Gender-neutral kids have been added to Apple’s new emoji range – and the usual people are fuming

The composite image shows Kellie-Jay Keen on the left and the new 17.4 family emojis on the right

Apple’s new iOS 17.4 update features a number of new emojis, one of them being a gender-neutral family, and it has the usual right-wing, gender critical pundits frothing with rage.

Yes, that’s right. Another day, another chance for people to get up in arms about something gender-related.

Apple’s update features four new gender-neutral family emojis that revise the previous family-related icons. 

The emojis take the form of simple white silhouettes on a grey background displaying two parents and a child, one parent and two children, one parent and one child, and two parents and two children.

The change has been made in line with Unicode’s Emoji Subcommittees’ recommendation from October 2022.

The Subcommittees’ report reads: “These new, gender-inclusive RGI additions for family emojis will enable any vendor to adopt the newly-designed glyphs to enable users to emit the new family emojis glyphs without making arbitrary and unintentional statements on gender identity.

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“These new emoji characters should be categorized as “symbols” on keyboards as opposed to their current category of “people”.”

Of the 118 new emojis, other new editions include a lime wedge, a brown mushroom, a fiery phoenix and six people emoji characters that now have direction-specifying variations. It seems that no one is, as yet, up in arms about the mushroom.

As with every updated LGBTQ+-related emoji release – previously a pregnant man and an interracial same-sex couple  – some users aren’t happy about it. 

Leader of the “Party of Women” Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull, and outspoken anti-transgender rights critic, is accusing Apple of pushing “the transgender ideology” in the new update. 

“I think Apple are part of the technocratic authoritarian push of transgender ideology. To what end, who knows,” Keen, who also goes by Posie Parker, told MailOnline

“There is a concerted attack on the family and I believe that is ultimately to have access to our children. If you break the family, mothers lose support. 

“I do really think there is a push for companies and the state to have that access.” She did not mention what she thought about the lime wedge or the phoenix.

Keen-Minshull’s rhetoric was singled out in HOPE not hate’s State of Hate 2023 report as a “leading voice in the anti-trans movement”.

The annual report, “the most comprehensive and analytical guide to the state of far-right extremism in Britain today”, cited the increasing spate of protests against Drag Queen Story Hour in the UK as part of “far-right agitation”. “(Keen-Minshull) has increasingly found support from, and an overlap in, views with the far right, which has also increasingly focused on trans people,” the report read. 

Other updates for iPhones and iPadOSs with the iOS 17.4 update include changes due to the EU’s Digital Markets Act, a law removing unfair advantages of tech giants.

Apple will now be required to let developers create their own version of the app store and offer apps for iPhone users.