The 19th Century German writer and pioneering homosexual rights activist, Karl Ulrich coined the term Uranian to describe a third sex which he believed was “a female psyche in a male body.”
Ulrich himself was homosexual and remembered wearing girls’ clothes, playing with girls, and wanting to be a girl as a young child. He later had his first homosexual experience with his riding instructor at the age of fourteen. At the age of 37, Ulrich’s came out to his family and friends and began writing about homosexuality and homosexual identities. He even publically petitioned the German Congress to repeal anti-homosexual laws. As a result of his activism, he lost his job as a legal advisor and also was in constant legal trouble – not because of his actions, but because of his words.
Ulrichs called for the inalienable rights (as established by nature) of homosexuals to live and love without persecution. The only things he felt should be prohibited were the seduction of male minors, the violation of other people’s civil rights, and public indecency.
Ulrichs wrote a total of twelve books on the topic of homosexuality. In those books, he came up with a number of terms to describe sexual orientation and gender identity. These terms were inspired by the ancient Greek work Plato’s Symposium which discussed two kinds of love – heterosexual love born from Aphrodite Dione (the Greek goddess of love born of a female) and homosexual love born from Aphrodite Urania (the Greek goddess of love born from a male). Ulrichs coined the terms Urning to describe men who loved men and Dioningin to describe men who are attracted to women. He later came up with terms to describe homosexual women, bisexuals, and intersex people.
Below is the list of the terms he coined:
Urning – A biological male with a female psyche who is attracted to men
Urningin – A biological female with a male psyche who is attracted to women
Dioning – A biological male who is heterosexual and masculine
Dioningin – A biological female who is heterosexual and feminine
Uranodioning – A biological male who is bisexual
Uranodioningin – A biological female who is bisexual
Zwitter – Someone who is intersexual having the biological organs of both sexes
Ulrich further subdivided his terms for male sexuality:
Mannling – A masculine homosexual male interested effeminate men
Weibling – A feminine homosexual male interested in masculine men
Manuring – A feminine heterosexual male
Zwischen-Urning – A homosexual male interested in adolescent males
Conjunctive – Homosexual men with tender and passionate feelings for other men
Disjunctive – Heterosexual men with tender feelings for other men, but who are sexually attracted to women (think of this as a Victorian term for “bromance”).
Virilisierte Mannlinge — Homosexual men who have learned to act heterosexual
Uraniaster or Uranisierter Mann – A heterosexual man who engages in situational homosexuality when females are not available
One thing I find interesting about this list is that Ulrichs had no terms for masculine homosexual men interested in other masculine men or for feminine homosexual men who are interested in other feminine men.
I’m excited to announce that I’ve agreed to attend Coph Nia 2014 as a featured presenter.
Coph Nia is a mystical gathering for gay and bisexual men. This year’s event will take place the week of August 6-10 at Four Quarters Interfaith Sanctuary in Artemis, PA.
Most likely I will present a trilogy of workshops related to Gay and Bi Men’s Rites of Passage.
I’ll post more details at a later time. In the meantime you can find out more about Coph Nia at: http://www.cophnia.org .