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Vandalized rainbow crosswalk ‘heightens concerns’ over campus homophobia

A rainbow crosswalk at Carleton University was vandalized last weekend, “raising concerns” about homophobia on the Canadian campus.

According to the student paper The Charlatan, “an individual” has been deemed culpable for the damage, and campus police are working with Ottawa law enforcement on the investigation.

(At the beginning of the article is the warning “This article contains sensitive topics, including mentions of anti-2SLGBTQ+ hate” along with numerous “support” phone numbers.)

Though the report doesn’t specify exactly what happened to the crosswalk, a Reddit thread on the topic noted someone dumped white paint on it.

University officials and the Carleton University Students’ Association have “encourage[d] anyone affected” by the crime to “reach out” to the school’s Gender and Sexuality Resource Centre.

The crosswalk, which was updated last year with the addition of the “inclusive Pride flag,” was a “collaborative initiative” between the university, the Students’ Association, and the GSRC.

The GSRC’s Val Hussain and Gabbie Cruz said students were “frustrated and hurt” by the crosswalk’s defacement.

While praising Carleton’s swift response to the incident, Cruz (pictured), a “queer, non-binary person of color” who uses “they/them” pronouns, said they heard from students asking why the university couldn’t do the same regarding protection of “other 2SLGBTQ+ advocacy initiatives.”

MORE: University’s town hall for LGBTQ-themed crosswalk draws total of two people

https://carleton.ca/esp/wp-content/uploads/Gabbieheadshot5-200x200.jpg“[The crosswalk] is a visual symbol of solidarity and the forward motion of our community,” Cruz said. This [response] can be done for more than just a symbol.”

Cruz claimed Gender and Sexuality Resource Centre posters “are frequently vandalized or taken down” around campus, that Trans Day of Visibility” posters were “covered in hateful messages,” and campus restrooms with “2SLGBTQ-inclusive signs” often are defaced.

Cruz also complained the new paint on last year’s crosswalk update “looked like it had been there for years” and added it seemed like it wasn’t being “treated with respect.”

On the aforementioned Reddit thread, at least one commenter used the opportunity to complain about Carleton not divesting from “genocidal Zionist corporations”:

byu/UpsettiSpaghetti16 from discussion

MORE: Purdue student government allocates $17K for ‘rainbow crosswalk’

IMAGES: Cassandra Bellefeuille/X; Carleton U.

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