The transgender flag and a gender-neutral Santa: The inclusive emojis launching in 2020

Caroline Allen
A new batch of emojis have been released. [Photo: Unicode Consortium]

A new batch of emojis has been released for 2020.

*Celebration emoji*

The list includes men in wedding dresses, the transgender flag and a gender-neutral Santa - that’s 117 ways for you to express yourself without having to type any actual words.

It received criticism last year for not releasing the transgender flag, which is a welcome addition to this year’s update.

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The news quickly filtered to social media, where the new updates have been met with a largely positive response.

“Incredible power in the new 2020 emojis.” One happy user wrote.

“Getting to see yourself and your pride in technology you use is validation that you are being heard and that your voice matters.” Another commented.

The reaction to these latest additions shows how much of a difference a company can make by being representative of marginalised groups.

Speaking about the transgender flag, somebody said: “Obviously that flag is looooooong overdue. But, tbh, I think I'm going to get more use from the happy cry and chef's kiss hands . Oh, and the hug that looks like a hug, instead of whatever [old hug emoji] is.”

Not everybody got the emojis they were hoping for, though.

One person wrote: “New emojis for 2020 and STILL no Northern Irish flag!! Seriously?! We do exist!! There are games that use this flag for our country and even FIFA recognise the Ulster Banner as Northern Ireland's flag; it's used in multiple sporting events across the world! Emoji please!!”

Unicode Consortium is the company behind the updates. The not-for-profit is based in California and chooses emojis for Apple and Android users.

It wasn’t just the gender-inclusive emojis that people were excited for, either.

The pinched fingers update has proven popular. It’s a common Italian hand gesture which has since filtered through to other countries around the world.

There’s also a man, woman and mx feeding baby symbols.

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A load of other random additions have been added, too. There’s everything from the polar bear to a pot of tea.

The list - which is described as 13.0 is a great step forward, particularly after 12.0 saw greater representation of people with disabilities and a wider range of gender identification.

There will be a bit of a wait until we get to enjoy the new additions, though.

You should expect to see them widely used by Autumn, which is when the likes of Facebook, Twitter and Apple will release their variations.

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