At last, gay people can cross the road! It took a long time, but a more tolerant and diverse society has embraced LGBT pedestrians, with the help of progressive local authorities. Rainbow crossings are being installed throughout our cities. At Herne Hill in south London, for example, the local community is delighted by this latest investment by Lambeth Council. Some motorists may be confused, but nothing must stand in the way of equality.
Sadly, we are not all moving forward at the same pace. Haringey Council has received a deluge of complaints after it repainted a zebra crossing in rainbow stripes outside a primary school. Over two hundred parents and other deplorable bigots don’t want to see LGBT children crossing the road. They try to mask their prejudices by arguing about the cost (er, seven tins of paint) or whether the new crossing meets road traffic regulations. Some old bores say that the colourful lines are not as clear as the traditional type. Would they prefer to watch a black-and-white television?
One disgruntled cis-gender woman rang the school and asked why the £24 thousand wasn’t spent on a special needs teaching assistant for her autistic son. This is typical narrow-mindedness. Aren’t teaching assistants gay too? Might her son be questioning his identity? Let’s be honest – these people would rather homosexuality was kept in the closet.
The good news is that in 2020 this discrimination is no longer tolerated. The police are conducting forensic investigation into letters and e-mails sent to Haringey Civic Centre. These parents are almost certainly guilty of hate crime. We should fear for their children, growing up in a household of homophobia.
A bigoted boycott campaign, soon erased from Facebook and Twitter, urged people to refuse to cross on the rainbow stripes. However, roadside cameras may be used by police, and anyone suspected of deliberately sidestepping the crossings could find themselves in court on a hate crime charge. We must be intolerant of intolerance. Do we want a modern, diverse society, or a post-Brexit Britain of heteronormative oppression?
Decisions affecting LGBT people should be made by a people’s assembly, with at least half being gay or trans. And why stop at LGBT crossings? Surely we should be encouraging Muslims to cross the road too. Are zebras halal?