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Are Unicorns Male or Female?

by Lisa Marcy May 19, 2020 6 min read

unicorns male or female

The gender of the unicorn is in the eye of the beholder. If you see the unicorn as male, the unicorn is a male. If you see the unicorn as female, the unicorn is female. If you see the unicorn as LGBTQ, the unicorn is LGBTQ. After all, the unicorn is a made-up creature, so why not make it up to be anything you want it to be?

Even if you’ve never seen a unicorn, it’s a pretty sure bet you’ve been seeing a lot of them around lately. From inspirational unicorns (Unicorns believe in you) to funny unicorns (Sugar is sweet, lemons are tart, I love you more than a unicorn fart), to punny unicorns (My puns are a little unicorny), there’s no denying that we can’t seem to get enough out of these mythical beasts! But are they considered males or females?

We did the investigation for you...

Are Unicorns Unisex?

But although the unicorn is loved by many, that does not necessarily mean it is unisex! In fact, far from it. While traditional belief dictates that unicorns are male, due to their feminine traits, many find it easier to conceive of them as female. To further complicate things, unicorns are now identified as a symbol of the LGBTQ community. Kind of makes your head hurt, doesn’t it?

So, are unicorns male, female, or are they complicated beings with gender-bending tendencies?  We thought the question was worth further investigation. To make it easy, we broke it down into teams as follows:

  • Team Unicorns are Male
  • Team Unicorns are Female
  • Team Some Unicorns are Boys, Some Unicorns are Girls
  • Team Unicorns are LGBTQ
  • Other Factors to Consider
  • The Final Word

We'll show you the sides, the evidence, and the arguments, and we’ll let you know what we come up with.

Team Unicorns are Males

True, unicorns are most popular among females under 18, but then again, so is Justin Bieber. So, is it the testosterone in unicorns that attracts the ladies, or is it all just a bunch of unicorn poo? Here’s a closer look from Team Unicorns are Male.

Wild Ass Unicorns

When it comes to unicorns, there are some “Wild Ass” stories coming from Western literature. In the fourth century BC, a Greek doctor described them as "wild asses as large as horses" with white bodies, red heads, blue eyes, and "a horn on the forehead which is about a foot and a half in length." He also described them as so powerful that "no creature, neither the horse or any other could overtake it.” So much for Gigi the Unicorn.

Unicorns in the Bible

If we go by “The Book” (emphasis on “The”) it also looks like unicorns are pretty heavy on the testosterone. As a biblical animal, the unicorn is interpreted as a strong fierce animal that can be caught only if a virgin maiden is thrown in front of it. According to the story, the unicorn leaps into the virgin’s lap where she suckles it and leads it to the King’s Palace.  The idea that unicorns can be tamed only by virgins is a long-held belief, and there are some pretty explicit pictures depicting unicorns resting their heads in the laps of chaste young girls to prove it.  Check out gettyimages.com for a visual reference.

Medieval writers compare the Unicorn to Christ, raising his horn for the salvation of mankind.
From there, the unicorns became associated with purity, which we’ll talk about later.  

The Horn

Is it just us, or does the horn of the unicorn remind you or something? When discussing the matter of whether the unicorn is a male or a female, the horn is hard to ignore. Phallically speaking, the horn is one point for team Unicorns are Male.

Team Unicorns are Females

Through the years, these fierce horny dudes have developed some pretty girly characteristics. Not only in terms of spirituality, but also in terms of eyelashes. Some speculate that the unicorn association with femininity sprung from the idea of the unicorn as a symbol of purity (virgins, Christ, etc, see above). Here’s what we got for TEAM Unicorns are Female.

Unicorns Have Female Energy

Want to know whether unicorns are male or female? Why not take it from a lady who wrote the book? According to “The Wonder of Unicorns” by Diana Cooper, “The unicorns carry qualities of love, peace, calm, gentleness, caring, magic, and mystery…. While they are most balanced in their male and female qualities, they are considered feminine in energy.”

Pop Culture Princesses

No doubt about it, the unicorns the kids of today are growing up with are absolute babes! Let’s take a look at some of the unicorns taking  the girl power to the next level!

Princess Celestia

Beautiful, magical, and with eyelashes to die for, Princess Celestia won the hearts of both little girls and grown men (remember Bronies?) as the Princess of Equestria in the My Little Pony Friendship is Magic series. After passing on her crown to Gigi the Unicorn of the Fingerlings tale, the female unicorn has consolidated its place as a pop culture phenomenon.

The Last Unicorn

Even if the first unicorn was male, the last unicorn was undeniably female. This 1982 film is the story of a lady unicorn who learns that she is the last of her species in the world and embarks on a quest to find out what happened to the others of her kind.

Girls Express Themselves as Unicorns

"Be yourself unless you can be a unicorn. In that case, always be a unicorn."

It’s a message every little girl can relate to. When it’s too hard to be yourself, be something magical, beautiful, and confident. When girls express themselves as unicorns, unicorns are female, hands down.

Team Some Unicorns are Boys, Some Unicorns are Girls

Where do baby unicorns come from? Assuming unicorns use the same method of reproduction that most of us are familiar with, the answer would be a unicorn mommy and unicorn daddy. That would suggest that unicorns can be of either gender.

Some theories say that a female unicorn will have horns that spiral counterclockwise, whereas males will have horns that spiral clockwise. Others say that male unicorns have goatees. We’ll leave the genitalia investigation to the experts.

Team Unicorns are LGBTQ

What do unicorns and the LGBTQ community have in common? If you answered "rainbows," you get partial credit. While unicorns and the LGBTQ community share a common association with rainbows, they're a particularly good match for one another in many other ways. Here is the lowdown on TEAM Unicorns are LGBTQ.

Transformative Creatures

From wild asses to elegant horses with ivory horns, to rainbow-colored princesses that spit glitter, unicorns are known for their everchanging nature. This fluidity between forms and appearances resonates with the LGBTQ community that doesn’t conform to the gender binary.

The Chinese Unicorn

In Chinese mythology, the unicorn is called Qui’lin; Qui meaning male and lin meaning female. Described as having the hooves of a horse, a multicolored back, a yellow belly, the body of a deer, the tail of an ox, and a gentle disposition, the Qui’lin is one queer unicorn.

I’m A Unicorn, Bitch

Nothing brings out sassiness quite like a glittering sparkly symbol of overbearing positivity. To the LGBTQ community, the unicorn is just another queen who needs to be taken down a notch when she gets too mighty.

We’re Queer, We’re Here and We’re LGBTQ-nicorns

A large part of the reason the LGBTQ community and unicorns connect so well is the mythical status of the unicorn.  The otherworldliness of the unicorn reflects the sense of alienation that the LGBTQ community feels from the rest of the world and takes it to a higher power.  When a member of the LGBTQ community identifies him or herself as a unicorn, unicorns are queer AF.

Other Factors to Take into Consideration

No matter how cute unicorns have become, it seems we still can’t get our minds out of the gutter. Here are some of the newer uses of the word unicorn that might make us question our association between unicorns and purity.

  • Unicorn Hunting: When a female and male look for a third person they can permanently invite into their relationship. Most people who go unicorn hunting are looking for a bisexual female.
  • Unicorn: According to the Urban Dictionary, one of the meanings of "unicorn" is: “That girl you can’t catch.” As in “That girl is a ten for sure.” “No, bro, she’s not a ten; she’s beyond a ten. She’s my unicorn.”

The Last Word

Even if we revealed our determination, we would like to let you know that we have no Pony in this race (pun intended). We are not activists, and this is certainly not intended as a Battle of the Sexes.

All in all, the unicorn is a symbol of freedom: creative freedom, sexual freedom, and freedom of expression. Let its free spirit run wild. May it take you to the farthest limits of your imagination and help you achieve the dreams that you never thought possible.

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