While we can most likely agree that equality (even though our society has never been more equal than nowadays) in its essence is a utopian idea, even if that is actually true, this idea still serves a beautiful purpose of always motivating us to try to do better and to be better ourselves. After all, as the saying goes, you do have to start changing and making yourself better to change the world. Residents Of Chilliwack, British Columbia took this saying quite literally and decided to be the change themselves. Despite the City Council voting down the idea of a rainbow crosswalk earlier this fall, they went the extra mile to find a loophole in the law that allowed them to do that.

The citizens of Chilliwack, British Columbia painted 16 rainbow crosswalks around the town

Image credits: Marty van den Bosch

The city council of the Canadian town of Chilliwack voted down a proposal to install a rainbow crosswalk in September 2019. They argued it would be seen as a political statement and therefore would have a great potential of dividing people. But that didn’t stop the citizens from making it happen it anyway as they managed to find the loophole in this whole plot. Apparently, since the city doesn’t have jurisdiction over private lands, it is possible to do it on privately owned property. People took this opportunity and made 16 rainbow crosswalks in total this way.

They took it upon themselves to find a loophole in the law that would allow them to do that

Image credits: Marty van den Bosch

The first people to take action were Indigenous people, as is often the case with social issues there. They were the first to paint it at a shopping center development on Squiala First Nation land back in August. Since then, two more rainbow crosswalks have been painted by them on Tzeachten First Nation land. Dave Jimmie, president of the Ts’elxweyeqw Tribe, expressed that they are free to demonstrate their support for being an inclusive community. He also added that this is very dear to him personally since he recently lost a friend from the LGBTQ community.

After the city council voted down a proposal to install a rainbow crosswalk in the city

Image credits: Louis De Jaeger

Alison Tedford, a member of the Kwakiutl nation said: “I think as Indigenous people, we have experienced marginalization, and to see collaboration between marginalized communities is positive, as well as to see Indigenous LGBTQ people supported by their own community leadership is powerful.” And therefore adds that she’s delighted but not surprised at all that the Indigenous people were the ones to take action on this issue.

Dissenters argued that the rainbow crosswalk would be seen as a political statement and divide people

Image credits: Derek Anthony Epp

Another resident, Marty van den Bosch, shared that he also painted a rainbow crosswalk on his property with his wife. He said that diversity is important to him because “Each and every one of us is different, often in many ways. I do my best to treat people based on their actions, and their words, not on things like their sexual orientation, race or any other attributes they were born as.” He also added that he supports the belief that everyone should be treated with respect, regardless of the differences and that people should only be judged by the way they speak of and treat others.

Despite that, people felt it was important to make this symbolic statement celebrating diversity

Image credits: Derek Anthony Epp

Other cities in British Columbia are jumping in by painting rainbow crosswalks as well but the mastermind behind the Chilliwack’s rainbow crosswalk idea, Amber Price, has come up with an even grander idea. She said she’d love to see Chilliwack become a world record holder for the most rainbow sidewalks. With this dedication, it seems like everything is possible!

Most of the people loved the idea but there were some that were a bit more hesitant about the idea