalks in Northwood Village."
“Business owners are thrilled with the crosswalks,” said Will Davis, President of the Northwood Village Merchants Association. “They are beautiful — and definitely worth the wait.”
Funding for the Pride Crosswalks was provided by the City of West Palm Beach and the West Palm Beach Community Redevelopment Agency. Hierromat, a locally gay owned and operated business, will provide funding to maintain the crosswalks.
"Over the past several decades, the LGBTQ community in West Palm Beach has gone from being nearly invisible, to being tolerated, to being acknowledged, to being granted equal rights and benefits, to having our families recognized, and now, to having the diversity of the LGBTQ community publicly celebrated," said Hoch.. "That is quite an achievement."
While the Northwood Village Pride crosswalks are the first public artworks dedicated to the LGBTQ community in Palm Beach County, LGBTQ Pride streetscapes in Boynton Beach and Delray Beach will be installed and dedicated in June.
The Palm Beach County Human Rights Council, Inc. is dedicated to ending discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. The Council promotes equality, through education, advocacy, direct action, impact litigation, and community outreach.