Omnisexual (often shortened to Omni) is an orientation defined as the sexual attraction to all genders, though gender still plays a role in the attraction. Some people who identify as omnisexual may have a preference to which gender they feel most attracted to. For others they may be equally attracted to all genders, but they may might feel the act of being attracted to one gender feels different than the act of being attracted to another gender. They might also find certain traits only attractive in certain genders.
The romantic equivalent is omniromantic.
Omnisexuality vs. Pansexuality
Lots of people in the LGBT+ community are uneducated on the many forms of non-monosexuality (attraction to more than one gender) and are very confused when they see the terms pansexual and omnisexual side-by-side,however there is a distinction between them.
For pansexual people, gender does not play a role in the attraction and they are attracted to people no matter their gender; they don't recognize it.
Omnisexual people are also attracted to all genders, much like pansexuals, but they are not gender-blind. Omnisexuals do recognize the gender of the person they are attracted to, and for some, it is a major factor in attraction. For some, it isn't, but they are still not gender-blind if they call themselves omnisexual.
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, heterosexualor other orientations.
The term spread even further in the early 1990's 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 2010's, 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 2000's. The knowledge of this term was boosted even further when several celebrities, such as Janelle Monaeand 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.
Some fictional characters, such as Jack Harkness from Doctor Who, the Marvel character Deadpool, and Kevin Crawford from Paradise P.D. have has been canonically confirmed as omnisexual.
The prefix omni- comes from the Latin word omnis, meaning 'all'. Pan-, which the term pansexual comes from, also means ’all’, and is a Greek prefix.