Fifty years ago this month, New York police launched an early morning raid on a small Greenwich Village bar popular with members of the gay community, sparking the Stonewall riots and ushering in the modern battle for LGBT rights in the US.
To celebrate the 50 years of Pride celebrations that followed, Google published a Doodle sideshow on Tuesday that offers a taste of Pride parades from each of the five decades. Google’s Doodlers wanted the Doodle to underscore how the Pride parade has grown in size and momentum over the past half century, empowering a bright and vibrant community along the way.
Over the years, Google has taken a high-profile stance in support of gay rights. In 2008, the company announced its opposition to Proposition 8, an anti-gay marriage measure that California voters ultimately approved.
To mark June as Gay and Lesbian Pride month, Google has traditionally added a rainbow to the right side of the search bar when users search for “gay,” “lesbian,” “transgender,” or related terms. This year’s return on those search terms is a graphic depicting Pride celebrations around the world.
For this year’s Doodle, Doodler Nate Swinehart said he decided to use strips of cut paper to depict the people and the setting. By adding multiple layers of paper, which by its nature is flat, the Doodle grows to reflect the community’s expansion. Color, of course, is a key symbol of Pride.
“While everything begins with shades of grey, we first see the rainbow through a community space,” Swinehart explains. “Color then begins to spread, first in individual people, then to the city around them, until it finally overtakes the entire composition.
“I also wanted the progression of color to be meaningful, beginning with the initial pink triangle that was reclaimed by the community as a symbol of liberation. From there, we go backwards through the rainbow from purple to red, until we see all the colors come together harmoniously in the final image.”
Swinehart writes that, as a member of the LGBTQ community, this Doodle was a very personal project for him, especially because he’s well acquainted with the struggle to feel included and accepted.
“Before I joined Google in 2014, I remember opening up the Google homepage to see a Doodle celebrating the Winter Olympics, depicting the colors of the Pride flag. I was completely blown away,” Swinehart writes. “Looking at the front page of Google, I was filled with hope and a feeling of belonging.
“That moment was a large part of why I wanted to become a Doodler. I recognized the opportunity we have to make a positive impact on the world, and to help make people feel seen, heard, and valued.”