How to identify a pansexual

Allow me to explain.

How to identify a pansexual

How to identify a pansexual

Twenty years ago, the queer community referred to itself as the LGBT community. Now, the full acronym is LGBTQQIAAP2+. (The added letters stand for Queer, Questioning, Intersex, Asexual, Ally, Pansexual, Two-spirit, and plus for the remaining labels not represented in the acronym.)

Undoubtedly, the growing number of identity labels is a lot to keep track of, but in this explainer, we’re going to focus on the P, which stands for pansexuality. In April of 2018, Janelle Monáe came out as queer and pansexual in a Rolling Stone cover story. That day, searches for the word pansexual on Merriam Webster rose by a whopping 11,000 percent, becoming the most looked up word of the day.

So what exactly is pansexuality, who are more likely to identify with the P, and how does it differ from bisexuality? Let’s break it down.

Pansexuality can be different from bisexuality, but sometimes, both identities indicate the same attractions.

Confused? You’re not alone. Even within the LGBTQ community, people use the label “bisexual” differently. Pansexuality was birthed from this confusion. But let’s start with defining pansexual, since it has one universally-accepted definition. Pansexual simply means a person is attracted to all genders. Pan, after all, comes from the Greek prefix meaning “all.” Thus, a pansexual person would be attracted to cisgender, transgender, gender nonbinary, genderfluid, and agender folks (a person who doesn’t identify with any gender).

Now the prefix “bi,” as we’re all aware, means two. Because of this, many folks, perhaps even the majority of people, believe that a bisexual person is attracted to only two groups of people: cisgender men and cisgender women. If you’re one to believe this, you may think that the term bisexual is exclusive of trans and nonbinary folks. It would also be why you’d likely prefer to use the pansexual label as opposed to identifying proudly as bi.

How to identify a pansexual

Here, however, is the kicker. Many folks, myself included, don’t view the “bi” in bisexual to mean that they’re attracted to only cisgender folks. Instead, we use renown bisexual activist Robyn Ochs’ definition: “I call myself bisexual because I acknowledge that I have in myself the potential to be attracted—romantically and/or sexually—to people of more than one sex and/or gender, not necessarily at the same time, not necessarily in the same way, and not necessarily to the same degree.”

With Ochs’ definition, bisexual simply means that you’re attracted to two or more genders. While this could mean you’re attracted to only cisgender men and cisgender women, you could also be like my close friend Sarah. Sarah, 28, is a cisgender woman who identifies as bisexual, and she’ll date trans men, cis and trans women, and gender nonconforming folks, but never a cisgender man. She’s a perfect example of someone who’s bisexual but not pansexual.

However, just like pansexuality, bisexuality can mean you’re attracted to all genders too, since, after all, multiple genders can also mean all genders. In fact, actress Sara Ramirez will state she identifies as both pansexual and bisexual since she is attracted to all genders. She’s not alone. Many individuals will state they identify as both to illustrate that they’re attracted to all genders. (I do this often, too!)

Some pansexual people see gender whereas others do not.

I know. yet another way that pansexuality is confusing, but here’s all this means: You’ll speak to some pansexual folks who will say they don’t believe in gender. My close friend, John, 24, can be heard saying “gender is a social construct” no less than ten times a day. These people see everyone simply as humans with different body parts. Body parts—or how a person expresses their gender—isn’t what’s attractive to them.

Then you’ll have folks who see gender and are actively attracted to various genders. I know I like hyper-masculine men, effeminate women, and more androgynous folks too. I also like the anatomy that comes with different sexes and find myself wanting to be sexual with different genders at various times. Hence, instead of saying, “I’m not attracted to a person’s gender, which is why I’ll date anyone,” I would say, “I’m actively attracted to all genders, which is why I’m open to date anyone.”

Younger generations tend to prefer the term pansexual to bisexual.

Due to a combination of more celebrities embracing the label and a desire to be more inclusive, younger generations are significantly more likely to identify as pansexual rather than bisexual. It also makes sense that someone who spent years to finally embrace the bisexual label wouldn’t want to throw it away for a new one, especially if they feel as if bisexuality denotes their attraction to all genders.

Yet, like Janelle Monáe, you’ll have folks who initially identify as bisexual, but then do in fact decide to change their sexual orientation to pansexual because they feel it’s more inclusive of everyone.

Pansexuals aren’t more likely to be promiscuous or cheaters.

Just because you have the capacity to be sexually attracted to everyone, doesn’t mean that you want to have sex with everyone. “We still have standards,” John explained to me, when I asked him about his pansexuality. “And as for this idea that I’m more likely to cheat? Have you met straight people? They cheat all the damn time. So do gays. So does everyone. I don’t, but that has nothing to do with being pan. I’m just not a shitty person.”

Bi and pan people, however, are more likely to be polyamorous. Most academic studies tend to lump bi and pansexual folks together, making it difficult to parse out some of the data, but the current data show that bi and pan folks are significantly more likely to be polyamorous or otherwise ethically non-monogamous than straight folks.

Last but not least, we’re awesome to date.

Okay, am I biased? Perhaps. But I will say that in my experience, pansexual folks are often extremely open-minded and some of the kindest, most big-hearted people I know!

I consider everybody’s gender is advanced and few folks really meet societal norms for gender perfectly, but understanding my gender outdoors of the traditional labels and simply makes essentially the most sense chatt me. People use the Over you missing my good friend demisexual as a helpful gizmo to describe their identification and the way it demi-pansexuao differ from other identities.

How do you know if you’re pansexual?

The primary sign that you are pansexual is that you find yourself attracted to not just men or women or nonbinary folks, but to people all across the gender spectrum. It doesn’t mean you are attracted to every single person, but rather that you are capable of finding people of any gender sexually desirable.

A person can determine with whatever orientation they believe matches. Equally, an individual doesn’t must label their sexuality or conform to sure ideals if they select not to. For instance, somebody who identifies as bisexual could feel interested in those who are gender-fluid, male, or nonbinary but not those that are feminine. [newline]Some folks outline their gender based on their organic intercourse. However, different individuals see themselves as agender or gender-fluid. Bisexuality can imply different things, and never everyone will agree on a single definition. Generally, if somebody identifies as bisexual, they really feel an attraction to multiple gender.

You’re Interested In Folks No Matter Gender

Regarding your different question, if your family appears supportive of the LGBT+ neighborhood, it’s probably protected to come out to them. If you reside in a extra liberal metropolis, it is also in all probability safer to come back out than if you stay in a more conservative city where people still have backward beliefs about LGBT+ people. Bob came out as pansexual and nonbinary on Twitter in 2019. The RuPaul’s Drag Race winner also introduced their pronoun preferences; „Oddly sufficient I favor binary pronouns. he/him/his/she/her/hers.“ Shawkat, identified for her position as Maeby in Arrested Development, came out as bi in 2017. In regards to her profession, she has said, “ . . . I assume balancing my male and female energies has been an enormous part of me rising as an actor.“ After courting Twilight co-star Robert Pattinson, Stewart received along with mannequin Stella Maxwell.

What does it mean to identify as pansexual?

The meaning of pansexual is clear: someone who is attracted – either emotionally, physically or both – to all genders. This includes cisgender, transgender, agender and gender nonconforming individuals.

As you begin to explore your sexuality you’ll become more snug with it. You do not know why sex appears so important to different folks. You do not fully understand why somebody handsome can be known as „sizzling,“ and „attractive“ is not a commonly-used word in your vocabulary. We have definitions, antonyms, synonyms, sentences containing Pansexual and more information about the word.

Browse Definitions Net

By this logic, bisexuals who don’t have a choice are bisexual and „bisexuals“ who do have a preference want other name. But that is mistaken you may say, bisexuals are known for having a desire. There is not any way you cannot have a preference when it comes to relationship as there isn’t a way https://asiansbrides.com/taiwanese-brides/ to cut up your attraction evenly throughout genders. Sure you won’t have a giant preference nevertheless it’s nonetheless a preference. What happened with pan and omni was that they had been created to define the identical thing. They ended up competing and pan received as essentially the most identified term and the one is used.

Is female a gender?

Sex is usually categorized as female or male but there is variation in the biological attributes that comprise sex and how those attributes are expressed. Gender refers to the socially constructed roles, behaviours, expressions and identities of girls, women, boys, men, and gender diverse people.

„Someone else might have seen his scenario as a celebration, not an issue,“ says Masini. „That’s why who you are beyond your sexual emotions is going to determine the way you function sexually, and as a pansexual.“

What Does „bisexual“ Mean?

Figuring out your identification could be troublesome, especially for young individuals. Even older folks might feel confused about who they are after a lifetime of denying that a part of themselves. It is necessary to totally settle for each side of your self, even if you are afraid that other people might not. Today, society is far more accepting of variety than it was all through history, however we still have a approach to go.

  • While you’ll be able to typically find one or two homosexual bars in smaller cities, they tend to keep a low profile and have restricted English ads, making them onerous to access for foreigners.
  • To read it now within the context of who I am now, excited about who I was as a kid and the way I let all these things have an effect on me.
  • „But I do need to say that many of the terms that outline sexuality are expansive, and there are heaps of nuances in the ways in which different people outline and expertise their pansexuality.“
  • Each newly codified sexual orientation demands that individuals adopt increasingly particular criteria to outline their sexual orientation.
  • Pansexuality is a sexual orientation that refers to being interested in all gender identities or being attracted to individuals no matter their gender.

The actual distinction between pansexuality and bisexuality isn’t about their gender-inclusiveness, however somewhat in regards to the attraction to “all” or “2 or more” genders. All pansexual people could be classified as bisexual (being attracted to “all” fits into the outline of “2 or more”), but not all bisexual people are pansexual . Just like how bisexuality as a sexual orientation has no relation to “bisexuality” in biology, pansexuality as an orientation has no relation to “pansexualism” in early 1900s psychology. 1800s, the term “bisexual” was used in biology to describe organisms with both male and female sexual organs. In this context, the word actually meant “to have two sexes”.

Pangender

Having the traits or nature of each male and female. „Technically I would say that I am pansexual as a end result of that is how I even have all the time been my whole life is instead like, my human is my human,“ she said. She informed Hunger, „I’m a feminist, I’m younger and I’m homosexual (though I’ve now come to the conclusion that I feel extra pansexual).“ „My thing is, I don’t want people to watch my movies or purchase my merchandise if they aren’t going to assist not only me, however the LGBTQ neighborhood,“ she mentioned.

What are the 58 genders?

The following are the 58 gender options identified by ABC News:Agender.
Androgyne.
Androgynous.
Bigender.
Cis.
Cisgender.
Cis Female.
Cis Male.

How to identify a pansexual

This post was originally published in September 2015 and was updated April 2018.

From Janelle Monae to Jazz Jennings, more and more celebrities and people on the ground are coming out as pansexual. By coming out as pan, they are helping raise visibility to the various identities that co-exist under what’s know as the bi (or bi+) umbrella. In honor of BiWeek, GLAAD is exploring what pansexuality means to the people owning the label.

A common misconception about bi folks is that they seek to reinforce a rigid gender binary, but the reality is that many bi people have “the potential to be attracted – romantically and/or sexually – to people of more than one sex and/or gender, not necessarily at the same time, not necessarily in the same way, and not necessarily to the same degree,” as advocate Robyn Ochs describes. The pan identity presents an additional opportunity to express attraction to multiple genders.

How to identify a pansexual

So what does it mean to identify as pansexual? While pan folks have long been around, not everyone is familiar with the term, as the pan identity doesn’t get much media coverage or representation. While being bisexual means being attracted to more than one gender, being pansexual means being attracted to all gender identities, or attracted to people regardless of gender.

But who better to explain pansexuality than people who are pan? Check out what these notable celebs have to say about who they are.

Jazz Jennings

How to identify a pansexual

“Being pansexual basically means to me that you are attracted to anyone, no matter their sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, everything. There’s no limits. I’ll date anyone. It’s more that I love someone for their soul. Physically, I think I’m more attracted to boys but sometimes I’m attracted to girls too, so it’s weird,” the young trans advocate and star of I Am Jazz told Cosmo.

Angel Haze

How to identify a pansexual

“To kind of identify as pansexual, to me, means to just want love. To have a connection with anyone you can find it with.” The rapper and singer, who is agender, has spoken often about their identity, including to BuzzFeed, and in their remix of “Same Love.” Around the time their song was released, Angel told The Guardian, “Love is boundary-less. If you can make me feel, if you can make me laugh—and that’s hard—then I can be with you.”

Janelle Monae

In April 2018, right before the launch of her long-awaited “Dirty Computer” album, Janelle told Rolling Stone, “Being a queer black woman in America, someone who has been in relationships with both men and women – I consider myself to be a free-ass motherfucker.” The outlet reported that while Janelle “initially identified as bisexual, she clarifies, ‘but then later I read about pansexuality and was like, “Oh, these are things that I identify with too.” I’m open to learning more about who I am.'”

Miley Cyrus

How to identify a pansexual

“I’m very open about it – I’m pansexual.” Miley made headlines that brought arguably unprecedented mainstream attention to the identity when she came out as pansexual to Elle UK. She also described being genderqueer in an interview with Out, saying, “I don’t relate to what people would say defines a girl or a boy,” and then posted on Instagram, “NOTHING can/will define me! Free to be EVERYTHING. “

To learn more about what it means to identify as pansexual, click here.

2) “I would additionally advise individuals to cease defining different people’s identities for them”. In Queer discourses, or at least the discourses we use in my group we respect the self definition proper of every person. This right is curiiously reserved to people that have monosexual privileges, whereas bisexuals are continuosly questioned.

What are all the Lgbtq letters and meanings?

LGBTQ: The acronym for “lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer.” Some people also use the Q to stand for “questioning,” meaning people who are figuring out their sexual orientation or gender identity. You may also see LGBT+, LGBT*, LGBTx, or LGBTQIA. I stands for intersex and A for asexual/aromantic/agender.

A 1960s examine described pansexual rats who paired sexually with different rats no matter their intercourse. In 1966, Life magazine described poet Allen Ginsberg as being in favor of pansexual freedom, apparently meaning complete sexual freedom. On an identical observe in 1974, the Saturday Review noticed a trend of pansexuality or “sexual anarchy” in New York theater. The hybrid phrases pansexual and pansexualism had been first documented in 1914. Written as “pan-sexualism”, the term was coined by opponents of Sigmund Freud, with the time period denoting the thought “that the intercourse intuition performs the primary part in all human exercise, mental and physical”. The term can be translated to German as pansexualismus in Freud’s work Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego. According to social psychologist Nikki Hayfield, “the term pansexuality first got here into use through the Nineties, alongside the less acknowledged pomosexuality ,” with pansexuality seeing early use within BDSM communities.

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I hesitate to say whether or not it “is” or “just isn’t,” because the identification is actually up to the person and I do not even know this guy in real life, so I’m in even less of a position to go about assigning orientations to him. And if aromantic pansexual is a legitimate orientation, nicely, if you’d like it to, it’s.

What are the 7 genders?

Through these conversations with real people Benestad has observed seven unique genders: Female, Male, Intersex, Trans, Non-Conforming, Personal, and Eunuch.

And “omnisexual” suggests that individuals ought to handle whether they’re drawn to all genders or oblivious to them. Pansexual and bisexual are two different sexual orientations, although they will generally overlap. Typically, while individuals who determine as pansexual are drawn to people regardless of gender, people who determine as bisexual are attracted to 2 or extra genders. The pan identification presents an extra alternative to precise attraction to a number of genders. Pansexuality particularly refers to attraction to individuals of all genders or attraction no matter gender. It is commonly considered to be extra inclusive than bisexuality. Some pansexual people choose that term as a result of they feel that bisexual reinforces the thought of a gender binary.

What Is Pansexuality

We additionally focus on various sexual orientations and the way people could select to determine. Gray-asexual individuals expertise some sexual attraction, however not as much as average. The which means of the flag is supposed to represent both the bisexual and pansexual flag colors, with each the highest and bottom half having colours from each. It may asiansbrides.com/taiwanese-brides depend upon how much a demisexual particular person identifies with the broader asexual neighborhood. This question is trigger for lots of definition within the asexual, graysexual, and demisexual communities. Bisexual, pansexual, Beautiful ladies wanting nsa Columbus, asexual, fluid, non binary & trans meant to be a proper definition of demisexual like most terms we define on usainfo.house,​.

  • Pansexual doesn’t imply being interested in everybody.But Kate, you say.You just said…Actually, my dears, what I stated was that I can really feel attraction to folks of all gender identities and expressions, not that I really feel attraction to everyone.
  • I wrote this song “Girls, Girls, Boys” about my first threesome after I was 15 or sixteen.
  • Fluid, on this case, that means that sexual attractions have the capacity to vary over time and may be dependent on totally different conditions.
  • Rarely experiencing sexual attraction, however if you do it’s from a strong emotional connection.

Cisgender and cissexual describe related kinds of gender identification where individuals’ experiences of their very own gender match the intercourse they have been assigned at birth. The singer first recognized as bisexual, but later informed Rolling Stone as part of a canopy story in 2018, “I read about pansexuality and was like, ‘Oh, these are things that I determine with too.’ I’m open to learning extra about who I am.”

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Demigirl means I determine partially as a lady and partially as agender, so it’s a fluid id. A gender like demigirl isn’t as commonly discussed compared to different identities, so I want that I could be open about it and revered for it without being doubted or dismissed because of look, or the best way I specific that id. Being a trans girl is no completely different from being a women, it’s simply on relationship websites people tend to wish to know if you’re trans or not. Really, I identify as a girl, and I happen to be trans. 1) That there’s a a robust hyperlink between gender id and sexuality. I identify as a woman politically as a outcome of sure lived experiences and the best way I expertise gender beneath patriarchy. Androgynous, I equate with androgyne, which is my gender.

What are the 58 genders?

The following are the 58 gender options identified by ABC News:Agender.
Androgyne.
Androgynous.
Bigender.
Cis.
Cisgender.
Cis Female.
Cis Male.

Sometimes pansexuality is used as a synonym for bisexuality, however they are subtly different. Pansexuality is a half of the Bisexual Umbrella, which means it is one of many identities during which somebody is interested in a couple of gender. According to GLAAD, identifying as bisexual means you are interested in multiple gender, whereas identifying as pansexual means you’re interested in people of multiple gender, or no matter gender. But what it means to be bisexual or pansexual is also largely as a lot as the individual who identifies that means.

How To Focus On Your Pansexuality With Others

First of all, the relative tolerance of gender non-conforming people implies that there has been little or no aggressive persecution of queer folks in Japan. Not to say, queer TV personalities, like drag queen Matsuko Deluxe and transgender entertainer Haruna Ai, are broadly popular — seemingly an echo of the appreciation for onnagata within the theater. People in polyamorous relationships can experience jealousy.

What are the 11 types of sexualities?

Asexual people may be attracted to the same sex or other sexes. Every asexual person will have a different experience, which may include: falling in love.

Jul 1 · 4 min read

How to identify a pansexual

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What Is Omnisexual?

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Other Names for Pansexual

What Is the Difference Between Pansexuality, Bisexuality, Omnisexuality, and Polysexuality?

Myths and Misconceptions about Pansexuality

How Pansexuality Works in Relationships

Helping Your Loved Ones Understand Pansexuality

What is a Pansexual?

Pansexuality is the attraction to people regardless of their gender. Pansexual people are sexually attracted to people of every gender identity. People of any gender identity can and do identify as pansexual. Some people use the terms “bisexual” and “pansexual” interchangeably, but there are distinctions between the two.

Other Names for Pansexual

Some people p r efer the term “omnisexual” to “pansexual.” Some people feel that the term pansexuality implies that their attraction to people has nothing to do with gender. People who prefer the term omnisexual are attracted to people of all genders but find that gender is still a factor in their attraction.

Both “Pan” and “Omni” mean “all,” and the distinction between omnisexuality and pansexuality is hazy. Some people use them interchangeably.

What Is the Difference Between Pansexuality, Bisexuality, and Polysexuality?

Bisexuality is at its core the attraction to two or more genders, while pansexuality is the attraction to all genders or regardless of gender. Polysexuality is the attraction to many, but not all genders.

Pansexual vs. Bisexual

Pansexuality and bisexuality are similar, but not quite the same. Pansexuality is broader than bisexuality, and people who identify as pansexual can be attracted to all genders. Bisexuality is the attraction to two or more genders, but not necessarily all. People who identify as bisexual may be pansexual, but not necessarily. Some people prefer to identify as bisexual even if they may be pansexual simply because the term “bisexual” is more commonly recognized.

Pansexual vs. Omnisexual

Many people use the terms pansexual and omnisexual interchangeably. While they are closely related, there are differences between the two. Those who identify as pansexual feel attraction to people without noticing their gender, while omnisexual people recognize the gender of potential partners.

Some people put it this way: Pansexual people are gender-blind, while omnisexual people are not. Even though omnisexual individuals recognize the gender of those to whom they feel a romantic attraction, it doesn’t play a huge factor in their choice of partner.

Pansexual vs. Polysexual

Similarly, the distinction between pansexuality and polysexuality is that pansexuality is broader than polysexuality. Unlike bisexuality, polysexuality specifically implies that there are some genders to which the person is not attracted. Poly means many, but not all.

For example, someone who is polysexual may be attracted to every gender except for women. Meanwhile, a pansexual person is attracted to men, women, nonbinary people, and any other gender identity.

Myths and Misconceptions about Pansexuality

Some people assume that attraction to all genders implies that pansexual people act on their attraction more frequently than others. This can lead to the stereotype that pansexual people are promiscuous. However, just as with heterosexuality or homosexuality, pansexual people are all individuals. Any given pansexual person will have their own preference for the amount of sexual activity they want, and they may also prefer to remain celibate.

Furthermore, these same stereotypes of promiscuity cause some people to accuse pansexual people of being less likely to remain monogamous. This is untrue — pansexual people are just as likely to prefer monogamy as hetero- or homosexual people. Pansexuality is not the same thing as polyamory. The attraction to all genders is not connected to a preference for multiple partners.

How Pansexuality Works in Relationships

Pansexual people are attracted to all genders, so any given pansexual person can find themselves in a wide variety of relationships. These relationships may be “straight-passing,” or they may be obviously non-heterosexual. Regardless of their partner’s gender, a pansexual person remains pansexual — they do not experience “straight-passing” privilege. Instead, they may experience microaggressions as their sexuality is ignored or dismissed.

As with every relationship, it’s important for anyone partnered with a pansexual person to discuss boundaries. Neither partner should make any assumptions about things such as monogamy, sexual acts, or general preferences. Every pansexual person is different and has their own preferences. If you’re in a relationship with someone who is pansexual, it’s important to respect them and their boundaries.

Helping Your Loved Ones Understand Pansexuality

While you don’t need to come out to your loved ones as pansexual, some people find it to be helpful or cathartic. If you choose to come out, you can explain pansexuality as being a natural attraction to people regardless of gender. Some pansexual activists use the phrase “Hearts, not parts” to explain this orientation. While the phrase is reductive, it can be a useful tool when talking with people who aren’t familiar with LGBTQ terminology.

If you’re talking to your loved ones about pansexuality because you have a new partner, you should talk with your partner first. If a new relationship is spurring you to come out, then you are likely dating someone else who falls under the LGBTQ+ umbrella. If you come out, you may be outing your partner as well. This disclosure can have serious effects on your partner’s life.

If your partner would prefer to remain in the closet, then you may need to wait before coming out yourself out of respect for their privacy.

How to identify a pansexualPansexuality is a sexual orientation describing a romantic attraction toward people of any and all genders, including but not limited to those who are intersex, transgender, or genderqueer.

Individuals who identify as pansexual may describe themselves as being interested in the person more than the person’s gender. There are similarities between bisexuality and pansexuality, and the two terms may overlap or not, depending on how an individual identifies.

Understanding Pansexuality

Pansexuality is currently in use as a broad term describing the sexual orientation of individuals who are attracted to people regardless of gender or sex. An individual who is pansexual might potentially be attracted to anyone but is not necessarily attracted to everyone. Assuming a pansexual person is promiscuous can be harmful, as it distorts the definition and understanding of the term and may forestall acceptance of those individuals who identify as pansexual.

Pansexuality refers to one’s sexual orientation, not one’s gender identity: A person who identifies as pansexual may be gender neutral or genderqueer, male, or female and might have a relationship with an individual who identifies as any of the above. Identifying as pansexual does not delineate a person’s gender identity. However, there is some association between pansexuality and non-binary identities, as the term came into wide use as a result of increased awareness of identities outside the male-female binary.

Pansexuality and Bisexuality

The difference between pansexuality and bisexuality lies in the fact that a person who identifies as pansexual can potentially experience an attraction to any other person, regardless of that person’s gender or sex: In other words, the person does not experience limits on attraction. The term pansexual may also place a slight emphasis on a person’s attraction to individuals who are gender neutral or otherwise non-binary.

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Because the term bisexual can be defined as experiencing an attraction to those belonging to the the gender one identifies with and those who do not, a person who identifies as bisexual may, like a person who identifies as pansexual, experience no limitations on his or her attractions and may in fact use bisexual and pansexual interchangeably to describe his or her own identity. However, a person who is bisexual may also only be attracted to men or women, and in that case, would generally not identify as pansexual.

Although some people believe that pansexual is the only identifier that encompasses an attraction to all non-binary identities, this belief is considered to be one aspect that generates prejudice toward the bisexual community. Both bisexual and pansexual identities, by definition, recognize the possibility of attraction to individuals who exist outside the gender binary. Polysexuality is another associated term: Individuals who identify as polysexual may experience an attraction to individuals of multiple genders and/or sexes and may or may not be attracted to those of all genders or sexes.

Awareness of Pansexuality

Because pansexuality is still a relatively new term, it is often misunderstood or confused with bisexuality. Some individuals who wish to express their identity with a label may find that the term “pansexual” best describes them, and increasing understanding and awareness of pansexuality as an identity may help some individuals who are experiencing difficulty understanding and describing their feelings.

Some individuals who identify as pansexual end up describing themselves as bisexual, simply because some people do not understand what pansexuality is, and they find that using the more-understood term is easier. However, when pansexuality is more understood, those who identify as pansexual may find it easier to state their orienation, when they wish to do so.

Mary Gonzalez, a Texas State Representative, helped increase awareness of the term when she stated that she identified as pansexual in 2012, making her the first elected United States official to publicly identify as pansexual.

Individuals who are unsure of their identities, who experience emotional or psychological difficulties in the process of discovering or expressing themselves, or who experience stress or anxiety after sharing their identity, due to reactions of friends and family, may find some benefit in speaking to a therapist, especially one who specializes in LGBTQIA issues. A good therapist will generally be knowledgeable about different identities and orientations, can help an individual work through feelings of confusion regarding sexual orientation, can provide resources, and will be able to help an individual find ways to speak to friends and family.

References:

  1. Gonel, A.H. (2013). Pansexual Identification in Online Communities: Employing a Collaborative Queer Method to Study Pansexuality. Graduate Journal of Social Science, 10 (1), 36-59.
  2. Jakubowski, K. (2014, November 12). Pansexuality 101: It’s More Than ‘Just Another Letter.’ Retrieved from http://everydayfeminism.com/2014/11/pansexuality-101.
  3. Pansexuality. (n.d.). World Public Library. Retrieved from http://netlibrary.net/articles/Pansexuality.
  4. Wong, C. (2012, August 10). Mary Gonzalez, Texas State Representative, Identifies As Pansexual In New Interview. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/10/mary-gonzalez-texas-state-representative-pansexual-_n_1764824.html.
  5. What Is Bisexuality? (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.biresource.net/whatis.shtml.

Last Updated: 01-8-2016

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How to identify a pansexual

“Pansexual” may have shot up to Merriam Webster’s most searched term of the day recently when singer Janelle Monae came out, but there’s still a lot of confusion about the sexual orientation. (FYI: The dictionary defines the word as “of, relating to, or characterized by sexual desire or attraction that is not limited to people of a particular gender identity or sexual orientation.”)

We asked people who identify as pansexual to share some things they wish others knew about this lesser-known way of identifying. See what they had to say below.

1. No, we’re not just bisexual or going through a phase.

How to identify a pansexual

“Some people think pansexuality is nothing more than a transitional phase ― or that pansexuals simply don’t know what they want. They assume pansexuals are testing the waters and finding out if they’re actually just gay or straight or bisexual. Some people look at our romantic histories and make assumptions; I’ve always found it quite odd because if someone were to say that they’re straight, not a single soul would ask, ‘Are you sure you’re not bisexual or even pansexual maybe? You’ve only dated people of the same sex as you at this point ― maybe you just haven’t found the right one yet.’ They’ll say things along the lines of, ‘Well aren’t you dating your first boyfriend? That counts as straight if you ask me,’ or ‘So you like boys and girls? Isn’t that pretty much bisexuality?’” ― Henson Popa

2. Being pansexual doesn’t mean you’re attracted to everyone, all the time.

How to identify a pansexual

“When people ask if I’m attracted to everyone, I always turn this question back to the askee ― which, in my experience, are usually straight men: ‘Are you attracted to every woman you see?’ The misconception that pan people think everyone is attractive or that they want to sleep with everyone is just downright untrue. Gender or gender identity may not be factors that determine who we find attractive, but we’re human beings, too; we have preferences, types and kinks just as varied as the other sexual orientations. There’s just more fish in the sea for us.” ― Lee Monster

3. Pansexuals are into monogamous relationships, too.

How to identify a pansexual

“Much like bisexuality, I feel like it’s a common misconception that pansexual folks are incapable of being faithful or participating in monogamous relationships. That’s totally false. We are just as capable of being monogamous as straight couples, gay couples and queer couples in general.” ―Hannah Smith

4. Pansexuals and bisexuals can coexist.

“I hear a lot of people talk about how pan and bi are somehow at odds or opposed to each other. It’s simply not true. When it comes down to it, I think pan and bi are essentially similar things: ‘Two sides of the same coin,’ to use a tired adage. I personally resonate more with ‘pan’ than ‘bi’ because gender is very low on the list of things I care about when building any kind of relationship with someone. I am much more interested in the person as a whole ― their own identity, their belief system, their hobbies and interests, and yes, at some point, their gender as well.” ― Derick Bailey

How to identify a pansexual

5. Stop assuming we’re interested in a threesome or orgy.

“What I’m into is none of anyone’s business, really, except my partner and myself. If you know my sexual orientation, that doesn’t mean I will automatically jump at the chance to join you and your partner for a bang when you proposition me. Threesomes or orgies in whatever gender configuration aren’t exclusively liked by pan or bi people.” ― Lee Monster

6. You’re never too old to come out as pan.

“I’m 39 years old, and it wasn’t until January of 2018 that I came out to anyone. Sure, I’ve known for approximately three years. And yes, when I look back on my life I can see a few hints and some very direct evidence of my truth in being pan. But my identity did not truly start to take shape until six months ago when I first came out. The point is, you’re not too old. It’s not too late. Maybe you see younger people with such strong conviction of who they are and you wish you had been that brave (that’s certainly been me, looking at the LGBTQ+ community). But your story is not over. If you want your story to change and your truth to be known, then it’s not too late for you.” ― Derick Bailey

7. Pansexuals are respectful toward gender identities.

How to identify a pansexual

“This is an insensitive stereotype. There’s a saying about pansexuality that goes ‘hearts not parts!’ that I find incredibly dismissive. While pansexuality is attraction to all genders, or in my case attraction regardless of gender, it doesn’t mean that a pansexual person doesn’t care about their partner’s gender. Gender is an important part of people’s lives, whether they’re cisgender or transgender or non-binary or agender. Gender is something I respect and acknowledge, not ignore and dismiss.” ― Coryl Reef

8. Not acknowledging that pansexuality is an orientation makes it harder for people to live their most authentic lives.

“I personally haven’t come out until recently partially because I’ve seen people disregarding pansexuality as an orientation, which is extremely harmful for pansexual people who are still struggling with coming to terms with their identity. Unfortunately, I feel like pansexuals are more inclined to remain in the dark about their sexuality for fear that their attraction to other people isn’t valid or that they simply won’t be accepted. Currently, it seems as if pansexuality is a great big gray area for people who aren’t involved in LGBTQ affairs.” ― Henson Popa

9. We’re not rigid in our definition of pansexuality.

“I feel like the definition of pansexuality sort of varies depending on how the person identifying self-describes, but for me, it’s simply attraction regardless of gender. If I like you, I like you.” ― Hannah Smith

Responses have been edited for clarity and length.

#TheFutureIsQueer is HuffPost’s monthlong celebration of queerness, not just as an identity but as action in the world. Find all of our Pride Month coverage here.

[ pan-sek-shoo-uh l ]

What does pansexual mean?

Pansexual refers to someone who is romantically, emotionally, or sexually attracted to people of any gender or regardless of their gender.

Some pansexual people say that, when it comes to attraction, they don’t see gender or they find it irrelevant. That’s what distinguishes pansexuality from omnisexuality or bisexuality .

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Where does pansexual come from?

How to identify a pansexual

Pansexual was first used in psychology to refer to the idea that sex is the primary driver of all human behavior, pan– here from the Greek meaning “all.” The word was originally leveled against the ideas of Sigmund Freud as far back as 1914. Critics were still arguing against this supposed pansexual psychology in the 1950s and 1960s.

New meanings for pansexual emerged in the 1960–70s. A 1960s study described pansexual rats who paired sexually with other rats regardless of their sex. In 1966, Life magazine described poet Allen Ginsberg as being in favor of pansexual freedom, apparently meaning complete sexual freedom. On a similar note in 1974, the Saturday Review saw a trend of pansexuality or “sexual anarchy” in New York theater. Around the same time, an article in Ramparts magazine made reference to pansexuality as a sexual identity, contrasting it with “the older term bisexual.” A 1979 book titled The Gay Report also includes reports from people who called themselves pansexual.

A handful of celebrities have spread awareness of the term when they came out as pansexual. Superstar Miley Cyrus described herself as pansexual in an interview with Elle UK in August 2015. In a later interview with Variety, she said, “I don’t ever think about someone being a boy or someone being a girl.” In 2017, she released a song, “She’s Not Him,” which Billboard called “a pansexual milestone in mainstream music.”

In an April 2018 Rolling Stone interview, artist Janelle Monae identified as pansexual. She noted that she previously called herself bisexual, but then learned of pansexuality and thought that fit, saying “I’m open to learning more about who I am.” Google searches for pansexuality spiked in April 2018 after the interview.

In March 2021, singer Demi Lovato described themself as pansexual during an interview with Joe Rogan on his podcast The Joe Rogan Experience. When asked by Rogan if Demi liked “girls” and “boys,” Lovato answered “Yeah, anything, really.” Rogan responded by asking if pansexual was the correct term and Lovato answered that it was. Lovato’s interview with Rogan was covered extensively by the mainstream media. I n May 2021, Lovato announced that they identify as nonbinary and uses they/them pronouns.