Words: Steve Brown
A new emoji update will feature the transgender flag and a gender-neutral alternative to Santa Claus.
In the new 2020 update, around 117 new characters and images have been approved for addition to the emoji library, according to the Unicode Consortium.
The website Emojipedia – which is part of the Unicode Consortium – said: “Announced today by the Unicode Consortium, the 117 new emojis form part of Emoji 13.0 and will come to most platforms in the second half of 2020.
"Variations of existing emojis now approved for 2020 include a woman or gender-inclusive person in a tuxedo, as well as a gender-neutral person or a man in a veil.
“These, along with other approved emojis, will be coming to phones later this year.
"Also included in this update is a gender-inclusive alternative to Santa Claus and Mrs Claus, named Mx Claus.
This addition is part of an ongoing effort to make more consistent set of gender options across the board, and expands upon the 138 new gender-neutral emojis added in late 2019 as part of Emoji 12.1."
The site also explained how some versions of the new emoji – including the transgender flag and the woman in a tuxedo – are already available on Twitter.
Jeff Ingold, head of media engagement at LGBT campaigns group Stonewall, said: "Taking action to make tools of communication, like emojis, more inclusive and diverse is always a welcome step.
"So we're glad to see the inclusion of more gender-neutral emojis and a trans flag emoji. Visibility is really important and companies can always be thinking of more ways to promote trans equality."
Although no release dates have been confirmed for the emoji on different operating systems, they will be rolled out later in the year.
Former Attitude Pride Award winner, Charlie Craggs, had been campaigning to have the transgender flag introduced to the bundle of emojis.
Listen to Charlie's story below: