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Where are you chalking? The DIY rainbow revolution

“Don’t get angry, get chalking!” encourages the team behind DIY Rainbow Crossings on theirFacebook page.

Established only a week ago, the page has already chalked up (pardon the pun) over 17,000 likes and received a barrage of photos showing people with their colourful creations.

Getting into the spirit in Lismore, NSW. Source: DIY Rainbow Crossings

Getting into the spirit in Lismore, NSW. Source: DIY Rainbow Crossings

The revolution began last week, with the premature removal of Sydney’s iconic Rainbow Crossing by NSW Roads and Ports Minister Duncan Gay (who is also the owner of the possibly the most ironic last name ever), with costs estimated at $30,000.

The Rainbow Crossing was installed in February, painted in Darlinghurst’s Taylor Square to celebrate the 35th annual Mardi Gras, and had quickly become a popular tourist attraction.

This apparently caused concerns about public safety and congestion, and as the city council neither renewed nor removed the crossing’s temporary one-month permit, Mr Gay says he had no choice but to remove it.

Despite an outpouring of support and a petition that garnered over 15,000 signatures, the crossing was tarred over.

Twitter is abuzz with the #DIYrainbowcrossing tag, with supporters nationwide taking to the platform to have their say – whether it is words of encouragement for the cause, or decrying the local government for their poor choices.

The now extinct Rainbow Crossing lamented its cover up with a tweet:

I was Sydney’s first Rainbow Crossing – a beautiful symbol of equality & acceptance. My colours may be gone, but my spirit lives forever…

— The Rainbow Crossing (@rainbowcrosssyd) April 11, 2013

The campaign has now gone global, with supporters from New York, Vancouver and even France (calling themselves ‘rainbow rebels’) contributing snaps of their work to the Facebook page.


Rupert Noffs gives Manhattan Bridge some colour. Source: DIY Rainbow Crossings

DIY Post-it rainbow in France. Source: DIY Rainbow Crossings

DIY Post-it rainbow in France. Source: DIY Rainbow Crossings

Apparently the rainbow revolution has reached as far as Africa, with Anthony Venn-Brown, who goes by the handle @gayambassador, tweeting:

Chalk rainbow crossings have appeared as far a field as Kenya & Arizona, NSW rural centers & Qld Vic & WA

— Anthony Venn-Brown (@gayambassador) April 14, 2013

Venn-Brown, founder of Freedom 2 b[e] and Ambassadors and Bridge Builders International, and an influential member of Australia’s LGBTI community also said:

LOVE IT. LOVE IT. LOVE IT. Best form of activism I have seen in years. #DIYrainbowcrossing

— Anthony Venn-Brown (@gayambassador) April 14, 2013

James Brechney, the founder of the cause, told

There’s been a lot of reports about chalk shortages.
People were reporting where to get chalk because of the volatility in supply over the weekend; the variety stores ran out of chalk and were quite perplexed as to why chalk was in such demand.
But we do expect chalk supplies to replenish during the week.

He continued, more seriously:

I can’t keep track of how many crossings there are, it’s phenomenal.

I think it’s such a great way to celebrate the end of a short lived crossing. Now it’s about a whole bunch of stuff; celebrating diversity, celebrating fun.

I don’t expect the rainbow crossing to be reinstated but I think it’s a great way to get a message of love out to the society from the gay community.

So get chalking Australia, and show your support for a great cause.


Published at LUNA Digital.


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