JERSEY CITY - Hudson Pride and the Jersey City LGBTQ+ Pride Festival are partnering with Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop and the Mayor’s LGBTQ+ Taskforce to kick off a month-long celebration for the 20th anniversary of Pride in Jersey City with the launch of Pride crosswalk murals painted throughout the City. Unlike other Pride crosswalks, crosswalks in Jersey City, the most diverse city in the nation, will use the progress pride flag colors that incorporate the representation of transgender pride and LGBTQ+ people of color.
“I’m proud that Jersey City has become a national model for promoting equality and these crosswalks are a visible way to show we are an inclusive and welcoming community for all of our diverse populations,” said Mayor Fulop. “Ahead of the annual Jersey City Pride event - one of the largest in the Northeast - we painted three Pride crosswalks located within our busiest transportation hubs in the Heights, Downtown, and Bergen-Lafayette.”
On Tuesday, August 10, 2021, mural artists Avery Nice and Robert Avila led a group of volunteers in painting the progress flag crosswalk in front of City Hall, located at 280 Grove Street. The other two community pride art pieces done by the mural artists are on Summit & Carlton and Ege Ave & MLK, were finished on Thursday, August 12th, 2021, and represent a unique artistic take on the progress pride flag.
Jeana Abuan, the Mayor’s LGBTQ+ Taskforce and Human Rights Campaign Coordinator stated, “amidst challenges, the Mayor’s LGBTQ+ Taskforce growth continues and kudos to everyone who advocates for equity. The Taskforce continues to form alliances with LGBTQ+ organizations and leaders to effectively track the concerns of the LGBTQ+ community, provide the necessary support they need, and further develop and coordinate programs and events that will address systemic discrimination through municipal action.”
Eduardo Baez and Joseph Cameron of Jersey City LGBTQ+ Pride Festival said, “we’re honored to co-produce the festival in a city that continuously creates a safer and more inclusive environment for all its residents. The crosswalks and the lighting up of City Hall in the Pride colors are representative of the Jersey City’s commitment to the LGBTQ+ community and a great way to celebrate our 20th Anniversary and our return to Newark Avenue in August.”
For eight consecutive years, Jersey City has earned perfect scores from the Municipal Equality Index (MEI), the only nationwide evaluation of LGBTQ equality regarding municipal policy, law, and services. The study underscores Jersey City’s leadership for addressing systemic discrimination through municipal action.
From signing an executive order establishing all municipal bathrooms as gender neutral to becoming the first in New Jersey to add transgender healthcare coverage for City employees, the Fulop Administration’s leadership and progressive efforts in LGBTQ rights has earned Jersey City national recognition.
“These rainbow crosswalks are not only symbolic of our LGBTQ+ community here in Jersey City, but also a visual demonstration of the inclusive attitudes of our city. For many of us, this is much more than simply a place to cross the street. It is a place that proudly says we all belong here,” Elizabeth Schedl, Executive Director of the Hudson Pride Center.
By: Elizabeth Schedl