Rainbow crosswalks installed in downtown Austin for National Coming Out Day

If you take a walk near the intersection of Fourth and Colorado Street in downtown Austin, you will notice the intersection looks a lot more vibrant. That's because the Austin Transportation Department installed a rainbow crosswalk, resembling the Progressive Pride flag.

"It's a reminder that this is a city that welcomes and is accepting of everyone regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity," said Austin Mayor Steve Adler.

The creation of this project has been in the works for years. 

In 2014, several organizations began advocating for the crosswalk creation. Seven years later, it has come to fruition and has been placed on 4th Street, which is also named after Bettie Naylor.

"She was the first openly gay lobbyist in Texas and she was skilled in bringing different minds together to find compromises that would advance human rights," said Kathie Tovo, Austin City Council, District Nine.

The day the city decided to do this, is also not a coincidence. October 11 is National Coming Out Day. "On this day many people who identify at LGBTQ will come out to friends or family about their sexuality, about who they really are," said Adler.

"What made me even think about coming to Austin four years ago was this spirit of inclusiveness. I’m honored to have my husband and daughter with me this morning," said Spencer Cronk, Austin City Manager.

While symbolic and a big first step, advocates say this is only the beginning of the work. "We will not rest until every street corner, every crosswalk is a safe place for LBGTQ Austinites," said Ryn Gonzales, chairperson for LGBTQ Quality of Life Commission for the City of Austin.

The commission also released its most recent report on the quality of life for the LGBTQ community in Austin. View the report here.

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