Some of the gay Pride emoticons introduced by Facebook
To celebrate Pride month in the US and other countries, Facebook has released 28 colourful gay themed emoticons for use in its messages and chats.
The emoticons, or stickers as Facebook calls them, include gay sailors, a drag queen, marrying same-sex couples, plenty of rainbow imagery, a leather daddy and proud parents of a gay child, among others.
The emoticons can be found by clicking on the emoticon icon on the Facebook chat or messaging window, then clicking on the shopping cart icon. The 28 figures are free.
“We’re celebrating Pride by adding these free Facebook Messenger stickers to the Sticker Store,” said Facebook. “We see this as one more way we can make Facebook a place where people can express their authentic identity. Happy Pride!”
Pride is traditionally commemorated in many countries in June – the month in which the 1969 Stonewall Riots took place; seen by many as the spark that ignited the gay rights movement.
Last week, President Barack Obama officially proclaimed the month of June Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month in the US.
Facebook has been a long-time supporter of LGBTI rights. The company has recognised same-sex marriages in its relationship options and has worked to prevent anti-LGBTI bullying on its site. Earlier this year, the social media giant was lauded for introducing an extensive list of profile gender identity options to allow users to more accurately reflect who they are.