Unicode Consortium to roll out 117 new emojis for 2020 including gender-inclusive figures and the transgender flag

Trans texters, new parents and pizza chefs rejoice, the new emoji releases are for you.

31 January 2020
Reading Time
2 minute read

The Unicode Consortium has announced that it will add 117 new emojis in the latter half of 2020 as part of its next update, Emoji 13.0. Alongside some more cutesy additions (including bubble tea, a sweet new seal and piñata), the new release also aims to make some of the existing emojis more gender-inclusive. For example, there will now be an emoji of both a woman and a gender-neutral person wearing a tuxedo, plus the update will include a gender neutral and moustached bride emoji. The transgender flag and transgender symbol will also be added.

Other culturally important introductions include a dad and non-binary parent bottle-feeding a baby (as well as a mum) and a gender-neutral Santa. In October last year Unicode added people in wheelchairs, using canes or wearing hearing aids, as well as couples of different ethnicities holding hands.

Some of the new updates respond to playful criticisms of existing emojis. For example, one shows two figures empathetically hugging – a far cry from the frankly gropey current "hug" symbol. Others fill gaps often bemoaned by emoji fans, such as the blueberry and pepper. Another, called “Italian Hand Gesture” shows the kissing of the fingers movement a chef might make after tasting a exquisite tomato sauce.

The ever-excellent Emojipedia predicts that the roll out will happen around August for Android beta users and in October or November for iOS and macOS, and has created sample images of how the emojis may look on different operating systems. You can see some more of the additions in the site's video below.

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Emojipedia: The 2020 additions

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Laura Snoad

Laura is a London-based arts journalist that has been working for It’s Nice That on a freelance basis since 2016. She currently covers the news desk on a Friday for news editor Jenny. Send her all your big stories, projects and exhibitions. You can reach Laura directly on ls@itsnicethat.com or via our news channel at news@itsnicethat.com.

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