There are over 2,800 available emoji, and yet there are still emoji that we need but don’t have. In an article announcing 2018’s 150 new emoji, we called for a transgender symbol to be added. The Unicode Foundation, which determines which emoji are added, decided we didn’t need that emoji — but was sure to add a lobster emoji. And now the #ClawsOutForTrans campaign is calling on Unicode to add a trans emoji. Until then, though, they’re going with the lobster.
Charlie Craggs is not only a trans activist but the proprietor of Nail It, a mobile pop-up nail salon that travels the United Kingdom. Nail It offers a variety of nail decals, each raising awareness of a different trans issue. Nail It is also behind #ClawsOutForTrans, a campaign addressing the need for a devoted trans emoji. The salon is also selling special, limited-edition #ClawsOutForTrans nail decals.
In a petition addressed to the Unicode Foundation — as well as Facebook, Google and Apple — #ClawsOutForTrans asks, “What’s more important: the trans community or a lobster?” It’s critical of the Unicode Foundation’s decision to choose a lobster emoji rather than the trans flag, which they claim is one of the most requested emoji.
According to the petition, the lobster emoji was created because “people suffered ‘frustration and confusion’ at having to use a shrimp or crab emoji instead of a lobster. Imagine if that was your gender.”
By posting pictures of lobsters on social media and using the lobster emoji, tagged with #ClawsOutForTrans, Nail It hopes to show the Unicode Foundation how essential a trans flag emoji is. Currently the only LGBT flag-related emoji is the rainbow flag, added in 2016, made from combining the waving white flag and the rainbow emoji.
Though the trans community’s embrace of the lobster emoji is ironic, there is actually some science behind it. Lobsters can be gynandromorphic, which means that they can contain both male and female physical characteristics.
You can sign the #ClawsOutForTrans petition here.