Trans activist and author Charlie Craggs is demanding to know why the trans community does not have an emoji – and she’s using lobsters to make her point.
The Marie Claire Future Shaper award winner is fronting a campaign to get Unicode, the organization that chooses emojis for public use, to create a trans flag emoji.
‘What’s more important: the trans community or a lobster?’ asks the Claws Out campaign.
‘The answer should be obvious, but this is just one of the many emojis that Unicode (which Facebook, Google and Apple are voting members of) has chosen instead of the trans flag in the last update.’
In a video uploaded to Youtube on 20 July, the campaign makes reference to Unicode’s justification for the lobster emoji’s addition to the roster.
A Unicode voting member is quoted as saying: ‘The lobster emoji’s representation is vital for people who: eat seafood, work in the fishing industry, or live in coastal regions.’
Cue major eye-rolling.
‘Surely we deserve the same rights as crustaceans?’
According to the campaign, the trans flag is one of the most requested emojis. So why has it not been included?
‘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,’ the campaign argues.
‘Surely we deserve the same rights you have afforded crustaceans?’
Claws Out are asking people to sign their petition to get the trans flag added, as well as encouraging social media users to post pictures of lobsters with the hashtag #ClawsOutForTrans.
The campaign amusingly notes that lobsters just so happen to be gynandromorphs – animals possessing both male and female characteristics. So until trans people get their flag, the lobster is now ‘the unofficial, official trans symbol’.
Charlie Craggs gives people ‘a manicure and new perspective’
Charlie Craggs is the founder of Nail It, the company launching the campaign. As part of her mission to ‘nail’ transphobia, Craggs travels across the UK with her pop-up nail salon.
‘I sit down with people and answer any questions they have. They go away with a manicure and new perspective,’ she says.
‘Go back a few short years and there was very little positive dialogue around trans issues. Prejudice comes from misunderstanding, and most of the discussion in the media at that point was very exploitative and highly sensationalised.
‘Talking is something I’m good at so I wanted to start a conversation, and humanise trans issues.’
Check out the Claws Out campaign video below: