Most of the time, the LGBTI+ community focuses on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and Intersex people in conversation, etc. Often, though, pansexuals are completely misidentified as bisexual. Are you confused at all? Well, maybe you are if you’re unfamiliar with the term.
A pansexual is a person who may be attracted to females, males, transgender people and non-binary individuals.
To them, biological sex (one’s physical gender at birth) and gender identity are not relevant as far as attraction goes. The prefix means “all” or “every” in Greek.
Just like bisexuality, pansexuality is often dismissed as being a greedy or indecisive. This is not true, though. A pansexual is open to loving the person, no matter their sexuality or gender identification. As bisexuals are attracted to two sexes based on gender, pansexuals are effectively blind to gender and are attracted to others for reasons beyond it, such as emotions, personality and ideals. This is not to say that everyone else doesn’t find different qualities important, but pansexuals have a wider range of people with whom they may become attracted.
The term ‘pansexuality’ first came into use in the mid 90’s, but hasn’t been significantly searched for (on Google, for example) until about five years ago. This might be due to more recent generations being more in touch with themselves.
It can be difficult for pansexuals to know how to clearly define themselves. Some may choose ‘queer’ as a term that seems more inclusive, but it’s not exactly descriptive. It can be helpful if a celebrity decides to come out, but are they really practicing their assertion that they’re attracted to personality and not gender? It seems to be a more politically correct thing to say these days, but it’s damaging if it’s untrue. There are actually people (pansexuals) who feel this way. So, if a pansexual celebrity comes out as such, that’s great–if it’s true and not a publicity tactic.
Many pansexuals know how they differ from bisexuals; this can be a sore subject. It doesn’t seem appropriate for them to identify as bisexual when that means only including cisgender people. Rapper, Angel Haze (who has dated model Ireland Baldwin) says that for her: “love is boundary-less. If you can make me feel, if you can make me laugh… then I can be with you. I don’t care if you’re a hermaphrodite or whatever.” She says, “I’m not gay, I’m not straight, I’m not bisexual – I don’t care,” she says. “At the end of the day, I just want someone to connect with.”