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Tuesday, 4 June 2019

Celebrating 50 Years Of Pride, Doodle Celebrating Today

Tens of thousands of people have descended on the streets of London for the UK capital's annual Pride parade. This year's march coincides with the 50th anniversary of Britain decriminalizing homosexuality. #GoogleDoodleCelebrating 50 Years Of Pride, Doodle Celebrating Today

Celebrating 50 Years Of Pride, Doodle Celebrating Today

Parade organizers hailed this year's march as "the biggest and most colorful Pride in London yet."

The heart of the UK capital was decorated with rainbow flags and colorful balloons, as around 25,000 revelers on Saturday marched down Oxford Street and Regent Street, London's most popular shopping areas. Hundreds of thousands more were expected to continue partying into the early hours of the night in London's Soho district.

By sunset, the UK Parliament's Palace of Westminster will also be illuminated with a rainbow flag for the very first time to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the UK Sexual Offences Act, which decriminalized homosexuality.

"Here in London, you are free to be who you want to be and love who you want to love," London Mayor Sadiq Khan wrote on Twitter.

"Pride brings people together in joyful celebration of our values of freedom, tolerance, and equality," UK Prime Minister Theresa May said in a statement. "It is a vivid display of diversity which makes London one of the greatest cities in the world."

  • Organizers and revelers celebrate to honor of those who can't

Pride organizers said they wanted the city's 45th annual parade to send "a global message of hope, acceptance, activism, and love ... and a show of solidarity to LGBT-plus people living in Northern Ireland, which has yet to legalize same-sex marriage."

British Olympic diver Tom Daley, who married his long-term boyfriend earlier this year, was among the high-profile names taking part at this year's march. "It's really important that we remember why Pride started - it's not just to have fun; it's about making sure that we make political progress, and making sure that we try and get equal rights for every single person across the whole world," he told the Agence France-Presse news agency.

While celebrating the occasion, Norman Fowler, speaker of the upper House of Lords, also offered a somber note, pointing out that "homosexuality is still illegal in over 70 countries around the world." He added, "None of this will be solved by a march or a display of lights in Westminster, but these acts will demonstrate to those who are being persecuted or abused that they are supported."

  • Homosexuality in the UK: 50 years legal

The British Parliament approved the Sexual Offences Act on July 27, 1967, which decriminalized homosexual acts in private between two men aged at least 21.

Legislation to allow same-sex marriage in England and Wales was passed by the UK Parliament in July 2013. It came into force on March 13, 2014, with the first same-sex marriages taking place on March 29, 2014. In Scotland, legislation was passed by the regional parliament in Edinburgh in February 2014. The law came into effect on December 16 that year, with the first same-sex marriage ceremonies taking place that very day.

By comparison, Germany legalized gay marriage just last week, making it one of the last western European countries to pass such legislation.

Doodle Celebrating Today, Celebrating 50 Years Of Pride

Doodle Celebrating Today, Celebrating 50 Years Of Pride

Today's slideshow Doodle celebrates 50 years of Pride by taking us through five decades of Pride history—all told through the lens of a growing, evolving, and international Pride parade!

Below, Doodler Nate Swinehart shares more on the making-of today's Doodle, as well as what the project means to him.

The Pride Parade is a symbol of celebration and liberation for the entire LGBTQ+ community. From its early days of activism on Christopher Street in New York City, to the worldwide celebrations of today, it has empowered and given voice to a bright and vibrant community.

In celebrating 50 years of Pride, my coworker Cynthia Cheng first had the idea to depict the parade itself and show it growing in size and momentum across the decades.

Concept Image by Cynthia Cheng

Inspired by this concept, I began exploring different styles that could fully capture the feeling of a growing parade and relate to all who are a part of it. After several experiments, I landed on the idea of using strips of cut paper to depict the people and setting.

Cut Paper Test by Nate Swinehart

Paper is flat and simple by nature, but by adding multiple layers of depth across the decades, I could show the growth of the community over time. Color also played a huge part in the concepting, as I wanted to depict the vibrance and energy of the community. While everything begins with shades of grey, we first see the rainbow through a community space. 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.

Working on this Doodle was a very personal project for me. As a member of the LBGTQ+ community, I am very familiar with the struggle of feeling included, accepted, and that I am a ‘part’ of this world. 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. 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.

I have witnessed the strides forward for queer people over the decades, and today, many of us celebrate a level of freedom I could not have imagined in my wildest dreams while I was growing up. I'm hopeful for the future and a day when everyone, regardless of their identification, can stand and march proudly in celebration. Happy Pride!

Google Doodle Art Director Erich Nagler, who also partnered on this project, shares his thoughts on the Doodle below:

When I was 18 years old, I went to college in New York City. Even as I was still finding my way out of the closet, I found myself on a walk through Greenwich Village, across Seventh Avenue where the street grid shifts and the streets get names instead of numbers. I passed Sheridan Square onto Christopher Street, the historic gay heart of the city. Here was the Stonewall Inn, the Lucille Loretta Theatre, the entrance to the PATH train, and the piers out into the Hudson River. Here was a neighborhood and a community where I could begin to love myself more and hate myself less, where I finally felt accepted, where I didn’t have to hide or pretend, where I could fully be me and find others like me. Over the past 50 years, that powerful spirit of pride has spread from Christopher Street to other streets and neighborhoods and communities, connecting people all around the world. That expanding spirit of love and acceptance is something we've hoped to capture in today's Doodle.
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