A pregnant man and a handshake featuring different skin tones are among the newest emojis to be released over the coming year.
A draft list of the newest emojis released by the Unicode Consortium, a non-profit company that promotes the unicode standard, aims to show more diversity in gender.
Same-sex couples and gender-neutral emojis were among a raft of inclusive characters added to the global library in 2019, but the regulator faced criticism after the transgender flag and symbol were left out.
The addition of a pregnant man marks another attempt to increase the diversity of emojis.
Back in 2019, Freddy McConnell, one of the few transgender men in the UK to have given birth, warned that misinformation from the medical profession about the ability for trans men to give birth amounted to “de facto sterilisation”.
And following more than a year of heightened awareness and global protests surrounding the fight for racial equality, sparked by the murder of George Floyd, the Unicode Consortium will also allow users to display handshakes between hands of different skin tones.
Additional new emojis include hands making a heart shape and someone biting their lip – plus faces melting, saluting, holding back tears, and peeking out between their fingers.
The vast majority of emojis available will also be able to be presented as a man, a woman, or gender-neutral – for instance, now available alongside the prince and princess emojis is a person with crown emoji.
The unicode standard sets the code that references particular emojis, allowing companies like Apple and Google to design their own emojis based on the descriptions. They usually introduce their own takes on new emojis via smartphone software updates.
The Unicode Consortium unveiled the new emojis to mark World Emoji Day, which is on Saturday.