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Trans and pride crosswalks on Stephen Avenue vandalized
The word ‘lost’ appears to have been spray painted on the trans crosswalk on Stephen Avenue in downtown Calgary while the word 'lust' appears to have been spray painted on the nearby pride crosswalk.
The graffiti was first spotted around 8:30 a.m. Wednesday.
"It's a very sad and very small example of what our community and our organization face every single day," said Parker Chapple, executive director of Calgary Pride.
The crosswalks were installed last month at the intersection of Stephen Avenue and Centre Street S. Calgary Pride said the location was selected for its high visibility, significant pedestrian traffic, and minimal vehicular traffic.
Chapple says it's important for members of gender and sexual minority communities and the broader community to stand up for inclusion.
"If you’re impacted by this or you have family or friends impacted by this, we encourage you to volunteer to take part."
Many Calgarians expressed sadness that a public symbol of support for diversity had been mistreated.
"I think that’s terrible and it’s really important for the LGBT community that these even exist in Calgary right now," said passerby Kat Stagg.
Zoom Painting created the crosswalks and will maintain them for 10 years as part of a gesture of community service.
"It is a completely zero for zero contract. There is no tax impact, there’s no financial transaction for any of the repairs or additional painting or any of the service, it’s all completely free," said CEO Kyle Friedman.
The paint used is a durable type meant to withstand traffic and pedestrian wear and tear.
On Wednesday afternoon, the Calgary Police Service issued a statement on the investigation into the vandalism.
"The recent vandalism of the permanent Pride and Trans flag crosswalks on Stephen Avenue has now been reported to police and is being investigated by the Calgary Police Service hate crimes coordinator. As vandals targeted these specific crosswalks there are reasonable grounds for police to suspect a hate-motivated crime. Police are investigating and canvassing the area for CCTV footage and witnesses. If anyone has information about this incident please call the Calgary Police Service non-emergency line at 403-266-1234. Tips can also be submitted anonymously to Crime Stoppers"
Calgary’s Pride Week events run at various locations this month and the Pride Parade is scheduled for September 1.