Google just restated its allegiance to fighting hate and prejudice with #prideforeveryone.
The company's initiative is a virtual reality LGBTQ Pride video experience that puts love and inclusion, as well as embracing differences between people, at the core.
By engaging the capabilities of immersive virtual reality tech, Google enables large numbers of gay, lesbian, bisexual, queer and transgender people to take part in a Pride Parade from the safety and comfort of their own homes. Many of them are reluctant to participate in such public events due to social stigma or anti-gay laws existing in their respective countries.
#Prideforeveryone can be watched either on YouTube 360 or on a Google Cardboard equipped with a compatible smartphone. In the vivid montage, users will see footage of LGBTQ people and their allies as they make their way through pride parades that take place in 25 countries.
In the videos, users get to travel through the streets of Tel Aviv, Sydney, Brussels and São Paulo and feel engulfed in the colors of the iconic rainbow, upbeat music and, most importantly, the acceptance of standby crowds.
As the Pew Research Center points out, less than half of the LGBTQ community participate in parade.
Arjan Dijk, Google's VP of growth marketing explains the idea behind the 360 montage.
He notes that it all started from the realization that a lot of people from the community will not be able to attend the Pride Parades, so Google came with the solution to bring the parade to them.
"We are bringing Pride to millions of people who can march in a virtual way and be part of it all," Dijk mentions.
Dijk further adds that the Pride Parades are exalting a sense of excitement and a true community spirit, and his company fully backs this ethos.
Google Cardboard is one of the most affordable and popular ways for users to enjoy smartphone-based virtual reality. One of the big advantages of the technology is that it can wedge the gap between huge distances and different cultures. Google Cardboard was previously used in humanitarian causes, such as Jordan's Zaatari camp for Syrian refugees.
Google paired the experience with an inspiring slogan, as well. It reads, "Be who you are. Love who you love."
Dijk affirms that in the wake of the recent tragic event in Orlando, people should be incentivized to celebrate life with every opportunity.
The mass shooting that took place in an Orlando gay club is a painful reminder that being gay in the United States still poses risks, in spite of the country being one of the most progressive ones when it comes to the rights of sexual minorities.
Check out the 360 video below. With Google's new initiative, you can join the virtual Pride parade wherever you are.