ST. JOHN’S, N.L. – When Kayla Hearn heard a small Newfoundland community had voted down a motion to paint the rainbow symbol on a crosswalk, she swiftly joined in the diverse outpouring of support for the high school students who proposed it.In Hearn’s instance, it’s a plan to work with her business partner, Mark Adams, to design a new T-shirt print in support of the LGBTQ community in Springdale.The St. John’s resident imagines a design with a text reading “Springdale is for lovers,” with the “O” drawn as a rainbow heart.“I grew up queer in a small town, I know what it feels like to be different,” said Hearn, who recently started an online T-shirt company, Hard Case Tees, with designs that reflect the LGBTQ experience in Newfoundland and Labrador.Her move is just one of a barrage of tweets, municipal motions of support and public statements coming in the wake of the controversial vote in the town on the province’s north shore.The town council in the community of close to 3,000 people voted earlier this month against a motion of the Indian River High School’s Gender-Sexuality Alliance to paint a rainbow crosswalk.The crosswalks have become commonplace symbols of municipal support for diversity in towns and cities across the country.Elsewhere in the province, municipalities are seizing the moment to send out visual statements of inclusivity and support.On Tuesday, Logy Bay-Middle Cove-Outer Cove’s town council voted unanimously to install two rainbow crosswalks, one in front of town hall and one at the entrance of Kelly Park.Mayor Bert Hickey said the decision in Springdale kickstarted a discussion that town leadership should send a message of its own.“To put it simply, we just felt it was the right thing to do,” said Hickey.Hickey said he’s received heartwarming comments from residents and youth leaders in response to the decision. Council is discussing painting a third rainbow in the parking lot of the school.“We want to certainly send a message to that community, to parents of those children, that this is our stand here and this is how we feel and I suppose we want to distance ourselves from any other town or community that feels differently,” Hickey said.The presence of rainbow crosswalks is hardly a new phenomenon in the province.In St. John’s, city council voted to paint a rainbow crosswalk in front of city hall in advance of the pride parade in 2016, and plans to do so every year.“The City of St. John’s is committed to celebrating diversity in our community and we strive to be a welcoming place. All are celebrated in the City of St. John’s,” mayor Danny Breen wrote in an e-mailed statement.The town of Gander has had a rainbow crosswalk installed since 2016.Meanwhile, there has also been an outpouring of comments on social media.Becky McDonald, a teacher in Chapel Arm, posted a photo of children standing at a rainbow chalk coloured crosswalk, writing “Holy Family Elementary in Chapel Arm stands with @IRH_wildcats.”Other high profile Newfoundlanders like comedian Mark Critch and musician Alan Doyle have tweeted their support.Peg Norman opened her business Travel Bug in downtown St. John’s 13 years ago and has flown a rainbow flag for much of that time.The 54-year-old grew up in rural Newfoundland and says she’s seen positive changes across the province since she was a high school student in the 1980s.The activism of the Springdale youth and response from other communities disproves the common perception that rural Newfoundland is homophobic, she said.“Unfortunately, the leadership within the community and the council are not in the same place that the kids and students and teachers are in that school,” she said.Still, Hearn said she was “disappointed” to see hear of the decision out of Springdale.“It highlights the stigma around queer people that still exists,” she said. “I’d like to see a discussion of the impact it’s having on those kids.”In Springdale, Mayor Dave Edison, who cast the deciding vote, has said he isn’t discriminating against people of different gender identities or orientations, but is concerned over the conflicts the crosswalk might cause.“I am just worried that, while they are asking for this to show inclusion, I think it is actually going to create a division,” said Edison.The students presented their case again at Monday night’s council meeting, and are still awaiting a response.Follow @hollerdoller on Twitter.