We need to talk about this brilliant campaign for a trans-inclusive emoji

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  • 2017 Marie Claire Future Shapers Award winner & trans activist Charlie Craggs has launched #ClawsOutForTrans to increase trans visibility through emojis and it is everything

    What did we do before emojis? Sure, the old-school : ) (or even the ; ) if you were feeling particularly bold did the job) but could you use them to let friends know you were off on holiday (✈➡🏖) or perhaps that you felt like dancing (💃🏻💃🏻💃🏻)? No, you could not.

    But there are some way more important emojis still missing. Over the last two years, the transgender flag has been the flag that official emoji designers Unicode have had the most requests for. So, what new emojis did they launch this year? A can of tomatoes, a sledge (it’s SUMMER), an actual pile of bricks and… a lobster. Go figure.

    However, Charlie Craggs, activist and winner of a Marie Claire Future Shapers award in 2017 for her Nail Transphobia pop-up nail bar to encourage better awareness around trans issues, has come up with an ingenious new way to use Unicode’s newest bizarre emojis to highlight the lack of the transgender flag.

    Charlie Craggs


    In a twist, it turns out that lobsters can be gynandromorphs (so they have both male and female characteristics). In her new campaign, Claws Out For Trans, Charlie has decided that until a transgender flag emoji exists, the trans community are hijacking the lobster as a symbol!

    For Craggs, this is part of her fight for trans visibility. As well as her Nail Transphobia campaign (where, over the last five years, she has offered free manicures to members of the public as a way to encourage dialogue around trans issues) she has expanded to launch Nail It. This fab new initiative sells nail decals (or transfers), with each one telling a story and starting a conversation about a trans issue.

    Charlie Craggs

    Charlie wearing one of her decals

    Want to support the campaign? Sign the petition here and then post pictures of lobsters on social media with the hashtag #ClawsOutForTrans. As Charlie puts it, ‘Unicode granted the Lobster emoji proposal, which argued that people suffered “frustration and confusion” at having to use a shrimp or crab emoji instead of a lobster. Imagine if that was your gender. Surely we deserve the same rights you have afforded crustaceans?’

    It’s a no-brainer – we are so into #ClawsOutForTrans

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