After many questions and much discussion, it looks like the trans flag emoji in finally on its way. On Wednesday, Unicode, the organization that decides the characters for all platforms, unveiled a new set of emoji that include 117 options. Among the additions: people hugging, a woman in a tuxedo, a man in a wedding veil, an elaborate multicolored knot, and the Transgender Flag. While Unicode has proposed a sample image for how the emoji could appear, individual platforms could alter this.
The new characters are a part of the Emoji 13.0 update. Historically these updates roll out to operating systems and devices in the second half of the year. Emojipedia, which is run by Unicode, says to expect the new update on Android around August and iOS and macOS in October or November.
According to Emojipedia, the Transgender Flag is a sequence of two other Emoji: the Waving White Flag and the Male and Female Sign emoji.
There have been calls for a Transgender Flag emoji for the last few years. In lieu of one, some have gotten creative with other options. The lobster emoji was chosen as the Emoji of the Year in 2018 because it had been “adopted by the trans community.” Also, users of Android were able to hard code the emoji themselves using the Waving White Flag and the Male and Female Sign emoji. But now, it’s going to be available to all.
The announcement comes as a part of a multi-year campaign to make emoji more inclusive. In addition to adding greater diversity in skin tone, Unicode has also been continually been re-thinking what genders should be associated with which depictions. This move is expected to continue.