Where does come from?
Two men holding hands emoji debuted under Unicode 6.0 in 2010. In 2015, the Unicode Consortium started offering skin-tone modifiers, allowing users to express their love with two men holding hands emoji in all colors of the rainbow.
Unless you are using skin-tone modifiers, two men holding hands emoji comes in default emoji-person yellow. Across platforms, the two men are usually wearing slacks and short-sleeved shirts, sometimes matching and sometimes not. Hair color is typically blonde or brown and facial expressions vary. Uniting them all, though, are their hands that are happily clasped, as shown in the screenshot from Emojipedia below.
According to an analysis by Digiday in 2015, Americans use the two men holding hands emoji and other LGBTQ-based emoji 30% more than the rest of the world—which might make sense when you consider the US is home to the Homoji app, a keyboard with over 100+ specially-made emoji for LGBTQ texters and posters.
Who uses ?
Often, the two men holding hands represents lovebirds. Gay social-media users may show off photos of themselves or of adorable or hunky same-sex couples with the two men holding hands emoji.
— The Proud Gay 🏳️🌈 (@the_proud_gay) November 10, 2015
Social-media users will also use two men holding hands emoji, along with other various LGBTQ emoji such as the two women holding hands 👭 and rainbow flag 🏳️🌈, to celebrate LGBTQ pride. It can be used to rejoice in legislative wins, show off rainbow wear, or make a statement about how #loveislove.
— Tim Matley (@TimMatley) August 6, 2016
🌈Happy Pride! 🌈👬👭👫🕺🏾💃🏽👯♂️👯♀️❤️
— Jameela Jamil (@jameelajamil) July 7, 2018
Sometimes, two men holding hands emoji is used to represent male friendship. People may use it when posting a pic with their besties or to cheer on dudes who are twinning, enjoying a blossoming bromance, or celebrating a friendaversary.
The things I'd do to be back there with these fuds☀️👬👬👬 pic.twitter.com/HKc7T1kjcV
— Louis McCabe (@Louismccabe_) November 10, 2015
Meet Dave & Mike.
Touring all the Major League ballparks together since 2007. All they did was talk about stats and read the sports section of the newspaper for the whole flight. True baseball bros 4 life.
Find you a friendship like Dave & Mike. 👬 pic.twitter.com/cQ3AD53AiS
— rhêtorík (@djrhetorik) July 8, 2018
In some Asian countries, some male friends and brothers will hold hands to show affection. This may help explain why fans of the K-pop boy band BTS often use the two men holding hands emoji to show off their fave pix of them. That, or they just can’t handle the cuteness.
— 태 ♡ 국 (@veautaefulkook) July 8, 2018
— 카리스마 국뷔✨ (@charisma_kookv) July 9, 2018