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What does omnisexual mean and how does an omnisexual flag look?

Robyn Exton

May 02, 2023

What does omnisexual mean and how does an omnisexual flag look?
  • Thanks to social progress, activists, and members of our community — language to describe the vastness of gender and sexuality keeps expanding. One term popping up more and more  is “omnisexual.” 

    Simply put, being omni means that that big heart of yours likes all genders, sure, you might have a preference, but in the end there are no exclusions. Whether you fit the description, know someone who is omnisexual, or is just here to educate yourself — welcome! 

    So, if you’re ready, let’s break down its definition, history, and of course, this group’s gorgeous flag so you can rock it loud and proud!

    Source: Health

    Omnisexual vs. pansexual: how are they different?

    As members and allies of the LGBTQIA+ community, we know that people can be attracted to more than just one gender. We have our bisexual peers who are attracted to more than one gender, but not necessarily all of them.

    Then, we have pansexual people who feel attraction regardless of gender, and lastly, we have omni, aka omnisexual folks.

    Even though some individuals use pansexual and omnisexual interchangeably, there is a significant difference: the latter feel attraction to all genders. So being pan means gender is not relevant when you feel attracted to someone, and being omni means that if you’ve got your eye on someone, their gender is an automatic yes on the list. 

    Both might sound similar, but if you want to choose a label, it’s important to feel right for you and to respect others’ identities.

    Fun fact!  Etymologically omnisexual and pansexual are pretty similar, as both prefixes, omni- and pan-, mean “all” in Latin and Greek, respectively.

    Am I omnisexual?

    Well, that’s a very personal question that requires a very personal answer!

    After all, we use these labels to put a name on what we feel and who we are. So if you read the definition, understand it, and there’s a feeling in your gut that enthusiastically tells you “heck yeah, I’m omni!” then you might as well be.

    The omnisexual timeline

    Let’s dive into a historical crash course for this word!

    • Picture this: it’s 1959, and beat poet Lawrence Lipton writes about omnisexuality in his book The Holy Barbarians. That’s right, honey, the term has existed since the 1950s!
    • By the 1970s, the forms “omnisexual” and “omnisex” are being recorded, and by 1984 researchers had a theory that everyone is born omnisexual before they develop their sexual orientation. Interesting, right?
    • In the early 1990s, the term omnisexual continued to spread, popping up in an analysis of poet Walt Whitman, who was described as omnisexual, with his poetry openly expressing attraction to all genders.
    • The rise of the internet in the 21st century brought greater visibility to omnisexuality, and by the early 2000s, the term was commonly used on message boards and social media.
    • And by the 2010s, we saw a greater understanding and acceptance of nontraditional, non-binary identities, leading to even more visibility and acceptance of omnisexuality. Love knows no bounds, baby!

    Ready to wave the omnisexual flag?

    Having a flag representing your sexual identity feels powerful because it gives you a sense of belonging. 

    Everyone who wears and owns it is someone who can relate to you. Even if you have nothing in common in personality, you know you can rely on each other for support within one group, sharing experiences, educating each other, and, of course, wearing your colors with pride.

    As for the omnisexual flag, it was designed by Tumblr user @pastelememer in 2015. That means that for decades there wasn’t a symbol to represent this wonderful identity. Let that sink in.

     Now for the gradient masterpiece, this is what the stunning colors represent:

    • Light pink and light blue for the gender spectrum. 
    • Pink for attraction to femininity and women. 
    • Blue for attraction to masculinity and men. 
    • Dark purple for attraction to people whose gender falls outside the above categories. 

    Our favorite omnisexual characters and personalities

    Captain Jack Harness

    A perfect example of an omnisexual character is Captain Jack Harness from the Doctor Who reboot (2005 – ongoing) and its spin-off Torchwood (2006 – 2011). He is described as omnisexual because, in a realm where people from all over the universe coexist, he likes feels an attraction to all genders from every planet.

    Source: Doctor Who/BBC


    It is also worth mentioning that our favorite Marvel anti-hero, the merc with a mouth: Deadpool, has been confirmed both omnisexual and pansexual, even if the latter is more often used in conversations about the character.

    Elim Garak

    This fan-favorite character from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is not only canonically omnisexual but he was planned to be since the actor who portrayed him, Andrew J. Robinson, originated the role. He wasn’t even going to be a regular character! But Robinson just knew from the first episode that his sexuality was an important part of who he was.

    James Dean

    As someone famous during the 1940s and 1950s, showcasing any form of queerness publicly was unfortunately not an option, but with such an early parting and iconic legacy, both historians and tabloids placed his private life in the spotlight, interviewing his alleged past lovers and friends. People who were close to him specifically used the word “omnisexual” to describe him. Even if he never got the chance to come out, it’s always nice to remember queer people were always there, trailblazing the privileges we’ve gotten so far.  

    Since the everyday use of the term is relatively recent, and there are not many celebrities that publicly use it to describe their sexuality. Understandable considering that they’re always in the public eye, and our gender and sexuality are literally only our own business and nobody else’s. 

    Omnisexual Pride & Awareness

    Did you know omni folks not only have one, but two days in their honor? That’s right! There is Omnisexual Awareness Day on March 21st and Omnisexual and Omniromantic Pride and Visibility Day on June 6th. So mark your calendars, organize events, and prepare a great Instagram post with your flag colors if you want to celebrate!

    Even if it has its myths and misconceptions, such as it being just a phase or even an excuse to hook up with everyone in your way the omnisexual community is a strong one. People might try to use it as an umbrella term when it falls under the multisexual spectrum, just like bisexuality, pansexuality, polysexuality, and abrosexuality, among others.

    Being part of a multisexual identity, people might follow the same old pattern, telling folks, “you can’t decide,” or “you’re just confused.” But that is precisely the kind of people you don’t want in your life, we don’t need that negativity, honey.

    Identifying as omnisexual is something beautiful. I mean, being able to say that you love everyone, even if it’s not in a literal sense, is one of the most righteous acts of pride I can think of. So go on and date who you want to, use this label proudly, and tell the world how happy you are to wear the omnisexual flag!

    Robyn Exton

    Robyn is the CEO & Founder of HER. Find her on Twitter.

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