Here is how Instagram is celebrating Pride Month.
- With most countries opting for partial or complete lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, many LGBTQIA+ youth now risk being in isolation within hostile environments with unsupportive family members or co-habitants, leading to a rise in mental health concerns, such as anxiety, emotional stress, and depression.
- Instagram has amplified LGBTQIA+ voices around the world by empowering queer content creators and organizations, and by creating opportunities for self-representation and leadership for underserved communities.
Pride is celebrated each year to recognize the impact the LGBTQIA+ community has in the world. This year, while the COVID-19 pandemic ensues, physical conventions will be impacted. Additionally, the community has also faced mental health and emotional wellbeing challenges. In the words of Tara Bedi, Public Policy and Community Outreach Manager, Instagram, India, “We understand the challenges and diversity of emotions that the LGBTQIA+ community faces everyday, and want our platforms to be safe spaces for them to express themselves. Especially during COVID-19, we want to help the community celebrate virtually, find support online, and stay connected with the people they love. We are thankful for the partnership with @thequeermuslimproject for their insights that helped make the well-being guide and hope everyone shows support with our newly released features.”
The Well-being guide focuses on how to handle negativity and challenges in the current social media landscape. This guide will provide resources to young LGBTQIA+ people experiencing anxiety or feeling especially isolated or alone. It features inputs from creators and communities - Veer Mishra, Gaysi Family, Under25, Solidarity Foundation, Sandy Saha, Ya_All, and illustrations from Sonaksha Iyenger; highlighting their advice on staying positive and managing their online presence. Guidance from this resource will be shared via roundtable discussions with the community, in partnership with @thequeermuslimproject.
The guide can be accessed from here.
New features from Instagram:
- Rainbow hashtags in Feed - We partnered with GLAAD to identify prominent, popular, and important hashtags used throughout the LGBTQIA+ community. When used in a Feed post, these hashtags will be displayed in a rainbow gradient. Some examples include #lgbtq, #bornperfect, #equalitymatters, #accelerateacceptance, or #pride2020
- Rainbow Stories rings - We extended the rainbow gradient experience across both Feed and Stories with the Story ring. When used in a story, the GLAAD-identified hashtags will turn your Story ring rainbow gradient while the Story is live for 24 hours. This will roll out in a few days.
- Updated Stickers - In partnership with Instagram creators, we’ve expanded our Pride sticker pack to include new stickers that highlight the LGBTQIA+ community.
- Pride-themed AR Effect - For the first time ever, Instagram will be releasing a new Pride-themed AR effect including 12 LGBTQIA+ flag gradients that celebrate identities across the gender and sexuality spectrums. This initiative is the first of many to help honor the ever evolving LGBTQIA+ community.