Opinion: Let’s Find a Way to Return the Transgender Flag to Santa Monica Boulevard

On June 14, All Black Lives Matter protestors gathered around the transgender flag painted on the intersection of Santa Monica and San Vicente boulevards.

Across the nation, protestors are tearing down Confederate statues, symbols of hate and division that were largely erected during the Jim Crow era as a way to terrorize Black Americans in those communities.  Some statutes have met their end via mob rule – unfortunately allowing an opening for right wing provocateurs to target Union statues or bad faith arguments from politicians proclaiming anarchy.

Nevertheless, protestors bypassed community meetings, public comment, and staff review due to passion and urgency of the moment. Similar passion and urgency led local West Hollywood activists to paint a magnificent transgender flag at the intersection of Santa Monica Boulevard and San Vicente Boulevard. That flag played a significant role in the historic All Black Lives Matter protest march, serving as an impromptu stage for stunning trans performers at the route’s conclusion.

Alarmingly, the City of West Hollywood removed the flag from the intersection days after its triumphant arrival. The flag, and its positioning, was an exclamation point of visibility for our transgender community, who form the backbone of the gay rights movement. However, the unsanctioned nature of the display gave the city an opening to unceremoniously erase it.

I implore the community the encourage the city to return the transgender flag to Santa Monica Boulevard through our official channels, which, while complex, should ensure its long lasting impact. The opportunity exists.

The city’s Department of Public Works is requesting the removal of all decorative brick-patterned crosswalks along Santa Monica Boulevard. These brick crosswalks bring distinction to our main street but have grown worn over the years and are difficult and expensive to repair. Public Works recommends we replace these decorative brick walkways with traditional continental crosswalks, a reflective white-striped walkway, which are advantageous due to low maintenance cost and superior safety.

However, our piece of the storied Route 66 carries history and culture unparalleled in other stretches of the highway. Removal and replacement of the deteriorating brick crosswalks provides us an opportunity to replace them with designs that incorporate not only cost efficiencies and safety but also culture and art.

Pressingly we could incorporate the transgender flag into crosswalks similar to our popular rainbow crosswalk across San Vicente Boulevard. Mindful that the application of this design should be easy to maintain, which is an unfortunate drawback to our current rainbow crosswalk. We do not have to stop there. For example, we can incorporate Taiwanese culture along Formosa Avenue, adjacent to the historic Formosa Cafe. We can highlight art of Jewish tradition along Fairfax Avenue. The canvas is here and in need of repair and re-imagination.

Join us at the next Transportation Commission, July 15 at 6:30 p.m., via ZOOM teleconference as this item is on our agenda. Speak your mind and support the city rightfully returning the transgender flag to our main street, our backbone, our foundation. Let us know your thoughts on replacing crosswalks across Santa Monica Boulevard, which speak to the creativity, culture and needs of the City.

Here is a link to the Transportation Commission Agenda.

  1. The twinks! What about the twinks?! We can’t let them be marginalized. Don’t they deserve their own flag and intersection? Someone needs to stand up for all the WeHo twinks because…well, because they’re mostly too skinny and too busy texting one another. Twink Lives Matter darn it!

  2. After decades of adding more and more letters to the beautiful coalition represented by the appropriately diverse rainbow flag of inclusion, we’re now tearing community apart and segregating the letters back to separate and distinct units. For consideration by the arbiters of which will be or will not be afforded public recognition, I present here some of the communities with their own pride flags. There are likely more in current use or in development. I suggest we turn the rotting parcel of land at Crescent Heights and Santa Monica into a fountain with a ring of flagpoles, and room for more.

  3. Lets not. We need to take this opportunity to clean up SMB…..and painting flags on the street is not an appropriate use of tax dollars. I suggest repairing the street first.

  4. I think it would be a great idea to keep everything to the crosswalks at the corner of Santa Monica Blvd and San Vicente. There are four crosswalks, so let’s make one of them the trans flag. I agree with other commenters that the city should wait before considering painted crosswalks in other areas… there are other priorities right now.

  5. Why? There is a trans monument on crescent heights at Matthew Shepard square.. trans do not deserve special rights they are included under the same rainbow as the rest of us.

  6. Here’s an idea, 4 different crosswalks:

    1. Traditional Rainbow
    2. Trans
    3. Bear
    4. Leather

    If more representation is needed, turn this into a traffic circle/roundabout and erect a giant flag pole in the center.

    1. Isn’t there significant intersectionality (gee, I get to use that word!) between bear and leather? Are there flags for any and all intersectionalities? But again, more importantly, who are the arbiters of which flags get in on the roundabout action? Do we form a council represented by each of the communities? Who sets the standards for which communities sit in on the council. Does anyone on the council have veto authority? Is there a core council (e.g. the United Nations Security Council) with higher authority? Are there permanent members of of the core council with rotating members beyond that? (Sarcasm intended throughout)

  7. If there’s a way to highlight the transgender flag (or more importantly, the community) that doesn’t overpower the inclusive rainbow crosswalks, than yes.

    “Creative City” – let’s come up with suggestions.

  8. I would be much more concerned about getting tourists and business returning to West Hollywood. Rather than grandstanding social activism which seems to drive the West Hollywood city council. To ignore actually running a city, serving the citizens, etc. Enough political statements. And distracting demonstrations.

    1. Unfortunately the mayor and company totally disagree with you and refuse to come into this forum and back a program to save our businesses.
      Look at her Twitter, it’s all political retweets on her way to Sacramento.

        1. I’ve been down this road before. As far as Lindsey Horvath goes, she is a major candidate for satarizing and muckraking online. She’s ridiculous.

          I did this to Mary Bono, satirized her, and she was a congresswoman not some political hack from a hick town in Ohio. Bono sued me through the Federal Election Commission and lost. Along with the Daily Kos, we both won! This resulted in a FEC landmark decision that made blogs media. Just like the failing Los Angeles Times!

          With the November election approaching, it’s time to muckrake Duran… so he doesn’t win and through a lot of negative news possibilities, force Horvath to resign!

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