I was out to dinner last night with a group of friends, with a large spectrum of sexual orientations: straight, gay, lesbian, and flexible. We got to talking about how it was often hard for women, trans people, or bisexuals in a relationship to be taken seriously, or to even be seen as “gay” by others. More often than not, most bars and clubs for the queer community cater to gay men with the off ladies night. Moreover, unless women look and or dress a certain way (like Ellen) they are often not considered “Gay Enough.” They become invisible and overlooked and even denied their relationship status by many people. How does this relate to emoji?
As we move into using abstracted modes of communication such as texts, tweets, and Emoji, we should examine, meditate upon and explore the impact this communication upon our ability to connect with each other. By highlighting Emoji as creative medium we start to unpack the millions of Emoji texts and messages sent every day, and what might be emerging as a meaning-making tool beyond the chat log. The World Translation Foundation explores Emoji as an emergent visual language. WTF believes that words often get in the way of expressing how we feel. WTF is one part web project, one part tongue and cheek art movement, and two parts serious scholarship. Words can be cumbersome and misleading, and worst of all, they change from country to country. WTF addresses these issues through the form of Emoji art focused website as well as a database driven, crowd-sourced English to Emoji dictionary.