The Antwerp district of Borgerhout is set to have a rainbow zebra crossing or crosswalk by May. In time for the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT or IDAHOBIT) on 17 May. Where are the other rainbow zebras in Antwerp?
The city of Antwerp has currently nine districts. As far as I know, all current rainbow crossings are located in the district of Antwerp. The district Borgerhout will have the first one outside the district of Antwerp.
Borgerhout Town Hall
The District of Borgerhout (the capital D indicates I am now talking about the district government) is revamping the Eliaertsstraat, a street linking the (in)famous Turnhoutsebaan to the Moorkenssplein with Borgerhout Town Hall. One the features will be the rainbow zebra.
Other rainbow zebras in Antwerp
Where can you find the other rainbow zebra crossings?
At Het Roze Huis or The Pink House. Located at the Draakplaats (Dragon Square) in the Zurenborg neighbourhood. Het Roze Huis is Antwerp’s LGBTQI umbrella organisation. Queer bookshop Kartonnen Dozen is located nearby.
At the intersection of Nationalestraat and Kammenstraat in the shopping and fashion museum area of town.
At the Suikerrui and Scheldt Quays. A very visible spot in Antwerp, where many tourists come and Antwerp Pride parades.
In front of Que Pasa. The now closed gay, drag and trans bar at the corner of the Minderbroedersrui and Lange Koepoortstraat symbolizes the queer going out scene.
What are rainbow crossings anyway?
Since Gilbert Baker (1951 – 2017) designed the rainbow flag as a symbol for gay, queer, LGBTQI pride in 1978, the rainbow has been a rallying symbol for the LGBTQI community.
In 2012, the first rainbow crosswalk was painted in West Hollywood, Los Angeles‘ gayborhood. Tel Aviv in Israel and Sydney in Australia followed.
Since then, many countries and cities have painted rainbow crossings. They’re quite popular in Belgium and the Netherlands.
As a zebra must contain white stripes in Belgium, the rainbow colours are painted around the white stripes.
Pro and con
In Belgium, the visibility of LGBTQI people is widely accepted, so usually there’s little to no resistance. Infamously, Aalst (Alost) did resist recently.
They’re are always people who don’t like visibility of LGBTQI people and issues. When it comes to the zebras, they then claim they’re unsafe.
But also within the rainbow not everyone is a fan. Painting zebra crossings is only symbolic. They don’t say anything of an actual LGBTQI inclusive policy of the (local) government. They can be seen as tokenism.
That is true, but visibility is also important for acceptance and inclusivity.
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On the look of Antwerp
- AREAS OF ANTWERP | Scheldekaaien or Scheldt Quays.
- AREAS OF ANTWERP | Zurenborg.
- AREAS OF ANTWERP | Cogels-Osylei between Berchem and Antwerp’s Zurenborg neighbourhood.
- ANTWERP | City forest, orchard and pond for Nieuw Zuid Scheldt Quays by 2024.
- Borsbeek to become Antwerp’s 10th district.
- Antwerp’s Droogdokkensite redeveloped into maritime experience area.
- VIDEO | The renovation of Antwerp City Hall.
- Antwerp-Central Railway Station to get new facade lights.
- Antwerp’s renewed Scheldt Quays at Loodswezen to get World War II victims memorial.
- ANTWERP | 2023-2024 Park Gedempte Zuiderdokken to have grass and water.
- PHOTOS | Het Steen, Antwerp’s new Visitor Centre.
- VIDEO | Walking the future Spoorpark between Zurenborg (Antwerp) and Borgerhout.
- 5 spots in Antwerp to soak up the sun for free.
- VIDEO | Sunset over Antwerp’s Scheldt river.
- Antwerp to be car-free by 2024?.
- BOOK | ‘Antwerp. An Archaeological View on the Origin of the City’ by Tim Bellens.
- Antwerp landmark Boerentoren to become Art & Culture Tower by 2027.
- Antwerp to get a pedestrian and cyclist bridge over the Scheldt.
- VIDEO | Bicycle ramp for Parkbrug at Park Spoor Noord / ‘t Eilandje in Antwerp opened.
- VIDEO | Antwerp researching old castle at Noorderterras.
- VIDEO | Pedestrian bridge in Antwerp’s Stadspark restored.
- Antwerp’s Rubens House to have new visitor centre by 2024.
- ANTWERP | Rubens House to close on 9 January 2023 and reopen in 2027.
- Noorderterras to become Kaailine, Antwerp’s New York-inspired High Line.
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