This morning brings disheartening news from downtown Calgary. The new Stephen Ave gay and trans pride sidewalks in Calgary have been vandalized. The vandalism was discovered around 8:30 on Wednesday morning and the culprit is still unknown. It is unclear if the vandalism took place late last night or early this morning.
One word has been scrawled across each of the sidewalks. The word “lust” is written on the gay pride sidewalk, and the trans pride sidewalk reads “lost.” Both words were spray-painted, one in black and the other in white paint.
According to 660 News, Zoom Painting is in charge of maintaining the sidewalks and they have promised the words will be covered and the sidewalks will be repainted by the end of the day. Zoom Painting has graciously accepted the responsibility of re-painting the sidewalks as needed for up to 10 years.
Zoom painting’s CEO told 660 News that the City of Calgary tried to scrub the words away this morning. A witness told Narcity that Zoom Painting is currently working to re-paint the trans sidewalk and we can assume they will move onto the gay sidewalk next.
660 News explains that the City of Calgary hopes to speak with corporate security to uncover footage which may expose the vandal or vandals.
With Calgary Pride week beginning on Aug. 23, this sad news has left Calgarians distressed and confused. Calgary Pride announced the exciting news of the permanent Pride and Trans Pride flag crosswalks on July 18 of this year and the sidewalks were painted on July 21.
The release explained that the Stephen Ave location was selected for a number of reasons including high visibility, high pedestrian impact, low vehicle traffic, and low construction disruptions.
The release concluded with the sentiment that the flags would be a “reminder of how far we’ve come, an ongoing commitment to never turn back and a pledge to continue down the path for all Calgarians to feel a sense of belonging.”
Though we can't confirm what the vandal intended by the two words, Calgarians online are assuming this aggressive act meant to deem gay love as "lust" and trans individuals as "lost." Calgarians are referencing religious texts and taking to the internet on their hunt for answers.
At this time, we want to extend our support to Calgary Pride and Calgary's LGBTQ2+ community. This is a tragic and undeserved incident.