Apple Issues Gender-Neutral Emojis in Update

November 1st, 2019 12:10 PM

If you thought Big Tech wasn’t confusing enough, Apple has released gender-neutral emojis for those confused about their biology.

The latest iOS 13.2 update issued in late October gave users 398 new emojis ranging from more animals and new foods to more diverse inclusion.

“Many of the added emoji include new foods, shapes, and additional variations on emoji depicting people and professions, including a gender-neutral option for a painter, welder, and scientist,” USA Today wrote in its coverage. Because if Americans were concerned about anything with Big Tech, its Big Tech’s discrimination against gender-neutral painters, welders and scientists.

Apple had released a presser on July 16 announcing some of these upcoming changes. “In a major update to the Holding Hands emoji typically used to represent couples and relationships,” the presser wrote, “users will now be able to select any combination of skin tone, in addition to gender, to personalize the people holding hands, opening up more than 75 possible combinations.”

One user, noted USA Today in its piece, complained that even this update was not inclusive enough:

“Another Twitter user, known as ‘bey,’ bemoaned the gender-neutral emoji, because they assume that all gender neutral individuals have a similar appearance.”

Jean-Marie Navetta, a spokesperson for a LGBTQ-inclusive family organization PFLAG, told Business Insider that users now have "a whole new way to express themselves that isn't gendered.”

"Anytime we can make anyone feel more seen and included, it's a good thing," Navetta added. "We're starting to recognize when people need other ways to express themselves ... We are really thinking about this in ways we haven't in the past."


Google had reportedly made a similar change by uploading “gender fluid” emojis earlier this year.

Jennifer Daniel, a designer at Google, spoke with Fast Company in earlier this year about this shift towards gender inclusion among Big Tech’s corporate culture. She critiqued male bathroom signs as enforcing a culture of exclusion, and suggested the following: “That person could be man, woman, anyone. But they had to add a little detail, that dress, and suddenly that person symbol doesn’t mean person anymore; it means man. And that culture means a man-centered culture.”

She added that as far as this new wave of gender-neutral emojis go, “[w]e’re not calling this the non-binary character, the third gender, or an asexual emoji–and not gender neutral. Gender neutral is what you call pants. But you can create something that feels more inclusive.”