Is Google in the Closet About Gay Pride?

Jun 24, 2011· 1 MIN READ
Originally from Baltimore, Oliver lives and writes on a quiet, tree-lined street in Brooklyn.
Is Google hiding their gay pride? (Photo:

If you haven't already heard, Google has been honoring Gay Pride Month with a special rainbow-themed search bar:

“During the month of June, Google is celebrating lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Pride. For some Pride-related search queries, we are showing a rainbow at the end of the search bar.”

Catch that? Only for some search queries, which is odd, because the tech giant has certainly had no problem showing off their quirky doodles to everyone in the past.


Naturally, gay rights groups have taken notice. Try typing in a quick search of "gay," "lesbian," "LGBT," and "transgender" and they'll all reveal the rainbow graphic. But search again for "gay?" and it disappears (in exactly 0.12 seconds, according to the graphic above).

Why is Google waving such a fickle flag? Nicholas Jackson of the The Atlantic's tech site explains:

"[Hiding the bar] should keep the six-color rainbow, a symbol universally associated with gay pride ever since San Francisco artist Gilbert Baker created it 33 years ago, from appearing on the pages of those who are still opposed to gay rights. And keep Google from having to deal with any backlash."

In other words, Google's celebration of John James Audubon's birthday is safe for public consumption, but not their LGBT pride.

"We enjoy celebrating holidays and special events at Google," explained the company in a statement. "As you may imagine, it's difficult for us to choose which events to celebrate on our site, and have a long list of those we'd like to celebrate in the future."

Thanks for the clarification, your blandness.

Of course, there are many who are springing to Google's defense, and perhaps justifiably so.

“Google has lead the tech industry in supporting our community, and the latest addition to its arsenal of inclusion is a welcome boost in the right direction,” said Instinct magazine, according to CNN.

And as Natalie McDonald at Philadelphia points out, the company has had a history of supporting gay rights, publically opposing Prop 8 in California, and making a splash with their own “It Gets Better” video starring LGBT employees.

"Hey, it’s not over yet. Perhaps the tech giant will surprise us and deliver a rainbow Doodle before the end of June? It’s a pretty gay-friendly place after all."

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