This is one of the sexualities that gets somewhat pushed by the wayside because of its more common counterparts. Omnisexuality is often paired with pansexuality despite its differences. Have a gander at the information compiled below to learn more about this lesser-known orientation.
First off, according to Dictionary.com, omnisexuality “refers to someone who is romantically, emotionally, or sexually attracted to persons of all genders and orientations,” which is where it can get mixed up with pansexuality, or “expressing sexuality in all its forms, or involving sexual activity with people of any gender or with people regardless of their gender.”
The prefix omni- comes from the Latin word omnis, meaning “all,” according to Wiktionary. Pan-, which the term pansexual comes from, also means “all” but is of ancient Greek origin.
One key difference between omnisexuality and pansexuality, however, can be noted with its regard for gender orientation and expression. Pansexuality is typically associated with a disregard for such, while omnisexuality uses such gender identity as a factor in their attraction to another individual.
The LGBT+ Wiki further identifies omnisexuality as a “bi/multisexual identity … having a sexual attraction to all genders and sexes, with gender and/or sex as a factor in one’s attraction. … While the similarities between other bi/multisexual labels overlap with one another, the difference matters to some individuals as it is said to help explain their experience with attraction.”
Cosmopolitan dug deeper into what it means to be omnisexual, and it further describes it as having different means of attraction to different genders.
“This basically means your attraction toward a woman could feel very different than your attraction toward a man, another woman or a nonbinary person,” the article says. “Because people are less aware of this term, representation is less present in our mainstream culture. Or more likely, there isn’t enough representation in our mainstream culture, and as a result, awareness surrounding the term remains low.”
The term “omnisexual” was first coined in 1959 by beat poet Lawrence Lipton in his work “The Holy Barbarians.” However, it wasn’t clearly defined until 1984 in the text “Sexual Choices: An Introduction to Human Sexuality,” according to the LGBT+ Wiki.
And, as new sexualities do amid the age of rising technology, it began to appear more commonly on message boards in the early 2000s. The term became more well known when celebrities Janelle Monáe and Brendon Urie (both in 2018) came out as panseuxal. The LGBTQ+ Wiki also notes “some fictional characters such as Jack Harkness from Doctor Who and Kevin Crawford from Paradise P.D. have been canonically confirmed as omnisexual.”
The omnisexual flag was created by Pastelmemer in 2015, though it is not confirmed. LGBTQ+ Wiki states that the shades of pink represent attraction to femininity and women; the shades of blue represent attraction to masculinity and men; and deep purple — sometimes seen as black — represents attraction to people whose gender identity falls outside of the named categories.