Rainbow crosswalk in Warman, Sask., defaced with homophobic slurs

·2 min read
A rainbow crosswalk in Warman has been hit with homophobic graffiti twice in the past two weeks. CBC has altered the photo to blur the homophobic slurs. (Saskatchewan Crime Stoppers/Facebook - image credit)
A rainbow crosswalk in Warman has been hit with homophobic graffiti twice in the past two weeks. CBC has altered the photo to blur the homophobic slurs. (Saskatchewan Crime Stoppers/Facebook - image credit)

WARNING: This story may be distressing to some readers.

Warman RCMP are asking for public assistance after a rainbow-painted crosswalk in the Saskatchewan city was defaced.

Homophobic slurs and misspelled biblical references were scrawled across the crosswalk in black spray paint.

Krystal Nieckar is the executive director of OUT Saskatoon, an advocacy and outreach organization that supports the LGBTQ community in the area. She said she is not surprised by the vandalism.

"This isn't the first time that that crosswalks have been defaced, and honestly, it won't be the last time," she said.

Nieckar said this type of incident is especially harmful to LGBTQ youth.

"For that 10- or 12-year-old kid who was like, 'I feel comfortable enough to come out, oh, just kidding. I can't do that now because this is what's happened,'" she said. "It continues to create that circle of of fear."

Mayor frustrated

The City of Warman collaborated with Great Plains College to paint the crosswalk back in June, but due to delays in the project, the city decided to extend the crosswalk's stay past the end of Pride Month.

Gary Philipchuk, the mayor of Warman, said the vandalism does not represent the community as a whole.

"The part that bothers me is that we are the fastest growing city in all of Saskatchewan, and there's the reason for that — we are a welcoming community to all and we want to be known for that," said Philipchuk.

"That's the frustrating part when you have these types of things happen, that you let a few people sort of really put a damper on so many good things that happen there."

City taking action to find those responsible

The crosswalk has been targeted twice within the last two weeks. Philipchuk suspects the same people are responsible for both attacks.

"We believe it's the same person — it's the same type of spray paint," he said.

He said the city is taking steps to identify who is responsible.

"We want to hold the person or people accountable."

Anyone with information on who is responsible is asked to contact police or Crime Stoppers.

Warman is about 15 kilometres northeast of Saskatoon.

Saskatchewan Crime Stoppers/Facebook
Saskatchewan Crime Stoppers/Facebook
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