Rainbow crosswalks, Arlington Center, June 2022 / drone photoRainbow crosswalks, Arlington Center, June 2022. /           Drone photo by Juhan Sohnin

The Arlington LGBTQIA+ Rainbow Commission continued its Pride crosswalk-painting tradition this year, expanding its effort to the Heights and East Arlington.

After beginning with the crosswalk outside Town Hall in 2018 and then taking a break during the first year of the pandemic, the Rainbow Commission moved to the main intersection in Arlington Center in 2021, painting both crosswalks across Mass. Ave., where Pleasant and Mystic streets meet. 

For 2022, the commission received Select Board approval to expand the crosswalk painting further along Mass. Ave. In addition to the Center, the commission added two more crosswalk-painting locations across Mass. Ave., at Park Avenue in Arlington Heights and Lake Street in East Arlington.

The painting was all done with the help of volunteers, as close to 120 people signed up to help paint the crosswalks over three evenings.

They included local students and families who enjoyed the opportunity to paint rainbow and transgender flag colors into the crosswalks, as shown at left and in the accompanying series of photos >>

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The Rainbow Commission has also been celebrating Pride in other ways, including a Pride Festival at Town Hall Gardens for the community held June 12, with hundreds of attendees; Pride banners along the lampposts in Arlington Center for the last three years and annual proclamations from the Select Board.  

LGBTQIA+ Pride Festival draws more than 300

Len Diggins, et al., at Pride Festival June 12WATCH: Town employees, elected officials, students
and residents participate in areading of the Select Board's
2022 proclamation declaring June LGBTQIA+ Pride Month.

The following is from the Rainbow Commission's newsletter:

Thank you to everyone who turned out for Arlington’s LGBTQIA+ Pride Festival on Sunday, June 12.

We had over 300 people, many of them residents of Arlington (and more than a few from neighboring towns) in attendance throughout the afternoon.

 Select Board member Eric Helmuth, right, with his husband, Jordan.Select Board member Eric Helmuth, right, with his husband, Jordan.

We had the young and the old(er)—and everyone in between. We had LGBTQIA+ parents and their kids. We had straight, cisgender parents who were there to support their LGBTQIA+ kids. We had straight allies there to support all of us. We also had town leaders out in force living the town’s tagline: “Arlington values equity, diversity, and inclusion. We are committed to building a community where everyone is heard, respected, and protected.”

We want to thank volunteers Kym, Dan and Lycia, and Susie, Tia, Ash and Susannah, who answered questions, handed out swag and helped everyone who attended feel welcome. The event simply would not have been possible without your help.

Disability Commission Co-Chair Grace Carpenter, left, with Rainbow Commission Cochair Lisa Krinsky.Disability Commission Cochair Grace Carpenter, left, with Rainbow Commission Cochair Lisa Krinsky.

We also want to thank Arlington town employees who spent part of their time off this weekend with us:

Arlington Youth Counseling Services counselor Kym Goldsmith, Council on Aging social worker Marci Shapiro-Ide, Superintendent of Schools Elizabeth Homan, Christine Bongiorno, Health and Human Services' director; Police Chief Julie Flaherty, Capt. Sean Kiernan and Capt. Brendan Kiernan of the town police.

We’re also incredibly grateful to other town leaders who attended:

School Committee Chair Liz Exton, Select Board Chair Len Diggins and Select Board members Eric Helmuth and Diane Mahon, state Sen. Cindy Friedman, Arlington Disability Commission Cochair Grace Carpenter, Arlington Human Rights Commission Cochair Rajeev Soneja and Envision Arlington Diversity Task Group Chair Rebecca Gruber.

Select Board Chair Len Diggins, left, with his partner.

During a time when LGBTQIA+ children and adolescents are under attack by community “leaders” from Texas to Florida, we are proud to live in Massachusetts, but most especially Arlington, where our LGBTQIA+ community—particularly our youth—has the full backing and support of the superintendent of schools, the director of Health and Human Services, the chief of police, the Select Board and the School Committee. 

School Committee Chair Liz Exton, left, and Arlington Director of Health and Human Services Christine Bongiorno.

From left, Arlington Police Department Capt. Brendan Kiernan, Capt. Sean Kiernan and Chief Julie Flaherty.










June 11, 2018: First Pride Picnic draws estimated 150 people

This news summary was published Wednesday, June 15, 2022. Text and photos provided by Andy Rubinson, cochair of the Rainbow Coalition, which also provided its newsletter summary of the festival.