Text the rainbow: Gaymojis have arrived!
There have been some momentous moments throughout gay history:
The legalization of gay marriage in Canada.
The repeal of don't ask don't tell in the American military.
The confirmation of Ricky Martin's homosexuality.
Today, we reach a new milestone. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you GayMojis!
The exact definition of an emoji is : "a small digital image or icon used to express an idea, emotion, etc., in electronic communication."
These cute little icons are used incessantly in our increasingly text based communications, especially among young people who often possess the ability to communicate exclusively using them. It's like some kind of bastardized version of hieroglyphs that would make Cleopatra roll in her Sarcophagus. Just ask Kim Kardashian how pervasive emojis are.
Her $1.99 Kimoji app was reportedly downloaded around 9000 times per millisecond on the day of its release in 2015. That ends up being about $1 000 000 per minute. That makes me want to:
Now gay men are getting in on the action, courtesy of guys behind Grindr.
In case you aren't familiar, Grindr is a location based dating app exclusively for gay men. Think Tindr but with the sexualization and hookups amped up a few notches. Like many great inventions, GayMoji's came from necessity. In an interview with The New York Times, the company's founder Joel Simkhai says it all started with a little red dress:
If I wanted to say something about going dancing, I would always have to use the red-dress dancing woman. I thought, 'Why isn't there a guy dancing?' It was weird to me that I always had to send that woman in the red dress.
Well, now he can use this twerking bikini-clad gentleman with a delightful tip of the hat to his red-dressed predecessor.
And there's a stunning array of eggplants to better represent the real world diversity of… ahem… eggplants...
From there... it can get confusing especially for straight people or gay men over 25 - a category I fall into. So, to help us all out, I've prepared a brief glossary of what I can only assume are the intended meanings behind these new members of the emoji family.
Translation: Hey, I'd love to grab a smoothie and relax with you.
Translation: Would you like to play some winter basketball with me?
Translation: Can you recommend a behaviourist for my pet monkey?
Translation: I think I ate too many Skittles.
Translation: Feel like Swiss Chalet tonight?
Translation: Hide and Go Seek anyone?
Translation: I honestly have no idea.
How clever! But, of course, this is modern social media and with so many easily accessible opinions there is bound to be some controversy. In this case many GayMoji users are upset about the fact that the vast majority of hands, feet, pageant queens and workout buddies are white.
While there is certainly diversity to be found (see eggplants above) it does not extend across ALL of the subcategories. Not to mention this "Bye Felicia" emoji - a reference undeniably rooted in black culture being represented by a skinny white girl.
Before you start applauding the seemingly altruistic act of bringing GayMojis into the world it's worth noting that while the app can be downloaded for free - access to the full lineup of these fabulous tiny pics will cost you a staggering $5.49.