A railway bridge above Lower Briggate is set to be painted in rainbow colours celebrating the city’s diversity.
Lower Briggate and The Calls are the heartbeat of Leeds’ LGBT&Q community and the area is about to get a brand new landmark to celebrate it. As part of essential upgrades and repairs that are being made to the railway bridge above Lower Briggate, the paintwork will be updated to show off the colours of the rainbow flag, a symbol of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer pride.
The idea is the brainchild of Thomas Wales, a LGBT&Q campaigner who was formerly based in Leeds. He took inspiration from the design of the original rainbow flag, known as the Freedom Flag, which was created by Gilbert Baker, an artist from San Francisco, in 1978.
Wales told us, “Each colour represents something different, from life and harmony to nature and spirit, it is also a scheme that has been adopted internationally to celebrate freedom in sexuality and gender identity in our city. It is destined to become a landmark we can all be proud of.”
The funds to make this a reality have been raised by LGBT&Q Community and Leeds City Council. The Bridge is a refreshing show of support for the city’s LGBT&Q community in a part of town that absolutely celebrates it. With bars like Fibre and Viaduct Showbar, as well as the annual Leeds Pride parade, there’s no better place to put the rainbow colours of the Freedom Flag.
Councillor Jonathan Pryor, Leeds City Council’s deputy executive member for culture, explained why it’s such an important step, “The plans for this bridge represent a tremendous show of support for the city’s LGB&T community. Not only will the rainbow bridge be an eye-catching addition to what is already a lively and eclectic part of Leeds, it will also make a huge statement to our many visitors that here, we embrace and celebrate diversity and the contribution it makes to ensuring Leeds is such a warm, welcoming and successful city.”
Work will begin in earnest right away, with much of it focussing on strengthening the bridge to ensure it continues to ferry trains from Leeds Station to the North of the city. It’s all expected to be completed in February, by which point the bridge will be a beacon of the city’s commitment to inclusivity and diversity.Feature image Mtaylor848 licensed for commercial use under Creative Commons.