Rainbow zebra crossings of Antwerp 

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.

Rainbow zebra crossing at Nationalestraat and Kammenstraat.

At the Suikerrui and Scheldt Quays. A very visible spot in Antwerp, where many tourists come and Antwerp Pride parades. 

Rainbow zebra crossing at Suikkerui and Scheldt Quays.

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. 

Rainbow zebra crossing at Que Pasa (in 2018).

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 Angelesgayborhood. 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. 

More on this subject

On the look of Antwerp

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