Apple added gender-neutral emojis to iPhones and we can’t stop being impressed.
Diversity in representation has been the dream. That includes every gender, sexuality, religion and race. While it may seem like an insignificant gesture, Apple’s move to add gender-neutral emojis to their catalogue is a huge step in achieving diverse representation for our LGBTQIA+ folk.
If your iPhone software is up to date, a quick scan through your emoji catalogue will reveal gender-neutral emojis for all human emojis. These are in addition to male and female versions of each human emoji.
Diversity across the board
While the rollout to give iPhone users the choice of skin tone for all human emojis, the move to allow emojis to escape the confines of the binary emoji selection is a huge move to being more inclusive.
Apple also offers emojis symbols for deaf and blind people. Basically, iPhone is winning at diversity at the moment – but there is still a long way to go.
With gender-neutral emojis avoiding the purples and blues that are stereotypically associated with female or male, they rock grey outfits. Appearing more androgynous, the gender-neutral emojis sport shorter hair that doesn’t particularly align with standard male/ female cliches.
While the suggestion that all non-binary and gender-neutral folk sport this grey-clad, above-the-shoulder-do might imply that there is a stock-standard appearance, we think the step to include gender-neutral emojis is a move in right direction.
It is relevant and truly means something
A survey revealed that 35% of Generation Z know somebody that prefers gender neutral pronouns, such as “they/ them”. The high figure is the highest across all generations.
With iPhones introducing emojis in 2008 and Androids in 2012, Gen Zers may struggle to envisage a world where emojis are not part of their communication methods. It goes without saying that emojis are well and truly part of our language.
“Emojis are the language we use,” – Melanie Willingham-Jaggers, the deputy executive director for GLSEN, a nonprofit advocating for LGBTQ-inclusive education and schools.
“To have queer and non binary folk represented in emojis, that’s especially important for young people. They’re able to grow up with this language.”
All we can say is: Well done Apple.
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