Pride Month is in full swing, and what better way to celebrate this important time than with everyone's favorite little smartphone pictograms? We've already talked about lots of different ways to celebrate this month, but it's worth thinking about all the ways to celebrate Pride with emoji. In case you hadn't realized, the only emoji currently available that represent a portion of the LGBTQ community are the two ladies holding hands, the two men holding hands, and a couple of other girl-on-girl, boy-on-boy people. It's an improvement over what we had a few years ago, but we're still lacking in stronger LGBTQ representation — including the conspicuous absence of a rainbow flag emoji.
But you know what they say: Limitations breed creativity, so at least the missing rainbow flag gives us the opportunity to up our emoji game ourselves. Whether you want to represent the colors of the rainbow, bring attention to LGBTQ activism and speech, or address certain current events issues, you can find an emoji configuration to aid your commentary if you look hard enough — and if you think outside the box a little.
So without further ado, let's look at some emoji combinations that will be relevant for all or any of your Pride festivities:
1. Red, Yellow, Green, Blue, and Purple Hearts
You're probably used to sending one or two of your favorite colored hearts at the same time, but consider making a heart rainbow to show some vibrant LGBTQ love during Pride <onth. The rainbow might be missing orange, but the feeling is totally still there. (And if the missing orange really bugs you, you can accomplish something similar by using primarily fruit emoji: Type apple, orange, lemon, pear, blue heart, whale, and grape or eggplant.)
2. Rainbow Emoji and Your Country's Flag
Because the Unicode Consortium has yet to grace us with a rainbow flag, improvise a rainbow flag with the rainbow emoji in the weather category and your own country's flag. Show some love for the LGBTQ community and some love for where you live at the same time!
3. Fist Bump in One Or Multiple Skin Colors
Show your solidarity for LGBTQ people this Pride with the fist-bump emoji; you can add a rainbow flag or combine your fist bump with the differently colored hearts to be even more explicit in your message or intent.
4. Wedding Ring and Artist's Palette
Know someone getting gay married? Want to propose to the LGBTQ love of your life? Attending a same-sex wedding during Pride? If you're looking for an alternative way to represent the rainbow besides hearts and the rainbow emoji, try pairing the wedding ring emoji with the artists palette. It's cute, subtle, and gives a whole new meaning to this totally underused option.
5. Speaking Head and Writing Hand
Pride is all about partying and celebration, but it's also about speaking out on issues that matter. Whether you want to write to local politicians, sign petitions, give or attend a speech, or use your voice in a different way to highlight important issues, these emoji are for you. They might look a little dull as compared to all the rainbows in the previous ones, but the motivation behind them certainly is anything but dull.
6. No Entry Sign and Male/Female Gender Symbols
With all the hateful, anti-trans bathroom discussion taking over our media outlets, these simple emojis are a way of resisting the idea that bathrooms need to be gendered. This combination of emoijs can also double as a way to resist the gender binary, expressing solidarity with people who don't identify as male or female, or with men and women who don't perform the "pink" and "blue" skirt/pants gender roles we've been taught.
7. Rainbows and Religious Symbols
At Boston Pride this year, I was inspired to see so many religious organizations marching in solidarity with and showing acceptance and love for all the LGBTQ members of their communities and the world. While there is no doubt that religion can also be harmful at times for LGBTQ people, there are countless churches, synagogues, and mosques that are opening their arms to the LGBTQ members of their communities, and those numbers are growing more and more each year. This is the perfect emoji set if you're religious, accepting, and supportive of those who may otherwise feel ostracized or even guilty for being a queer Muslim, or gay Christian.
Images: Maya M/Bustle (7)