Two years ago, Danny Roe told a friend about his dream to install a rainbow crosswalk in Galveston that would embrace the city’s LGBTQ community.
Roe’s idea spread like wildfire among LGBTQ activists who wanted to help make it happen. But after looking into the cost of creating rainbow-colored Pride crosswalks similar to those in Houston and San Antonio, Roe became discouraged.
“I got in touch with the folks who created the crosswalk San Antonio. There were a few issues—the biggest one being the cost,” Roe recalls. “I wasn’t sure we could raise the money to put a rainbow crosswalk in Galveston, but we did it. There are a few key players to thank for that.”
Because of those groups and individuals, Galveston is now the home of Texas’ newest rainbow crosswalk, located in front of Galveston City Hall along 25th Street between Ball and Sealy. An unveiling ceremony to honor those who worked on the project is set for June 7 at 5 p.m. in front of City Hall.
The City of Galveston announced the new crosswalk on Facebook on June 4, just in time for Pride Galveston’s Beach Bash Weekend that occurs June 7–9.
“Thanks to the work of several individuals in the community, a new rainbow crosswalk is being painted at 25th and Ball streets to celebrate LGBT Pride Month and show that Galveston is welcoming to all. This is a privately funded effort by individuals in the community. No city funds or labor are being used for the crosswalk. The City granted permission to use the right-of-way,” City officials wrote.
The coalition Roe worked with decided to privately fund the project instead of asking for government assistance because they knew some Galveston citizens would raise concerns about how their tax dollars were being spent. “Some people in the comments section [of the City’s Facebook post] have given us negative pushback,” Roe says, despite overwhelming support for the crosswalk.
Galveston City Councilman David Collins was fully supportive of the project. He assisted Roe’s group in finding a location for the crosswalk, and coordinated with Galveston’s management and traffic departments to close the streets for painting.
“Installing these crosswalks just in time for Pride Galveston, in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, seemed a perfect way to show Galveston Pride to the world and to say to everyone, ‘You’re welcome in Galveston,’” Collins says. “Come see us this weekend, or any weekend, and you’ll see what it’s like to live in paradise!”
The placement for Galveston’s Pride crosswalk is strategic. “It’s on 25th street, which is where folks pass through when they visit downtown,” Roe says. “It’s also what people see as soon as they come out of the port after they get back from their cruises.”
“We wanted to put the crosswalk where everyone would see it,” Roe adds. “We aren’t hiding it or confining it to the gayborhood. It’s in front of City Hall. We want people to know that we’re here celebrating Pride Month, and we’re not going anywhere.”
Collins and the City of Galveston will be honored at the June 7 unveiling ceremony, along with Trey Click and the Historic Downtown Galveston Partnership, Immaculate Painting and Construction, Joe Tramonte Real Estate, PPG Paints, Juan Carcaño, Steven Creitz, David Bowers, and Tom Schwenk. A complete list of groups and individuals who partnered to create the crosswalk will be named at the unveiling. “There’s no way we could have done this without them,” Roe says.
Unlike the rainbow-colored crosswalks in Houston and San Antonio, Galveston’s crosswalk is not permanent and will only be on display in front of City Hall through June to commemorate Pride Month. Roe says the coalition will soon begin fundraising for a permanent LGBTQ Pride crosswalk that will be placed elsewhere on the island.
“If you have a dream, go out and accomplish it,” Roe says. “Anything can happen if you try.”
For questions, or for more information on Galveston’s new rainbow-colored Pride crosswalk, contact Danny Roe via Facebook.