On Good Friday, a mysterious giant wooden cross appeared on Gay Street in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of New York City, chained and locked to an apartment gate.
Over the next nine days, the cross’ owner would return and chain the cross to different parts of the street making it impossible for others to move it.
“To be honest, I’m a Christian, and the cross means, love, peace and hope. And it was clear the owner of this cross did not share those values,” Gay St. resident Micah Latter, whose gate the cross was first chained to, told HuffPost. “Whatever [this person’s] point, [it] was lost in translation. Their actions were pointless and annoying.”
Latter posted daily Instagram updates of the cross’ location and tried to seek help for its removal from authorities, which was unsuccessful. So, she had an idea: Why not turn the cross into a symbol of love and acceptance and take the power back from its owner?
On Sunday, Latter and ten neighbors and friends gathered to paint the cross the colors of the LGBTQ rainbow flag. They drank champagne and changed the locks so the original owner can no longer move it ― they’re now calling it “The Love Cross.”
For Latter and those who took part in the cross painting, it became an exercise not only in love and support, but a classic NYC experience of community.
”Neighbors and strangers came together on Gay St., all approaching the meaning of the cross with different personal views, yet we all shared the same love and support for the community that we bonded over,” Latter told HuffPost. “For two hours on a Sunday, it was just random strangers, tourists, straight couples, gay couples, kids and neighbors spreading love, painting rainbows on a cross, getting to know our neighbors, and drinking champagne on Gay St. It was a magical NYC evening!”
As for the cross’ original owner, Latter and the residents of Gay St. just have one message: “Sorry you can’t move the cross anymore. We added our own love lock to your chain and superglued both key holes. The Love Cross belongs to the street now, so thank you!”