June is celebrated as Pride Month, when lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community members come together to celebrate who they are. While this year may look a lot different without the usual parades and gatherings due to the coronavirus pandemic, that hasn’t stopped some of tech’s biggest tech companies from celebrating Pride Month 2020 as they usually do.
What is Pride Month?
The entire month of June is celebrated as Pride Month in honor of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community members. Pride Month isn’t just about parades and drag performances, and live performances. The idea of Pride Month is to create awareness about the LGBTQ community that has struggled to gain acceptance in society over their sexual preference. June is chosen for Pride Month as it was the month when the 1969 Stonewall Riots in New York took place that gave rise to the gay rights movement. Global Pride Day is June 27, and that is when there will be live Pride events all over the world.
In the past few weeks, tech companies including Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Nintendo and Snap, among others, have either launched Pride-themed accessories or rolled out new features for Pride Month. From Apple launching Pride-themed Apple Watch bands to Microsoft unveiling Pride Collection which includes skins for Surface devices and Pride t-shirts, here’s how tech brands are celebrating Pride Month.
To celebrate Pride Month 2020, Apple has launched two new bands for the Apple Watch. The first is a rainbow band which is instantly recognisable, while the second one is a Nike Pride Edition Sport Band. The latter one is a white band with rainbow colours located inside the holes of the band. There are also new Apple Watch faces that’s part of watchOS 6.2.5. Apple has been releasing new Pride-themed bands as well as watch faces since 2016 to celebrate Pride month. Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, has never shied away from admitting that he is gay. “Let me be clear: I’m proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me,” Cook told Bloomberg Businessweek in 2014.
Microsoft is celebrating Pride Month by launching the Pride collection which includes t-shirts, hoodies, and skins for Surface 2-in-1s. Meanwhile, Xbox is also creating Pride Month with collections of games that have been selected by LGBTQI+ communities. The ‘Play with Pride’ collection includes games like Borderlands 3, Life is Strange, and The Outer Worlds. Xbox is donating $250,000 to LGBTQI+ non-profit organisations around the world to celebrate Pride month. In addition, Microsoft has made a dedicated page where LGBTQ+ people from Microsoft discuss topics related to Pride.
For Pride Month, Instagram has rolled out new features, including hashtags, stickers, and filters. For instance, when users use words such as #LGBTQ #Pride2020 #EqualityMatters #BornPerfect and #AccelerateAcceptance, they will appear in a rainbow gradient rather than the standard black text. The popular social platform also introduced new rainbow rings for Instagram Stories. To get the rainbow ring, all you have to do is use one of Instagram Pride stickers and post it your story. Your story ring will then remain as a rainbow ring every time you post a story until the end of Pride month.
Nintendo’s Animal Crossing, one of the most popular video games on the market right now, is hosting a virtual Pride festival called Global Pride Crossing. The Global Pride Crossing event will be a part of Global Pride 2020 and will be running throughout the pride month, starting on June 18. Players will get a chance to visit Pride Island, which will host a virtual pride festival. The island will have a rainbow march, a message board, a hall of fame, a dance club, and a catwalk, as part of this virtual pride festival. In addition, players can buy pride-themed outfits for their characters to wear in the game.
Snapchat is celebrating Pride Month by creating new augmented reality (AR) lenses for Pride Month. A total of five new AR lenses have been released partnership with L.A.’s Pride Media. Facebook, on the other hand, has Pride-themed rainbow frames and filters.
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