FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA — The “Venice of America” has joined the ranks of Roosevelt Island, New York and West Hollywood, California in having a city street painted with an LGBTQ+ flag.
The flag has been aptly painted on Sebastian Street and A1A, right by the strip of beach that magazine Out Traveler has named the "Hottest U.S. Gay Beach.” It was inaugurated by Mayor Dean Trantalis on February 11 – the day of the Pride of Americas Parade.
The mayor is having a busy February, both celebrating Black History Month by hosting a king of eastern Ghana and making sure the streets are ready for his participation in the Pride Parade along with other “dignitaries,” as reported by the City of Fort Lauderdale.
“The event represents the best of what South Florida stands for: celebrating each other's rich diversities and leading with love and empathy in an inclusive environment for “Everyone Under The Sun,” Mayor Trantalis wrote on Twitter.
“PROGRESS PRIDE” FLAG
What is painted on the road, however, is not the regular rainbow colors, but the “Progress Pride Flag.” This banner was designed by artist Daniel Quasar, and “includes black and brown stripes to represent marginalised LGBT communities of colour, along with the colours pink, light blue and white, which are used on the Transgender Pride Flag,” according to UK architecture and design magazine Deezen.
Similar flags have been painted in other locations. On New York’s Roosevelt Island, gays and related people can enjoy cruising by or walking on a 100-by-30-foot rainbow installation in Freedom Park. In West Hollywood – a section of Los Angeles – citizens can enjoy putting their feet on a huge “Progress Pride”-painted crosswalk.
RESIDENTS ASKING IF TAX MONEY WAS USED
Some were critical of the Fort Lauderdale flag in their comments on social media. One user was worried that tax payer money was being used to paint the street.
“Wow! Who approved this use of tax dollars?” Twitter user @racheltheone commented.
Another argued that the flag project was a symbol of an occupying, foreign force.
“It's like what nations did when they conquered, putting up their flags and symbols everywhere to show ideological dominance,” Adam Noble said.
The City of Fort Lauderdale did not respond to The Florida Standard’s request for more information.