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Hounslow Council has installed a Rainbow Junction in Chiswick, consisting of four separate crossings

Rainbow Junction, where Chiswick High Road meets Annandale Rd and Turnham Green Terrace, was revealed at the start of both LGBT+ History month and Football vs Homophobia month of action and is a vivid demonstration of the Council’s commitment to the rights of the borough’s LGBT+ community.

The idea was the brainchild of West London Queer Project (WLQP), who the Council have worked with over the past year during Pride 2022, and in the development of a new Equalities, Diversity and Inclusion strategy.

Famous faces at the February opening event included broadcasters (and spouses) Clare Balding and Alice Arnold, McFly drummer Harry Judd and TV, radio presenter Nicki Chapman and Ollie Saunders (Founder of the Chiswick Flower Market).

Aubrey Crawley, Founder of WLQP, said;

“Since moving to London in 1998, I have witnessed first-hand the decline of LGBTQ+ spaces and infrastructure in West London. WLQP Was born out of the desire to recreate what is missing and to connect, support and give voice to LGBTQ+ people living in West London.

Rainbow Junction is a powerful statement of visibility and inclusion, a beacon of hope and a reminder that things get better for anyone who is struggling with their gender or sexual identity.

LGBTQ+ youth have a far greater risk of dying by suicide and suffer a higher rate of suicidal thoughts and depression, and these rainbow crossings send out a powerful message that they are not alone and that they are a part of a loving and supportive community. Visibility encourages acceptance.

Unfortunately, homophobia and transphobia are on the rise and the harmful rhetoric coming from number 10 and the right-wing media is only fuelling the fire and creating further barriers for our community.

Since their release, I have been disappointed in some of the comments that have appeared on social media and unfortunately many people have completely misunderstood their meaning and purpose.

One of the other aims of the crossings is to inspire meaningful discussion about equality ,diversity and inclusion however, and unfortunately the surprising level of negativity on social media is a stark reminder of the homophobia, bigotry and ignorance that continue to exist. We still have so much work to do.

Rainbow Junction demonstrates our commitment to challenging that type of harmful prejudice and I hope you can join me in embracing their positive meaning.

We all deserve to be happy, to feel safe and to live our lives authentically."

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