It’s Pride Month here in the United States and Google is celebrating with a new Google Maps and Search feature enabling businesses to add an ‘LGBTQ+ Owned’ label.
The new label will enable foodies, for example, to seek out and support relevant eateries in their local area. As well as boosting those businesses, it’ll also help members of the LGBTQ+ communities to discover safe spaces in new cities.
The new ‘attribute’ follows labels for black-owned, women-owned, Latino-owned and veteran-owned businesses within Google Maps and Search. Those labels sit alongside identifiers like outdoor seating and whether the business is on critics’ lists.
It’s not clear whether Google will add more labels to Google Search and Maps in the UK, but it’s a US-only initiative for now. Google says the move comes as an increasing number of people in the United States are now identifying as members of the LGBTQ+ community.
“The LGBTQ+ community represents nearly 8% of the total adult American population, with 20% of Gen Z identifying as a member of the community,” Google’s product and marketing inclusion lead Mackenzie Thomas said in a blog post. “As the number of LGBTQ+ individuals increase, so does our presence and prominence in our communities. In fact, there are 1.4 million LGBTQ-run companies in the U.S.”
She adds: “As we celebrate Pride, it’s important to remember visibility and representation are critical, all year round. A flag in the window of a small business has the power to bring queer folks together, to celebrate our joy, honour our history, and fight for our diverse community. It’s our hope that this attribute will allow business owners to celebrate their identity and community with the world.”