Apple Inc has announced that with the iOS 11.1 update will come the introduction of gender neutral emojis. The emojis, which will come in the standard 4-5 skin tones that are currently represented in the emoji spectrum, will reflect three age groups: child, adult, and senior. The nonconforming emojis have androgynous hairstyles and facial features. Many see this as a step in the right direction to bring visibility to genderqueer communities and a positive move toward gender blindness.
The Unicode Consortium, the group that approves new emoji designs, has made an effort to become more inclusive over the past few years, most notably adding skin tones to the human emojis. A breastfeeding woman will also arrive with this round of updates, though she has long, gender-conforming hair.
More emoijs will come with the update, as well. Cold weather clothes, a mermaid (available in aforementioned skin tones,) a fairy (like Tinkerbell, Mary), a curling stone (sports) and a wizard (Gandalf, is that you?) will also be included. Most exciting of all, an orange heart will finally be added to be able to create a full LGBTQIA pride flag.
All iPhone users will receive the update sometime this week, taking many users off hook-up apps for up to an entire hour.