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The latest Apple update includes gender-neutral, otter and flamingo emojis – but still no trans flag

Reiss Smith October 29, 2019

Gender neutral emojis. (Apple)

Apple has released a new, inclusive raft of emojis as part of its latest iOS update, including gender-neutral, otter and flamingo options – but no trans flag.

Apple’s iOS 13.2 introduced almost 400 new emojis, the majority of which (255) are gender-neutral reworks of existing designs.

After the latest update, iPhone users now have access to a total of 457 gender-neutral emojis, including a gender-neutral fairy, a gender-neutral genie and a gender-neutral vampire.

Online, reactions ranged from overjoyed to exhausted by the idea that emojis ever needed a binary gender in the first place.


Along with improved gender representation, Apple has also given interracial couples their own batch of emojis.

Icons showing two men, two women or a man and woman can now be given different skin tones.

According to Emojipedia, an option showing two gender-neutral people holding hands is supported by iOS 13.2 but is not shown on the emoji keyboard.

People with disabilities have finally been given a range of emojis, with designs showing people using wheelchairs and probing canes.

The otter community has also welcomed its own icon, which sits alongside a flamingo, sloth and skunk.

Overall Apple has introduced 398 new emojis – including a plate of falafel, an ice cube and a detective with a black tie instead of the old red-tie design. But somehow, the trans Pride flag failed to make the cut.

The trans community has been campaigning for its own emoji for a number of years, but currently it only exists as a workaround on the Android version of WhatsApp.

This is because Unicode, the consortium which decides the official emoji standard, has so far ignored requests for it be implemented.

It has however introduced a lobster emoji after a proposal argued that people suffered “frustration and confusion” at having to use a shrimp or crab emoji in its place.

According to Emojipedia, the trans flag has been added to the next shortlisted set of icons, Emoji 13.0, due for release in 2020.

More: Apple, emoji, otters, trans flag

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