Not to be confused with uranic.

An alternate uranian flag.

The original gay man flag by ask-pride-color-schemes.

The flag by Tumblr user "gayflagblog".

Uranian is a is a historical term for homosexual men. In its time, it was less frequently used to refer to "effeminate" men, and transfeminine individuals attracted to men. Lesbians and GNC AFAB individuals have been classified as urningin.[1]

In the 21st century, it has made a resurgence as a term for gay men and men-aligned indi and is now one of multiple terms used to describe gay men such as vincian and turian.

It is generally used as a masculine equivalent of lesbian. The term is also sometimes used by neutral-aligned, abinary, or unaligned non-binary individuals who are attracted to men, men-aligned individuals, masculine-aligned individuals, and other non-binary members of the community who self-identify as uranians.


The term urning, its etymological predecessor, was first used by German sexologist and activist Karl Heinrich Ulrichs in a series of five booklets collected under the title Forschungen über das Rätsel der mannmännlichen Liebe or The Riddle of Man–Manly Love.[2] Ulrichs developed his terminology before the first public use of the term homosexual. Later, another sexologist named Magnus Hirschfeld would use Ulrichs work to create the terms urning, a "male-bodied person with a female psyche" who is attracted to men, and urningin (or uranierin, urnin, and urnigin), a "female-bodied person with a male psyche" who is attracted to women.[3]

John Addington Symonds was the first to use the term "uranian" in the English language,[4] and its etymology through Ulrichs is credited to him. However, it has been argued that this usage of the word is unrelated to Ulrichs' coinage and was independently thought of among English speakers familiar with Plato's Symposium.

The term would define a movement of primarily gay male artists and philosophers in the English-speaking world interested in the study of classics and who dabbled in pederastic poetry from the 1870s to the 1930s, including Oscar Wilde. The writings of this group are now known as Uranian poetry.[5]

The use of "uranian" to apply to women, trans women, and feminine men did not catch on in the English language, and by the 1900s, uranian was associated exclusively with gay men.[6]


Queer activst Valentin Belyaev proposed a uranian flag on or before mid-2010s.[7][8] The flag is an adjusted version of an alternate gay men's flag, the mirrored blue stripes representing male homosexuality and inter-male love and use of blue the heavenly depiction of uranian love by writers of the movement.[9][10]

An alternate uranian flag was created by Tumblr user beyond-mogai-pride-flags on February 19, 2021.[11]

A gay man flag was made by Mod Hermy of the @ask-pride-color-schemes Tumblr blog in 2017.[12][13] It was based on the lipstick lesbian flag, which in turn was plagiarized from a satirical cougar pride flag. This design has been criticized for its stereotypical use of blue to represent gay men in terms of masculinity.[14]

Later in 2019, the Tumblr Blog gayflagblog proposed a flag based off of the prior version that addressed the issues with the old one. This flag is most commonly sighted as the vincian flag.


The word refers to a dialogue in Plato's Symposium on male eros or love. In the dialogue, Pausanias distinguishes between two types of love, symbolized by two different accounts of the birth of Aphrodite, the goddess of love:

  • Heavenly birth, born of Uranus or the heavens, a birth in which "the female has no part." Uranian Aphrodite is associated with a noble love for male youths and is the source of Karl Heinrich Ulrichs's term urning (or Symonds' uranian).
  • Common birth, as the daughter of Zeus and Dione. Dionic Aphrodite is associated with a common love which "is apt to be of women as well as of youths, and is of the body rather than of the soul." After Dione, Ulrichs gave the name dioning to men who are sexually attracted to women.

Ulrichs interpreted Uranian love as leaving urnings with a "feminine soul."[15]