Pomosexual is a sexual orientation label. It can be used as an umbrella term or on the individual level. Pomosexuality is about not being able to “fit in” with a pre-established community within the LGBT+ community (bi, pan/omni, ace, polysexual, gray, etc.) because you find that the “typical” way of describing your sexual orientation (”i am attracted to ____”, “I like to romantically kiss ____”, or “I am repulsed by ____”) is not applicable to your own sense of identity. The pomosexual community acknowledges this fact and embraces it.
The term was coined in October 1997. The term first appeared in the book, PoMosexuals: Challenging Assumptions About Gender and Sexuality by Carol Queen and Lawrence Schimel.
A word formed by adding the prefix pomo- (shorthand for postmodern) to the adjective -sexual (suggesting a sexual preference or orientation). The book that coined pomosexuality makes a point that the term, "pomosexual" was never meant to replace the shorthand, LGBT+. Rather, the LGBT+ community with its own labels and theories serve as the starting point for the concept of pomosexuality. The book draws similarities to the Postmodernism art movement, saying the beauty of Postmodernism can't be appreciated without looking at its roots in modernism. The book acknowledges that the "neatly organized" sexual orientation labels found within the LGBT+ might fit some (and that is OK), but not all people can fit into those labels (bisexual, pansexual/omnisexual, asexual, etc).
Sex-positive activist writers and editors Carol Queen and Lawrence Schimel popularized the term by using it as the title of an anthology of essays published in 1997. In it, they describe pomosexuality as the "erotic reality beyond the boundaries of gender, separatism, and essentialist notions of sexual orientation." In the introduction, they state,
|“||We don't propose that 'pomosexual' replace LGBT's. We're not interested in adding another new name to the slew we already have, though we acknowledge the usefulness of having one name by which all LGBT's might be called. 'Pomosexual' references homosexuality even as it describes the community's outsiders, the queer queers who can't seem to stay put within a nice, simple identity. We coin the term to situate this book and its essays within and in relation to the LGBT community. It is in every way an artifact of, and in many ways a backlash toward, this community--or rather, to certain assumptions widely held within and/or about it, essentialist assumptions about what it means to be queer. We react against these assumptions in the same way that in the art world Postmodernism was a reaction against Modernism."||”|
The concept of pomosexuality has become the source of some criticism from those who see it as a new fad the same way bisexuality and pansexuality have been criticized. According to andrologist Sudhakar Krishnamurthy, pomosexuality "is nothing but another lifestyle label. People are creating different categories every single day but this doesn’t mean that these are new phenomena. It is now fashionable to belong to a new category. As far as pomosexuality goes, the fad is about not believing in any of the compartmentalizations."
- Queen & Schimel, page 20
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- Queen, Carol & Schimel, Lawrence, Eds. (1997). PoMoSexuals: Challenging Assumptions About Gender and Sexuality. Cleis Press. ISBN 1-57344-074-4. Preface by Kate Bornstein.
- Ailles, Jennifer L. (2004). "Pomosexual Play: Going Beyond the Binaristic Limits of Gender?". Journal of Bisexuality 23 (3/4): 71–86. Haworth Press (Binghamton, New York). Retrieved on 2008-04-20.
- Raymond, Katherine (1998). PoMosexual Pioneer. Utne Reader. Retrieved on 2008-04-20. Issue: September/October 1998
- "Pride and Pomosexuality", The Ubyssey, 2008. Retrieved on 2008-04-20. Issue: February 8, 2008. University of British Columbia student newspaper.
- Word Spy entry for pomosexual
- NY Times
- The Independent
- Asia Africa Intellegience Wire
- Panoram (Italian)
- Sacramento Bee
- Channel News Asia
- Times of India
- NY Times
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