Google’s search engine is celebrating LGBT Pride month again, the sixth year it has done so. The feature has been available all Pride month (the anniversary of June 1969’s Stonewall Riots) but people are only noticing it now after searching for “gay marriage” post the US Supreme Court Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and Prop 8 rulings yesterday.
The search box turns rainbow edged in a kind of Star Wars credits 3-d perspective way when certain LGBT keywords like ‘gay’, ‘lesbian’, ‘bisexual’, ‘transsexual’, ‘transgender’, ‘homosexuality’, ‘queer’, ‘Stonewall’ are entered. If you type in ‘LGBT’ or ‘LGBTQ’ it works too, but not ‘LGBTI’ or ‘LGBTIQ’, nor ‘trans’ and ‘intersex’, so barring the trans keywords above it is very gay-centric. Drag queens are included but crossdressers and transvestites excluded. Gay or same-sex marriage trigger the search graphic change as does “marriage equality” but not “equal marriage” or “transgender marriage”.
Mercifully for Christian creationists or anti-gay activists searching for “Noah’ ark” will also not turn your search world into a rainbow! Equally disappointed will be Judy Garland, Wizard of Oz “Somewhere over the rainbow” fans!
It also works specifically for New York, London and Toronto Pride searches, but not Norwich Pride, though Google says it will activate the feature 7-10 days before major Prides, though Norwich’s 5th Pride this year may not qualify.
Google has previously stood against California’s anti-gay marriage act (Prop 8) and has contributed to the “It Gets Better” campaign for LGBT youth. Their San Francisco employees, baked a cake for the striking down of DOMA this month.
Some have called, however, for a full goodle, a Google doodle, rather than this hidden “easter egg” feature, on the basis that Google may be protecting themselves from homophobic and/or religious backlashes since the feature only appears for certain LGBT keyword searches.
Back in 2011, a gay magazine hit back at critics saying Google “should be commended for doing anything at all. Google has led the tech industry in supporting our community, and the latest addition to its arsenal of inclusion is a welcome boost in the right direction” a spokesman for Instinct magazine told CNN.
Some might also argue that Google’s data snooping, tax avoidance etc does not make it the most ethical or equal-minded of companies, just one of the most fun. Try typing in “google gravity” and then hit “I’m Feeling Lucky” – wait a few seconds and…! Now go to www.mrdoob.com/projects/chromeexperiments/google-space/ … floaty, eh?