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A pride parade at Christopher Street Day in Berlin in 2019. On the left, a polysexual flag is being carried.

Polysexual is a term meaning one has sexual attraction to multiple genders but not all genders.[1][2] Polysexuals might or might not have gender preferences.[3]

Polysexual people may also be polyromantic, or they may have a different romantic orientation.

It is often abbreviated as "ply" to avoid confusion with Polynesian or polyamorous.[4][5]

"Polysexual" has also been used as a term meaning "intended for/relating to multiple genders", for example a "polysexual bathroom".[6]

Polysexual and Polyromantic Visibility Day is celebrated on 26 July[7]; this occasion was first marked in 2021.[8] In addition, Polysexual Pride Day takes place on 4 June.[9]


The term "polysexual" dates back at least to the 80's: a 1988 issue of an anarchist publication in Toronto, The Ecomedia Bulletin, stated that an organization called the Lavender Panthers of Discordia was seeking "Information, ideas or articles concerning AIDS, quarantining, gay/lesbian/polysexual liberation, paganism, animal liberation or antistatism".[10]

Fictional polysexual characters[edit]

  • In a 2019 episode of the animated show Young Justice: Outsiders, the character Kaldur'ahm (Aqualad/Aquaman) is shown holding hands with and kissing an Atlantean man named Wyynde. The series writer and co-creator Greg Weisman tweeted that "From Kaldur's POV, he is – at minimum – polysexual, which is not to say that he isn't pansexual, but he's never YET fallen for anyone that didn't/doesn't identify as male or female. He tries not to label." However, the character was gay in the canon of the comics.[11]
  • Recurring character Puck/Owen Burnett in the 1994-1997 Disney show Gargoyles was confirmed to be genderfluid and polysexual in a 2014 interview with the creative team.[12]

External links[edit]


  1. Chatel, Amanda (6 September 2021). "What Does Polysexual Mean?". Shape. Retrieved 19 February 2022.
  2. "What Is Polysexuality?". WebMD. 28 June 2021. Retrieved 19 February 2022.
  3. Wilson, Amee (2023). Queer Chameleon and Friends. Penguin Random House Australia.
  4. @lesbian_ocean (4 June 2020). "It's totally okay if you've used the wrong abbreviation before, BUT A REMINDER:
    polyam = polyamorous
    poly = polynesian
    ply = polyromantic/polysexual"
    – via Twitter.
  5. @FILLlNTHEBLANK (1 February 2021). "psa please stop using "poly" for when u mean polyamorous/polysexual. poly is an abbreviation for polynesian. ply is the abbreviation for polysexual (and for polyromantic either that or polyrom). polyam is the abbreviation for polyamory/polyamorous" – via Twitter.
  6. "Getting Off The Cocaine Express". New York Magazine: 28. 7 September 1981. This initiation had taken place in the polysexual bathroom at Studio 54.
  7. "Polyromantic / Polysexual Visibility Day". BiVisibilityDay.com. Retrieved 25 February 2022.
  8. "Poly Visibility Day is here". Bi Community News. 26 July 2021. Retrieved 1 July 2022.
  9. Fluid Arizona [@FluidArizona] (8 June 2017). "Happy #Polysexual Pride Day! It's 4 days late & I'm very, very sorry. Was told it was on June 29th. #Ply Pride Day is June 4. Every year" – via Twitter.
  10. https://archive.org/details/ecomedia_bulletin_38/page/n5/mode/2up?q=polysexual
  11. Bailey, Alan (30 July 2019). "Aquaman is Polysexual in Young Justice: Outsiders". Nerdgasm Podcast. Archived from the original on 1 September 2021.
  12. "We created the first-ever searchable database of 259 LGBTQ characters in cartoons that bust the myth that kids can't handle inclusion". insider.com. June 2021. Retrieved 5 July 2021.