City of Kimberley staff painted the rainbow crosswalks this week. Paul Rodgers file

LETTER: The Thing About The Crosswalk

It is difficult to quantify the pride I feel when I say I grew up in Kimberley. To be raised by a loving community in scenery that takes my breath away daily. To be raised ‘free range’ and know how to drive on dirt roads. Raised to smile at people on the street, how could one not brag.

I was overwhelmed and baffled by this community’s response over the last year. The Countdown to Christmas, take-out contests, puzzle exchanges, and more than anything, massive respect for restrictions and the safety of others.

It’s because of this pride I struggle to understand why when it comes to coloured lines instead of white ones, there is a different response. I am certainly not a naive person, there is no such thing as a perfect system when operating with people, but the times have already changed and we need to catch up.

This crosswalk is a visual reminder that people are people. Regardless of how one identifies, they are entitled to respect and equal opportunity. It is a celebratory symbol of a formerly repressed culture that has gained rights and freedoms in the eyes of the court unfathomably later than one who identifies as straight.

This crosswalk is not an attack on heterosexuality, nor is it in any way trying to target or discriminate against it. This crosswalk is a public acknowledgement that people are people, and one’s life or livelihood is valued the same as anyone else’s. Ultimately, it is just a way to control traffic and a rather pretty one at that.

So as a community and an individual, this crosswalk allows for a decision. Once again we as a society face a dividing issue. This one, in particular, is no doubt amplified by the political climate as of late, and yet we continue to neglect the most viable option: be a respectful person.

Thea De Paoli

Kimberley

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