Pride celebrations are kicking into gear around the world next week, and Google's getting in on the fun. The company has added a whole suite of Pride-specific wardrobe options to its Androidify character customization tool (available on the web and Android devices), and characters created before June 27th can participate in a virtual Pride parade that weekend. Google's also going to pick its favorite creations and display them on giant video boards as part of its physical Pride floats in New York, London, and San Francisco on the 27th and 28th. The virtual parade's launch video features cameos from a wide array of LGBT celebrities and allies, including Tom Daley, Jessie J, Sir Ian McKellen, Conchita Wurst, Sam Smith, Kylie Minogue, Tyler Oakley, and Jesse Tyler Ferguson.
This is a nice gesture on Google's part — a little frivolous, perhaps, but one that reinforces its higher-profile inclusivity promotion efforts. The company took a firm stance during last year's Winter Olympics in Sochi with a doodle and message condemning Russia's anti-LGBT legislation and the IOC's corresponding silence, and made the message available on Google's Russian incarnation to boot. Another doodle like that — maybe an interactive one, allowing people to customize their little characters directly from the home page — would have a much greater impact than a campaign limited to the Androidify service. Of course, if you're feeling cynical, you could make the case that this is just a lazy corporate gambit for positive press. But it's Friday, I want to head into the weekend embracing positivity, and Google could be cooking up a whole host of Pride week features and Easter eggs. If you decide to make a character, I hope Google considers you best dressed.