We may not be able to kiss each other during the pandemic, but at least we have the cuddly emoji in 2020.
Android and Apple users, who use the software versions of the updates (Android 10 and iOS 14), now have access to 117 new emoticons, with extended inclusive options.
These emoji were approved earlier this year as part of Emoji version 13.0 by the Unicode consortium.
Along with the smiley face with a teardrop, piñata and bubble tea icons, there are also 55 gender and skin tone variations, including new inclusive emojis.
“Positive portrayal, whether in media or emojis, helps LGBTQ youth feel seen and loved. In particular, Project Trevor’s research demonstrates that transgender and non-binary youth’s assertion of their identity has positive mental health outcomes and decreases the risk of suicide, “explained Dr Tia Dole, clinical operations manager for The Trevor Project, the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ youth.
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Project Trevor’s national survey of people aged 13 to 24 found that more than half of transgender and non-binary youth have seriously considered suicide.
“So even creating more inclusive emojis can help foster acceptance of young people with diverse sexualities and gender identities,” Dole added.
Among these additions are: the transgender flag, a non-binary Santa Claus, “woman with beard” and “man in wedding dress”. With parental and family emojis in a variety of genders and non-binary options.
“In almost every digital space, emojis have become a frequent and popular form of communication, allowing people around the world to express their identities in unique ways,” said Spencer Harvey, a spokesperson for GLAAD. “By expanding its library of emojis to be more inclusive among those who speak and identify outside of the male and female binary, Apple continues to ensure that all users have the option of using emojis that represent faithfully their identity. ”