A Dutch city just debuted Europe’s first permanent road crossing honoring transgender people.
Almere, a city of 196,000 located just outside Amsterdam, unveiled the new pink, white, and blue crosswalk during the city’s Winter Pride Walk. Patterned after the iconic trans flag designed by Monica Helms, the crosswalk is meant to serve as a visual reminder to the city’s trans community that they are welcome and they are loved.
Officials with Almere’s municipal government announced the trans flag crosswalk in a Thursday post on Facebook. In a statement, the city claimed transgender people “should be able to be themselves in all aspects of life.”
The inclusive move was widely embraced by politicians across Europe. As U.K. newspaper The Daily Mail was the first to report, social democratic politician Jerzy Soetekouw said the crosswalk was a reminder that “everyone is free to be who they want” in Almere.
The walkway was officially unveiled on Saturday, just in time for the annual Winter Pride Walk. The display joins a rainbow crosswalk installed years earlier.
The Netherlands is one of the most progressive nations in the world when it comes to LGBTQ+ rights. Back in 2001, it became the first country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage, and six years ago, its parliament approved a bill allowing trans people to change their birth certificates and other documentation.
But even as the country continues to be a progressive beacon for inclusion as the far-right beats down Europe’s door, the Netherlands is not the only nation with trans pride crosswalks. Similar displays can be found in Chicago and Ames, Iowa in the United States and Toronto and Calgary in Canada, some of which have faced repeated acts of vandalism.
The Trump administration recently ordered the removal of Ames’ trans pride crosswalk — citing concerns about road safety — but the town refused.
Meanwhile, Lethbridge, a city of 92,000 in Alberta, Canada, approved crosswalks with the rainbow and trans pride flags on their city streets back in 2017. While they crosswalks aren’t permanent, the city has repainted them each year for Pride since that year.
RELATED | 27 Fabulous Photos from Amsterdam Pride