It put a grin on my face to see the rainbow crosswalk appear in downtown Brunswick just in time for Pride Month, which is celebrated in June each year. What a joyful way to make clear that our community is a welcoming space.

Brunswick resident Heather D. Martin wants to know what’s on your mind; email her at

Anticipating some of the letters that are about to head my way, let me just say, when a cheerful little post about this went up on one of the town Facebook pages, the comments went south pretty fast. Disappointing, but hardly unexpected. You could post about baby lambs and bunnies and someone would find something to kvetch about. It’s the way that space is.

The biggest complaint was pretending to not be a “complaint” at all but a “concern” over cost.

Let me start by saying, unless you voice the same concerns over the cost of the downtown holiday lights, I cry foul on that as your real objection. If you do express the same concerns over the cost of holiday lights, I just plain cry. Life is short and often hard. I think we all need some small joys and community celebrations.

Light the lights and paint the crosswalks.

That said, according to the replies (the polite and “on point” ones) Bohemian Coffee offered to pick up the tab, but there was none to cover since leftover paint was used. So, that argument is a wash.


I will also state that, in my opinion, even if the paint had to be bought specially for this one celebration – worth it.

The other comment I’ve heard is that they object to town participation because “Pride isn’t inclusive.”

This one actually caused my brain to wrinkle a bit. I had to pause and sort it out. Because, of course, the thing is, Pride is all about inclusion. Pride is about holding space for and celebrating the members of our community who have been deliberately, often painfully, excluded. Amazingly, the rest of us are welcome to celebrate, too.

I happen to have been born cisgender and straight. It’s not a choice; it is who I am. Friends, family members, colleagues, professionals I rely upon to keep my world running – many of them are gay, lesbian, bi, transgender or somewhere else on the spectrum, including straight. Except for some really specific circumstances, such as dating, there’s no need to pinpoint the label, though knowing pronouns is helpful. (I use she/her, by the way.)

We are all people, living our lives and trying to make sense of this world. We all want to be safe, to have opportunities, to be seen and valued for who we are.

Pride Month came into being because for the LGBTQ+ community those basic human wants are far from a given.


Even now in this enlightened and empowered age, bias and bigotry result in violence towards anyone who doesn’t fit someone else’s idea of “correct.” The year 2021 was “the deadliest year” on record worldwide for transgender people, according to a report published in Forbes, with 1 in 4 murdered in their own homes. In many parts of the world, simply being gay carries a legal death sentence.

Here in the U.S., people are fired, harassed, beaten and killed, families are fractured and marriages are threatened with legal dissolution as the courts hint at rollbacks of protections for basic rights.

So, yes. Yes, there is a need for a special celebration, for a loud, rainbow-hued proclamation that all people are created equal and endowed with inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And until that is an absolute given, painting a crosswalk seems like the least we can do.

As an ally, I’ll be celebrating, holding space and taking action this Pride Month.

Oh, and that goes for July through May as well.

Comments are not available on this story.