New Emoji’s Coming This Year, Includes Grave Stones and Transgender Symbols

117 new Emojis are being added to the official emoji list, with the update set for release sometime later in 2020. They join the 3,000-plus already available. Notable additions include people hugging, “Italian hand gesture,” bubble tea, grave stones and a plunger.

There is also a greater focus on gender-inclusivity, as well as adding gender-neutral emojis. You can now have a woman in a suit or a man in a wedding dress, as well as the Transgender flag and the Transgender symbol. You still have the option for using yellow skin, or one of the five other skin tones for all emojis that feature a human face or appendage.

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Non-human additions make up most of the 117 new emojis, however. Animals such as a polar bear, a seal, a beaver, a bison, and others join insects like beetles, cockroaches and flies. New food emojis include a green bell pepper, a fondue machine, tamales, blueberries and flatbread. Random items like a roller skate, a magic wand, a coin, a gravestone and a piñata also made the cut.

As mentioned earlier, there are already more than three-thousand emojis in the official database. Finding the emoji you need or want is already hard enough, requiring us to scroll through the sea of pages and categories. The 117 new additions are only going to clutter these pages more. Most people have their routine 10-20 Emojis that they use on a regular basis, with the thousands of others only being called into action when necessary. 

On the other hand, the over-inflated catalog is good in that there is an emoji for basically any situation. If you’re at a Zoo and see a cute seal, you can’t currently express that through an emoji until this new batch which includes a seal is added later this year. There is also a search bar making it easier to shift through the dense set, making it easier to find exactly what you’re looking for. The continued support of gender-inclusive emojis is very important to some, and makes emojis even more diverse. These types of emojis have been requested for quite some time now.

There are positives and negatives to the new Emojis, with the trade off of having even more emojis but also a more cluttered selection screen. Emojis are still widely used, but don’t seem to be as popular as a few years prior when The Emoji Movie was released and Walmart was selling emoji merchandise like hotcakes. They might be out of the mainstream at the moment, but are still in wide use – especially within the younger generation. Perhaps one of the new 117 catches on and becomes the new “poomoji.”

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2020-01-30 02:01:31

Dallin Duffy

RuPaul Responds To Transgender Drag Queen Controversy In AJ & The Queen

RuPaul Charles, the public figure behind the hit TV series RuPaul’s Drag Race, responds to his transgender drag queen controversy in AJ and the Queen, his Netflix series. No stranger to such scandals, the public figure and gay-rights icon found himself the target of backlash from the LGBTQ+ community in March 2018 following the publication of a profile on him published by the Guardian. The subsequent outcry prompted an apologetic response from RuPaul over social media, admitting he was in the wrong. He has responded once again to the scandal: this time, in season 1 of AJ and the Queen.

RuPaul has been accused of transphobic behavior in the past, most obviously his “she-mail” pun he used in seasons 1-6 of RuPaul’s Drag Race. The reason for the 2018 controversy? RuPaul’s comments on whether or not a transgender woman can be labeled a drag queen. Although his comments were clearly carefully-chosen, his statements were deemed transphobic by many, especially because he stated he (probably) would not let a post-op transgender queen compete on the show.

Related: What To Expect From AJ & The Queen Season 2

AJ and the Queen acknowledges the scandal in season 1, episode 2, “Pittsburg.” The Netflix Original series is a comedy-drama, and season 1 comprises 10 episodes. In the trailer and the premiere of the series, AJ is presumed to be a boy; however, at the end of the first episode, RuPaul’s character Robert discovered that AJ is actually female. In the second episode, Robert repeatedly tried to force a conversation with AJ about her dressing in “little boy drag,” wanting her clarify how she identifies. The conversations did not go over well, and Robert eventually realized he was wrong for making assumptions.

Robert’s comments to AJ parallels RuPaul’s real-life apology over Twitter. Throughout the episode, Robert made numerous affirming statements about gender identity and being transgender; however, the problem is that he wrongly assumed that because AJ says she “[doesn’t] want to be a girl,” she must therefore be a transgender boy. She isn’t. After she corrects him, Robert admited his error, saying “I made my whole life about not letting people put me in a box, and I go and put you into one.” This echoes his Twitter apology, in which he states “The trans community are heroes of our shared LGBTQ movement. You are my teachers.”

RuPaul has featured trans contestants before on his series RuPaul’s Drag Race; however, these women were all pre-op, and in many cases, did not disclose their gender identity until part-way through their season or after filming. Former Drag Race queens like Gia Gunn, Jiggly Caliente, and Stacy Layne Matthews came out as transgender after filming their season. Peppermint, who competed in season 4, is a notable exception because she was openly transgender throughout her season. In the Guardian profile, RuPaul references Peppermint, but clarifies that she was accepted onto the show because she “hadn’t really transitioned [yet].” For many trans allies, this statement was unacceptable.

In both the AJ and the Queen episode and the Twitter apology, RuPaul makes a powerful statement affirming the right of an individual to choose their own identity. By telling trans queens that they are somehow cheating if they are post-op, RuPaul was dictating who is allowed to identify as what.  His character’s response to AJ in AJ and the Queen is a sly wink to the knowing audience that RuPaul has learned his lesson: he won’t be putting drag queens in a box any longer.

Next: AJ & The Queen Cast, Character, & Cameo Guide 

2020-01-10 02:01:39

Sarah Bea Milner

Reality TV’s First Transgender Star Miriam Rivera Dies

Reality TV’s first transgender star, Miriam Rivera, has died. She rose to fame during the early 2000s, starring in two reality shows.

Rivera was best known for her role on a British reality television show, There’s Something About Miriam, which aired back in 2004 on Sky 1, as well as her guest appearance on Big Brother Australia’s fourth season.  There’s Something About Miriam’s production company, Endemol, was sued by contestants for conspiracy to commit sexual assault, defamation, and for having suffered from psychological injury. The contestants were upset that Rivera had waited to the final episode to share with them that she was transgender. Tom Rooke, who was the winner, accepted the $10,000 prize money and vacation, but he later returned the winnings and joined the other cast members in their lawsuit. The production company settled for an unknown amount, but it was figured to be around $500,000 each.

Related: Big Brother Houseguest Slams Show for Unfair Advantages

Rivera was the world’s first openly transgender reality television star. She died in Mexico at only 38 years old on February 5, and her death had been listed due to mysterious circumstances. Daily Mail reported that even though Rivera had died months ago, the information surrounding her death only appeared on Friday.

Rivera’s husband, Daniel Cuervo was told that the police found Rivera’s body in their apartment after she allegedly hanged herself. Cuervo disputes the police report saying he suspected foul play. On the day of her death, her husband said Rivera called from Mexico saying she had been throwing up blood and went to the hospital to seek out medical attention. After her death, Cuervo told authorities that when he was planning Rivera’s funeral, he was contacted by an unknown male and told not to come back to Mexico or he would be killed, too. The Mexican police refused to fly her body to New York City and before Cuervo could see his wife’s body; she had already been cremated, leaving no chance for an autopsy.

Most recently, Rivera was injured in New York while trying to escape an intruder in 2007. Rivera was also a spokesperson for the New York ballroom scene’s legendary House of Xtravaganza with its members being recognized for their influence in the areas of dance, visual arts, and community activism.  Rivera will be remembered for her trailblazing work and brave battle to be acknowledged in the transgender community, helping the transgender youth to be more comfortable in their skin.

Next: Big Brother’s Isabella Wang Rejects Racist Claims Against Houseguests

Source: Variety

2019-08-10 07:08:20

Jennifer O'Brien

Big Brother: Audrey Middleton Says CBS Exploited Her Being Transgender

Audrey Middleton, former contestant on Big Brother, went to Twitter to call out CBS for telling her she should come out as transgender on the show. Middleton was a houseguest on Big Brother during season 17, which aired in 2015.

During her time on Big Brother, Middleton would become the first transgender contestant on the show. That was also the same season that a pair of twins, Liz and Julia Nolan, competed as one. While Audrey did become a fan favorite during her season, she did not last long on the show. She made it 36 days in the Big Brother house and was the fourth person evicted that season.

Related: Big Brother’s Elissa Slater Explains Why She Initially Didn’t Want to Go on the Show

These new claims from Middleton come from her Twitter account, as she talked about her past casting and appearance on Big Brother. In the tweets, Middleton claimed that CBS doesn’t care about representation on the show and that CBS “appeals to the social climate, at all cost.” Audrey claims that CBS thought her coming out as transgender would bring positive representation to the show. At the time, Caitlyn Jenner had just come out as transgender and was getting a positive reception, and CBS wanted to capitalize on that. Middleton stated CBS producers were “worried about perception” and asked her to come out as the first transgender houseguest. Check out her tweets below:

This conversation and the tweets from Middleton were sparked by complaints about the current season’s houseguests. Season 21 has not gotten off to the best start, as Jackson Michie and Jack Matthews are giving the season a bad reputation. Fans of the show have been outraged on social media, as they claim the duo have used the N-word on the live feeds, which CBS is denying happened. Middleton addressed this issue, as she claims that CBS casts problematic houseguests. She said, “To be completely blunt, in my experience and opinion, like most systems, Big Brother U.S. is a completely corrupt operation whose agenda is solely to make money.” She even took digs at host Julie Chen and producers, as she added, “Hence, the lack of authenticity from the host, the poorly planned twist, and routine cast with bigoted views.”

When it comes to Big Brother, fans of the show are a very passionate group. They will not let any of these details die down, as they will want answers, and Audrey has now added fuel to the fire. Producers of the show keep bringing in houseguests that are going to draw the line with controversial topics, and since it keeps the show relevant and in the news, fans likely shouldn’t expect any changes with casting in the future to stop these issues.

Next: Big Brother: The 5 Best Veto Plays (& 5 Of The Worst)

Big Brother airs Wednesdays and Thursdays at 9pm EST and Sundays at 8pm EST on CBS.

Source: Audrey Middleton

2019-07-25 07:07:54

Todd Betzold