BRUNSWICK, Maine — Kira Reed – born and raised in Brunswick – brought her son and daughter to her city’s brand new pride crosswalk on Maine Street Wednesday, less than 24 hours since the city’s public works department finished painting it. In June, the city will celebrate its first-ever official Pride.
Though she smiled while her kids played on the sidewalk, the self-described queer mother was not in a joyous mood.
Reed had come downtown that morning after hearing that one person had driven a motorcycle on the sidewalk outside Moderation Brewing the night before, which has a pride flag and messages of LGBTQ support displayed in its windows. Patrons recorded cell phone videos of the person revving their engine before riding over the rainbow-colored crosswalk and leaving tire marks along the paint. Simultaneously, another biker appeared to record on their cell phone.
“Not even a day old and it broke my heart that someone would do that,” Reed said. “… We wanted to take a picture to post on social media to show all of our friends who are feeling kind of hopeless today that we’re here to support them.”
Mattie Daughtry co-owns Moderation Brewing and is also a Maine Democratic state senator for District 24, which includes Brunswick.
She watched the vandalism from her business and said her city is a kind one, despite what one or two people decide to do.
“We’re gonna keep making sure that folks know that they are loved, they are welcome,” Daughtry said. “They can’t be erased by an act of hatred. And Brunswick is saying that loud and clear.”
Stacia Saniuk-Gove helped found Brunswick Pride less than a year before. Her organization pushed to get the crosswalk not just downtown, but on busy Maine Street. She told us visibility matters.
“To know that there are youth out there that are struggling and to show support through your town is incredibly powerful,” Saniuk-Gove said.
Before Reed left down the street with skipping children in tow, she teared up and spoke about the next generation of Brunswick residents.
“We want to give hope and allow kids in this town to grow up to be who they want to be,” Reed said.
Brunswick police offered a statement to NEWS CENTER Maine late Wednesday afternoon, claiming they were seeking two individuals who allegedly rode on sidewalks and left marks in the street. They posted photos of the bikers and requested anyone with information about the incident to call them at (207)-721-4301 or email email@example.com.