Pregnant man and multiracial handshake among new emojis being introduced

Pregnant man, multiracial handshake, and a teary-eyed smile are among the new emojis which will hit devices over the next year.

Unicode Consortium, the organisation that debates and creates new emojis, has recently released a draft of emojis which shows a move towards gender-neutral options.

Most emojis already have the option to change between female or male characters but
emojis such as the pregnant woman, prince, and princess will be among many that will soon have gender-neutral options.

The current pregnant woman emoji will be able to be customised as a man or a non-binary individual. Emoji users will also be able to use a gender-neutral "person with crown" rather than the standard prince or princess.

Photo / Emojipedia

An update to the "bearded person" emoji will allow users to choose between a masculine and feminine bearded face, "will mean that nearly all emojis can have default a gender-neutral option, with the choice to use a woman or man where relevant", said Jeremy Burge, the chief emoji officer of the reference site Emojipedia.

However, the company is still exploring gender-neutral options for the disco-dancing man and the flamenco-dancing woman.

The draft list also includes a handshake with two different skin tones, hands making a heart shape, and a few new faces, such as "peeking eye", "holding back tears" and "saluting".

Twenty new icons like coral, an X-ray, an empty battery, and a playground slide will be available.

The drafted list will be up for discussion until it is finalised in September. From there, device manufactures have the say in which emojis to make available to users.

This article was first published by the NZ Herald and is republished here with permission.