We’re finally getting a transgender flag emoji in 2020

atsaq transgender pride flag emoji
Photo: Unicode Consortium

A transgender pride flag is finally among the raft of new emoji rolling out to smartphones this year.

The Unicode Consortium is the organisation in charge of standardising the expressive icons across tech platforms.

And today they unveiled 117 new emoji rolling out to smart phone keyboards later this year, including a transgender flag and transgender symbol.

The successful proposal, submitted to Unicode last March with the help of allies at Google and Microsoft, explains why the emoji is needed.

“Adding an emoji illustrative to our life experiences isn’t just about creating technology that should be accessible to everyone,” it reads.

“It’s about fostering culture that is inclusive of users around world.

“National flags, professions, skin tones and gender modifiers are all used to represent personal identity.

“The current emoji offering does not allow for the expression of transgender identity.

transgender flag gender neutral emoji emojis unicode consortium

“There are ways of expressing LGB within the emoji specification already, but there are no ways to express ‘I am trans’, or to depict transgender life.

“While the acronym LGBT includes transgender people, gender identity is very distinct from sexual identity. Transgender people may be straight, gay, bisexual or lesbian.

“Simply put: sexual orientation is about who you are attracted to and fall in love with; gender identity is about who you are.”

As well as the two transgender emoji, the new additions include some gender-neutral and gender-inclusive options for existing emoji.

There’s a gender-neutral “Mx. Claus”; a man and gender-neutral person in wedding veils; a woman and gender-neutral person wearing tuxedos; and a gender-neutral person holding a baby.

Transgender emoji lovers claim lobster

Last year, a group of UK campaigners in the UK began using the “lobster” emoji in lieu of the transgender flag emoji.

“Unicode granted the Lobster emoji proposal, which argued that people suffered ‘frustration and confusion’ at having to use a shrimp or crab emoji in instead of a lobster,” they said.

“Imagine if that was your gender.

“Emojis are a way for the world to connect, and trans people shouldn’t be left out of the conversation.”

Unicode added the rainbow pride flag to its range of emojis in 2016.

For the latest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) news in Australia, visit qnews.com.au. Check out our latest magazines or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Jordan Hirst
Jordan Hirst

Jordan Hirst is an experienced journalist and content creator with a career spanning over a decade at QNews. Since 2012, the Brisbane local has covered an enormous range of topics and subjects in-depth affecting the LGBTIQA+ community, both in Australia and overseas. Today, the Brisbane-based journalist covers everything from current affairs, politics and health to sport and entertainment.

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