When Unicode Consortium unveiled their new set of emojis on Monday, everyone zeroed in on the pinching finger emoji, which gays have determined is the opposite of the eggplant emoji. There has also been the addition of the oyster emoji, which queer women are prepared to have a field day with. Along with a handful of emojis for people with disabilities, to our minds, the real star of the new crop of characters are “people holding hands,” which feature a new set of gender-neutral couples. Yes, nonbinary folx are finally getting emoji representation. Now, when that half-male, half-female cardinal wants to hit up their male lover, they have an emoji to slide into their DMs with!
In recent years, Unicode Consortium has begun to make their offering of emojis more inclusive with same sex couples, witches (drag queens), wizards (older gays), bears (bears), mermaids (trans women), donuts (bottoms), and babies (twinks), and the addition of these nonbinary couples is a further step in the right direction.
But there are still places where emojis could better represent queers: while the rainbow flag emoji was introduced in 2016, there are still no transgender, asexual, bisexual, or lesbian flags. In the UK, the lobster emoji has been adopted by trans women (“Not to gatekeep, but are lobsters even trans,” asked Out staff writer Harron Walker), a response to Charlie Craggs’ campaign to have the trans flag added to the emoji lineup. So we’ve got lobsters for trans people, but still no actual trans representation. Inclusion shouldn’t be having to repurpose a shellfish, there should be emojis for everyone. Equality!