Gay Man

Gay Man
Gay Man.png

Orientation: Any
GxG Format: M+ x #

Genders: Men
Attracted To: Men

Gay Man (also known as Homosexual Man or Male Homosexual) is a term referring to men/male-aligned individuals who are sexually or romantically exclusively attracted to men/male-aligned individuals.[1][2]


The use of gay to mean a homosexual man was first used in the context of prostitution, as a gay boy was a young man serving male clients[3].

Types of Gay Men


Bear is a subcultural term used by gay men, though it can also apply to m-spec men as well, that originated in the 1980s.[4][5] Bears are typically described as hairy, heavy-set, and some may also describe an image of working-class masculinity. Some bears may place an importance on presenting in a hypermasculine manner and may shun interaction with, or have disdain for, men who present more femininely.[6]


Twink is a subcultural term used by gay men, though it can also apply to m-spec men as well, that originated between the year 1960 and 1965. Twinks are typically described as thin, lacking in facial and body hair, and may also be described as effeminate.[7][8]

She/Her Gays

Some gay men, no matter their gender or gender modality, use she/her pronouns. This may also involves terms such as "girl" for each other as well. For many gay men, using these terms is a way of embracing femininity, and may be a way of reclaiming something that has been used to ridicule and oppress gay men, as well as disrupting the gender binary. However, recent discussions about she/her gays have been met with criticism of erasing non-binary identities, and most discussions center around cis gay men.[9]

Related Terms

Label Relationship Description Difference
Achillean Similar Non-exclusive same-gender attraction to men Achillean is inherently non-exclusive
Floric Similar Non-women attracted to non-women Gay men can be woman-aligned, such as being multigender or genderfluid
Gay Similar Attraction to the same or similar gender(s) Gay can encompass attraction between women
Lesbian Counterpart The queer attraction to women Lesbian is the feminine equivalent
Straight Opposite Attraction to the opposite or dissimilar gender(s) Straight refers to different gender attraction
Turian/Veldian Similar Another term used to describe gay men and non-binary individuals Turian is intended to be inclusive
Uranian Similar A historical term used for gay men N/A
Vincian Similar Same-gender attraction to men, exclusive or not Gay men can be exclusively attracted to men

Prefixes and Suffixes

Label Prefix / Suffix Flag Description
Bambi Gay Bambi Bambi Gay.png A gay man who prefers cuddles, hugs, kisses and other affectionate and sensual non-sexual acts over sexual acts
Eros Gay Eros Eros Gay.png A gay man who is more sexual in nature.

Flags and Symbols

In the mid-2010s, gay activist Valentin Belyaev posted his version of the gay man flag in an initiative group in VKontakte to combat gayphobia (homophobia against men)[10]. The flag consists of shades of azure and blue, symbolizes the diversity of the gay community and is an analog of the traditional lesbian flag.

Another gay male flag was made by Mod Hermy of @ask-pride-color-schemes on Tumblr in 2017[11]. The now deactivated Tumblr user, gee-makes-flags, posted a simplified version of this flag on Instagram[12]. This flag was apparently appropriated by transmedicalists and transphobes in a way which implied that it was both official and made by such people and it was used to exclude transgender and genderqueer gay men. [13]

Another design that circulated was based on the lipstick lesbian flag. This design has been criticized for its stereotypical use of blue to represent gay men in terms of masculinity[14].

On July 10, 2019, the Tumblr flag gayflagblog proposed a flag based off the prior version that addressed the issues with the old one by adding symbolic and historical meanings to each color and stripe as well as allowing those in the community to offer input and propose their own changes. The top three stipres represent commuity, healing, and joy. The bottom three stripes represent pure love, fortitude, and diversity. The white middle stripe is taken from the trans flag and represents all trans, non-binary and gender non-conforming gay men. The green and teal in the flag represent nature, as love between men is often seen as "unnatural" in the eyes of society and in religion. Furthermore, gay men have historically used green flowers and plants (carnations, hyacinths, etc.) The blue-to-purple gradient on the bottom of half the flag symbolizes how some gay men might be stereotypical, some might not be, and some are in-between or fluid[15].

On August 14, 2020 Ian Blázquez tweeted two warmer versions of the gayflagblog flags, one with seven stripes and another simplified[16]. He shifted the colors to include pink and warmer greens, trying to bring together all these historical symbols.

Another gay male flag was designed by Tumblr user Chara Violet on June 5, 2021[17]. The flag is based on all the other flags for gay male subcultures:

  • The pink stripe, which is seen on the twink flag + the crown in the drag flag. Pink is also a color that's historically been used to represent gay men in various ways. On this flag, it stands for gender non-conformity.
  • The peach stripe is to resemble the bear flag's ambers and browns, while sticking to the aesthetic of the flag. On this flag, it represents sexuality and sensuality.
  • The pale yellow stripe is found on both the twink flag and the bear flag, on this flag is represents nblm and trans men.
  • The pale azure stripe is used in the achillean flag, as well as in many gender flags to represent masculinity. On this flag, it represents strength and community.
  • The lavender is also in the drag flag, and when next to the azure stripe, it can resemble the blues used in the bi flag, leather flag, genderfluid flag, etc. On this flag, it represents peace and community.

The colors come together to form a pastel rainbow, referencing how the rainbow flag used to be the go-to for gay men, as well as how pastel/iridescence and unicorns are often used as symbols for the community.

The "Bear Brotherhood" flag was designed by Craig Byrnes in 1995. The flag consists of seven stripes; brown, orange, yellow, tan, white, grey and black. These colors represent the different colors of the fur of bears throughout the world. A black bear paw print is included in the top left corner of the flag.[18]

The she/her gay flag was designed by Tumblr user wuvsbian on May 22, 2018. In their post, they mention how they took a while to get as many opinions as possible and that they were suggested to use the colors pink, blue and purple in the flag.[19]


  1. "Gay man." Dictionary,, man. Accessed 20 Sep. 2023.
  2. Vanderbilt University. “Definitions.” Vanderbilt University, Vanderbilt University, 15 Apr. 2011,
  3. Muzzy, Frank. Gay and Lesbian Washington. Arcadia Publishing, 2005.
  4. Montclair State University. “Terminology.” Montclair,
  5. Naples, Nancy A, et al. The Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Gender and Sexuality Studies. Malden ; Oxford ; Chichester, Wiley Blackwell, , Cop, 2016.
  6. “GLOSSARY.” Issuu, Accessed 19 Sept. 2023.
  7. "twink2"., Accessed on 25 Nov, 2023.
  8. mx16. "twink". Urban Dictionary, 2 Jul, 2021,
  9. Anspach, Rachel. "Call Me by My Pronouns: Why Gay Men Call Each Other "Girl"". them, 2 May, 2018,
  10. Belyaev, Valetin. “Флаг геев Так как радужный шестицветный.. | VPN! Гейфобия — гомофобия+сексизм против мужчин | VK.”, 9 Oct. 2018,
  11. pride-color-schemes. “Gay Man.” Tumblr, 26 June 2017, Accessed 19 Apr. 2023.
  12. “Gay / MLM Flag Carrd.” Gay / MLM Flag Carrd, Accessed 19 Apr. 2023.
  13. “CLEARING UP SOME THINGS ABOUT THE “”OFFICIAL”“ GAY MAN PRIDE FLAG.” Ask Pride-Color-Schemes, [1]. Accessed 19 May 2024.
  14. “I Hate This Blue Gay Flag.” A Trivial Knot, 13 Mar. 2019, Accessed 19 Apr. 2023.
  15. “Gay Man Flag Russian / Росси́я, Portuguese... -.”,
  16. “Https://” Twitter, 14 Aug. 2020, Accessed 19 Apr. 2023.
  17. charaviolet. “Chara Violet.” Tumblr, 5 June 2021, Accessed 19 Apr. 2023.
  18. Diversity, Sexual. “Bear Brotherhood Flag.” Sexual Diversity, 12 Nov. 2022, Accessed 19 Sept. 2023.
  19. wuvsbian. "She/Her Gay Flag ♥". Tumblr, 22 May, 2018,