Tuesday, beginning of Pride month, Instagram announced a partnership with The Queer Muslim Project (TQMP) to present the Digital Pride Festival 2.0. The virtual festival, scheduled from 11th-27th June, will feature live performances, creator panels, community care sessions, and even an Instagram reels masterclass.
Renowned personalities such as Shiva Raichandani, Zoya Akhtar, Prajakta Koli, and Zain Baweja amongst others will be headlining the events. The tag #PrideAtHome will be used to celebrate contemporary queer art and artists for all they offer us within the comfort of our homes.
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TQMP is South Asia’s largest network of queer, Muslim, and allied people. It first hosted the Digital Pride Festival last year to virtually honour LGBTQIA+ rights, demonstrate allyship, and take digital actions. This year, the festival “aims to inspire creativity, self-care and well-being, and connectedness during the pandemic”.
Partnering with Instagram will spark conversation on and regarding the platform. It is likely to help Instagram become more inclusive for queer individuals.
In addition to IG Live events of the Digital Pride Festival 2.0, Instagram has also announced other features. There is a new LGBTQ+ sticker pack created by queer artists. It includes gender non-conforming, asexual, trans, and gender-fluid visual representations.
Moreover, prominent tags such as #genderfluid, #gayvisibility, etc., will be displayed in a rainbow gradient when used in feed or stories posts. When any of these hashtags are used in a story, the story ring will turn rainbow.
Besides Instagram, the festival also has support from the British Council, who will co-present 2 of the events. They have showcased committment to queer art and culture in India since the first edition of the virtual pride celebration. The festival kicks off today with Shiva Raichandani’s live opening act titled “Dancing Free”.