This article was published on June 24th, 2021
Emojis have changed the way we communicate and have become an integral part of our culture. Emojis show the world who we are and what we want to say; if you’re happy, feeling a certain way, or just trying to make your point, an emoji provides simplicity and clarity. Emojis are about communicating in a meaningful way with others – no matter their gender identity or sexuality. Gender identity and sexuality are two important identities humans use to show that they belong. We all need this feeling of belonging to feel like a part of the community we form.
The Gilbert Baker Foundation created the Emoji Equality campaign with the effort of including more gender-diverse emojis. What started as a small project turned into an international movement for equality and respect. The Emoji Equality campaign has gained momentum, with celebrities like Sir Patrick Stewart, Hillary Clinton, Ellen Degeneres, and others supporting this cause. Emojis are everywhere; they’re on our phones, computers, TVs – but most importantly, they represent who we are and our values.
Using an emoji can help us move past language barriers and express ourselves more succinctly. Emoji Equality is about more Emojis that show our true colors. Our world is a place of diversity, and as LGBT individuals, we are often underrepresented or faced with representation that does not accurately express who we are.
Emoji Equality started in the United States with Rainbow Flag Emojis, but we need to take it global and expand our options to express ourselves. While there are a select few Pride Flags as Emojis, no flags represent each community within our LGBTQ+ umbrella. Our community is evolving daily, and our ability to express and define ourselves with precision means that we need to help in this cause. We get more done together than alone, and it has been this way since the gay rights revolution began at Stonewall in 1969.
Gilbert Baker created the Pride flag and is a hero in our community. The rainbow flag is used as a representation of our existence worldwide. His foundation’s campaign for Emoji equality is appealing to the world’s tech giants to add Emojis that encompass our entire community to show that everyone should be treated equally no matter who they are or where they come from.
They launched a petition recommending that 27 new Emojis be added to Emoji keyboards for Pride flags and LGBT organizations. Part of the Emoji Equality campaign is also raising awareness about bullying to stop it in its tracks. A few of the flags they are proposing are the bisexual, pansexual, polysexual, non-binary, asexual, intersex, Lesbian, and progress flag.
The Emoji Equality campaign has a website to sign their petition if you want to support this cause. Signing the petition will bring more awareness to the need for inclusive Emojis. The 27 new Emojis will represent people in all countries and LGBT organizations, so everyone feels welcome and accurately represented regardless of their gender identity.
The campaign for equality asks that Emojis be updated to represent all the different subcommunities present in what we term LGBTQ+. As the current emoji keyboard has only two pride flags, the essential rainbow flag and the transgender flag, It is time to change that and keep technology on track with our community’s real-world progress and oppression.
The Gilbert baker Foundation has created their own pride emoji app in the iOS store and can be download here if you want to begin expressing yourself using your true colors.
Together, we can make a small change towards being completely inclusive by helping to promote the advancement, beginning with inclusive emojis. We hope you find Emoji Equality as vital as we do. We want everyone’s story to be told correctly and be received as they intend.