Image: Lili sams/mashable
Instagram is gearing up for June’s Pride Month celebrations — and it’s enlisting the help of LGBTQ creatives to lead the way.
The social network announced on Wednesday a new set of LGBTQ-themed stickers and a rainbow brush for Instagram Stories, all in celebration of Pride Month, the annual celebration of LGBTQ community and identity. The six stickers were created by LGBTQ artists from around the world, and depict different portions of queer culture and life.
One sticker pays homage to the roots of voguing in communities of color, while another is an eye with the trans flag in its iris to show the importance of trans visibility. Other stickers include a pair of sunglasses with rainbow lenses, a rainbow megaphone, a cartoon person holding a rainbow fan, and one that simply says "queer."
The featured stickers were created by artists Carra Sykes, Andy Simmonds, Cute Brute, José Antonio Roda, and Josh McKenna.
Image: Courtesy of InstaGram
The stickers celebrate a wide scope of the community. It’s a refreshing move away from the usual illustrations of LGBTQ pride that often rely on simple rainbows to send a message of empowerment and support. Think, for example, of those rainbow Facebook filters for profile pictures from a few years back.
It’s especially noteworthy that Instagram allowed LGBTQ creatives to define the representation of their own community through the stickers. The social network is also using the Pride stickers to give these queer creatives — and their work — a wider reach.
Users can tap on a sticker to find out who created it, giving much needed attention to the talents of LGBTQ artists. A second tap on the sticker leads users to #Pride2017, the official hashtag of Pride Month.
Instagram is also transforming some highly Instagrammed locations for Pride Month, like clothing store Paul Smith’s iconic pink wall at the store’s Los Angeles location. For the first time ever, the hot pink wall has been painted rainbow in recognition of Pride Month, giving a queer twist to an already sought-after backdrop for Insta pics.
Image: Courtesy of Instagram
A rendering of the Paul Smith wall.
Artists in the Instagram community will also transform walls in London, Madrid, Nashville, and Cleveland for Pride Month.
So far, many LGBTQ users have reacted positively to Instagram’s real-world effort to build off the online networks of community and inclusivity already present on the platform.
"I know I’ve found support within the walls of my Instagram community, but now to walk through my city and be able to see, touch, and feel the tangible support firsthand is everything," said Aubrey Johansen, a queer Instagrammer honored for her work supporting the LGBTQ community at the Cleveland wall unveiling. "I’m thankful to witness this project supporting others and focused on spreading kindness."
Each wall will feature the hashtag #kindcomments, Instagram’s ongoing campaign encouraging users to share a message of support with the LGBTQ community.