Supporting people of all stripes
In the run-up to the 2018 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras (SGLMG), Google has added some colourful motifs to the search results for the keyword “Mardi Gras”. The motifs are inspired by the rainbow flag (or gay pride flag), which is associated with the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community and LGBT activities around the world. Interestingly, the rainbows feature the eight stripes of the original rainbow flag devised by American artist and gay activist Gilbert Baker in the late 1970s. Today, the most common variant consists of six stripes: red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet.
Google has had a long-standing commitment to diversity, equality and inclusion, both in their workforce and in the community. They have partnered with the SGLMG since 2011, with presences at Fair Day and their very own floats in the headline parade. More recently, they have sponsored a grants program for parade entries to ensure they are “as fabulous as possible”.
A new initiative from the Google team in Sydney is Project Respect, a tool to “help people reclaim positive identity labels”. People are asked to write a statement about themselves, or someone they love and respect, and these will be fed to an open source data set which coders, developers and technologists all over the world can use to help teach artificial intelligence models how the LGBTIQ+ community speak about themselves.
And if that’s not enough, you can now explore the inspiring story of how the SGLMG has evolved over the past four decades through a new interactive timeline on the Google Arts and Culture platform. The images and videos bring to light the passion, protests and pride that thread the event’s 40-year history, and reveals the key moments that helped it become the unique life-affirming kaleidoscope of self-expression it is today.