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    Not to be confused with Uranic.

    Uranian is the term for a homosexual man, meaning a man, man-aligned and/or masculine-aligned person who is attracted to men, men-aligned and/or masculine-aligned people.

    The term is also sometimes used by neutral-aligned, abinary, or unaligned non-binary people who are attracted to men, men-aligned people, masculine aligned people, and other non-binary people who identify as uranians.

    It is sometimes more broadly defined as non-women attracted to non-women, including all NBLM, MLNB, and NBLNB attractions. However, this definition is not the most commonly recognized, and not all non-binary people feel comfortable being included under uranian attraction.

    The term "gay" is used as an adjective to describe homosexuality, and is also often used by the entire LGBT community in general. For this reason, old terms such as the uranian are used to refer to homosexual men, or new ones are being coined, such as the vincian. Some individuals also argue that "gay" should just mean homosexual men all together, due to the fact that homosexual women are referred to as lesbian. Other people simply refer to homosexual men as "gay men".

    It is the direct historical masculine equivalent of lesbian.


    The term was first published by activist Karl Heinrich Ulrichs (1825–95) in a series of five booklets (1864–65) collected under the title Forschungen über das Räthsel der mannmännlichen Liebe (Research into the Riddle of Man–Male Love). Ulrichs derived Uranian (Urning in German) from the Greek goddess Aphrodite Urania, who was created out of the god Uranus' testicles. Therefore, it represents the love between men, while Dionian (Dioning), derived from Aphrodite Dionea, represents the love for women. Ulrichs developed his terminology before the first public use of the term homosexual, which appeared in 1869 in a pamphlet published anonymously by Karl-Maria Kertbeny (1824–82).

    The term Uranian was quickly adopted by English-language advocates of homosexual emancipation in the Victorian era, such as Edward Carpenter and John Addington Symonds, who used it to describe a comradely love that would bring about true democracy, uniting the "estranged ranks of society" and breaking down class and gender barriers. Oscar Wilde wrote to Robert Ross in an undated letter (?18 February 1898): "To have altered my life would have been to have admitted that Uranian love is ignoble. I hold it to be noble—more noble than other forms."

    The term also gained currency among a group that studied Classics and dabbled in pederastic poetry from the 1870s to the 1930s. The writings of this group are now known by the phrase Uranian poetry. The art of Henry Scott Tuke and Wilhelm von Gloeden is also sometimes referred to as Uranian.


    The word itself alludes to Plato's Symposium, a discussion on Eros (love). In this dialog, Pausanias distinguishes between two types of love, symbolised by two different accounts of the birth of Aphrodite, the goddess of love. In one, she was born of Uranus (the heavens), a birth in which "the female has no part". This Uranian Aphrodite is associated with a noble love for male youths, and is the source of Ulrichs's term Urning. Another account has Aphrodite as the daughter of Zeus and Dione, and this 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. However, unlike Plato's account of male love, Ulrichs understood male Urnings to be essentially feminine, and male Dionings to be masculine in nature.

    John Addington Symonds, who was one of the first to take up the term Uranian in the English language, was a student of Benjamin Jowett and was very familiar with the Symposium.

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