Saskatoon

Rainbow crosswalks have Saskatoon man feeling 'pumped-out-chest' proud

Danny Papadatos says Saskatoon still has a ways to go when it comes to fully accepting the LGBT community. But on Saturday he had reason to feel proud as two rainbow-coloured crosswalks were painted in the city's downtown core.

Danny Papadatos welcomes Saturday painting of two crosswalks in downtown Saskatoon

One of two rainbow crosswalks painted on 23rd Street E. on Saturday. (Alicia Bridges/CBC News)

Danny Papadatos says Saskatoon still has a ways to go when it comes to fully accepting the LGBT community and members of other marginalized groups.

The Saskatoon man, who is gay, was recently accosted while driving his rainbow-coloured car at a gas station.

"I still get yelled at," he said. 

But on Saturday, Papadatos had reason to feel, as he put it, a little bit of "pumped-out chest syndrome."

Two rainbow crosswalks were painted in downtown Saskatoon on Saturday. (Alicia Bridges/CBC News)

That morning, City of Saskatoon workers painted two rainbow-coloured crosswalks at the intersections where Third Ave N. and Fourth Ave N. meet 23rd Street, near city hall and the Frances Morrison Library.

"I hope that it makes everyone feel... like they belong in this city, that they are proud to live in this city," said Papadatos.

City and festival pair up 

The Saskatoon Pride Festival, which is chaired by Papadatos, and the City of Saskatoon partnered to pay for the cost of the painting, with the city paying more than half. 

Papadatos estimated the cost to be "in the thousands" of dollars.

Prior to the painting, Papadatos reflected on his own experience growing up as a gay man in the city.

"I was one of those kids that felt that I had to get out as soon as high school was done because I felt like my family was never going to be able to understand, that I was never going to get to be who I wanted to be in this city," he said.

Danny Papadatos, chair of the Saskatoon Pride Festival. (Danny Papadatos)

"That opportunity for that to happen was always lying elsewhere."

Papadatos said the new crosswalks also served as a reminder of "the people that have left [the city] because they thought that Saskatoon would never be this inclusive, open and diverse space."

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Guy Quenneville

Reporter at CBC Ottawa, originally from Cornwall, Ont.

Story tips? Email me at guy.quenneville@cbc.ca or DM me @gqinott on Twitter.

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