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A supposed new anti-LGBTQ emoji caused an uproar on social media. But the symbol doesn’t actually exist as an official emoji.
The emoji shows the “no” symbol, also known as the prohibition sign, over the LGBTQ flag. People shared screengrabs of the emoji on Twitter.
WHY IS THERE AN ANTI GAY FLAG EMOJI... IM SCREAMING 🏳️🌈⃠ 🏳️🌈⃠ 🏳️🌈⃠ ??? pic.twitter.com/PikdyxJAvn— Hyacinth Bucket In Charge (@rossleonardy) February 19, 2019
why is there an anti lgbt emoji can ANYONE explain?— ً (@dykealectics) February 19, 2019
*New anti gay emoji exists*— Triggerology (@Triggerologyy) February 19, 2019
Straight ppl: pic.twitter.com/Sq8ANUgn6O
Everyone can breathe at least a little sigh of relief because the “anti-LGTBQ” image isn’t an official emoji. Emojipedia, the world’s emoji dictionary, explained on Twitter that it was user-created.
If you have seen tweets like this and assume this is an official emoji; it’s merely combining two existing characters. Nothing new, and can be done with any emoji pic.twitter.com/S3tu7Wm4qD— Emojipedia 📙 (@Emojipedia) February 19, 2019
The “no” symbol can be applied to any emoji on platforms that support it. Allowing a prohibition sign to be easily combined with other emojis makes sense for creating a lot of useful symbols, like no smoking, or no peanuts, or no kids.
The Unicode character ⃠ U+20E0 COMBINING ENCLOSING CIRCLE BACKSLASH is programmed to appear over the top of the previous character (on supported systems). E.g.: 🍫⃠ no chocolate, 👶⃠ no babies, or 👯⃠ no fun https://t.co/BGy54mJJoK pic.twitter.com/KvG6dJQsxO— Emojipedia 📙 (@Emojipedia) February 19, 2019
Some queer people are embracing the manufactured anti-LGBTQ emoji with jokes and irony, in typical internet fashion.
You got it all wrong peeps. 🏳️🌈⃠ doesn't mean anti pride. They just made an emoji for no homo. So now you can send nudes to your homies and add the no homo emoji and it not be gay— Nate (@NaDjinnCDXX) February 19, 2019
🏳️🌈⃠ = no homo
Twitter user @mioog, who goes by Mitchell, says he found the code in January and was shocked by it. Mitchell is gay and says he’s embraced the ironic humor, but worries about the homophobes who are using the symbol as well. “I’ve been embracing it, but it’s also dangerous for people to use it hatefully,” he said to Out.
Some people are also getting tired of the fake hate symbol, even when used ironically by their peers. While some people can interact with the symbol in a fun and ironic way, for others it represents something painful, regardless of who is using it.
okay twitter mute system please let me mute (insert anti-lgbt emoji) i've had enough— nikai (@ateezcore) February 19, 2019
the anti lgbt emoji spreading around twitter is not a fucking joke. it‘s not funny, even if you‘re using it "ironically". i will unfollow everyone who uses it. bye.— big boss (@primenin) February 19, 2019
If you’re tired of the anti-gay emoji, the good news is there are lots of even more hilarious anti-emoji combinations you can make. And if you see a homophobe using the anti-rainbow flag symbol, you can always respond with this:
Alex Dalbey is a writer and zinester currently living in Saint Paul, Minnesota. They have written for The Daily Dot, Kill Screen, The Lingerie Addict, and Bullet Points.