Omnisexuality (often shortened to omni) is a multisexual orientation defined as the sexual, romantic or otherwise alterous attraction to all genders, however, gender usually still plays a role in one's attraction. Some omnisexuals have a gender preference and some do not.
The romantic equivalent is omniromantic.
The prefix omni- comes from the Latin word omnis, meaning "all".
Pan-, which the term pansexual comes from, also means "all" but is of ancient Greek origin.
Omnisexuality Compared to Other Multisexual Identities
Omnisexuality is often compared to pansexuality as they both describe an attraction to all genders, however they can also be distinguished from one another, often being used to indicate a specific and personal experience of one's attraction to all genders.
The most commonly cited difference is that omnisexuals factor gender into their attraction to a individual, whereas pansexuals often do not feel any internal difference between genders, or that any difference felt between genders is irrelevant, it does not factor into their attraction. This is what is meant when pansexuals are referred to as “gender blind”.
Omnisexuals may also feel a difference in attraction between genders. This can manifest in having a preference for certain gender(s). It can also feel that attraction to a certain gender feels different to the attraction to another. (for example: they may feel like the act of being attracted to a non-binary man feels different then being attracted to a non-binary woman). Omnisexuals may be attracted to entirely different traits for different genders, or may find certain traits more attractive in some genders than in others. Some individuals may choose to identify with both terms simultaneously, while others may feel that one describes them more accurately than the other. As such the distinction between pansexual and omnisexual often comes down to individual preference.
Omnisexuality is also often compared to bisexuality. Some bisexuals are attracted to all genders, however not all bisexuals are.
Some individuals may identify as both bisexual and omnisexual, while others may prefer one term over the other. The choice to use one identity over the other usually comes down to individual preference. For instance: some may prefer to identify as omnisexual (in addition to or instead of bisexual) if they feel it provides a more accurate representation of their orientation, while others may prefer to use a broader term such as bisexual to describe themselves.
History and Literature
The word omnisexuality appears as early at the 1959 beat poet Lawrence Lipton's The Holy Barbarians, but the first time it was described in the context of the current definition was in a 1984 text titled simply Sexual Choices: An Introduction to Human Sexuality. This text described omnisexuality as "a state of attraction to all sexes", stating that some researchers believe that every individual is born omnisexual before developing their sexual attraction into the labels of homosexual, heterosexual, or other orientations.
The term spread even further in the early 1990s as M. Jimmie Killingsworth undertook an analysis of the poet Walt Whitman. In Killingsworth's study, he found that Whitman had a general omnisexual character throughout his work The Leaves of Grass. In the 2010s, The Atlantic noted that his poetry expresses sexuality towards all genders, sometimes even the sea or the Earth.
Omnisexual was a common message board term in the 2000s. The knowledge of this term was boosted even further when several celebrities, such as Janelle Monáe and Brendon Urie, came out as pansexual. The media made several non-monosexual terms known in the mainstream as that took place. Many popular articles discussed omnisexuality alongside these celebrities' pansexuality.
Omnisexuality in the Media
Fictional characters Jack Harkness from Doctor Who/Torchwood, Elim Garak from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and Kevin Crawford from Paradise P.D. have been canonically confirmed as omnisexual. Omnisexuality is also referenced in Big Mouth, and Deadpool from Marvel Comics has a fluid sexuality due to fluctuating brain cells.
The omnisexual flag was designed by Pastelmemer on or before July 4, 2015. Although the meaning of the colors is unconfirmed a commonly understood meaning is as follows: The light pink and light blue represents the gender spectrum. Pink represents attraction to femininity and women. Blue color represents attraction to masculinity and men. The deep purple (sometimes depicted as black) represents attraction to individuals whose gender identity falls outside of the named categories.
An alternate flag was made by FANDOM user TheNelsonSystem on July 22, 2021. It was made by an alter with tritanopia colour blindness as an exact/near-exact version of how they see the omnisexual flag.
Another alternate flag was created by Cryptocrew at Hayden000's request on January 16, 2021, and was first published on a post one day later. In Cryptocrew's flag dark blue represents men, mid-blue represents masculine genders, light blue represents non-masculine genders that have masculine presentation (such as azurgirls), dark green represents the agender/genderless spectrum, yellowish green represents demigenders, and yellow represents non-demigenders and non-genderless individuals with neutral presentation (such as a pewt man), red represents women, pale red represents feminine genders, reddish-pink represents non-feminine genders that have feminine presentation (such as rosboys), black represents anonbinary genders, purple represents androgynous genders, grey represents non-outherine and non-androgynous genders that present androgynously or in an amaranthian manner (such as a linproche agender individual), white represents fluid genders/multigenders and individuals with fluid or multiple presentations, while the yellow design represents attraction and community, and a burst of love/attraction.