Pansexual people may refer to themselves as gender-blind, asserting that gender and sex are not determining factors in their romantic or sexual attraction to others.
Over the years, pansexuality has been confused to be the same as bisexuality. When in reality, the two sexuality identity labels are completely different.
Talking from a bisexual point of view, I do not see the two as the same. Bisexuality means that you are sexually attracted to male and female counterparts. This is just preference and no one should be ridiculed for having a preference (within reason).
Pansexuality is something unique just as bisexuality. The two are completely different in their own way.
Now, this may be confusing to some individuals. But it’s important to know that just because you can’t understand a sexuality label it doesn’t make it invalid.
But to help those in the back what it means to identify as pansexual, the Unite UK community has got together to educate and help those who are struggling to understand their sexuality.
So what do I feel it means to be pansexual? I feel like it is just allowing yourself to realize that love and sexual attraction is just a spectrum, rather than a concrete setting that is decided early in life until you pass.
With pansexuality, you have an open mind to those different around you, and who you are attracted to. Why limit yourself to one gender, or two like bisexuality? Of course, there is nothing wrong with preferences, such as those, but I feel like we as humans need to be more openminded about love and gender.
Pansexuality allows me to see people as they really are, rather than the gender they define as or the genitals between their legs. I would rather fall in love with hearts, than gender.
For those who confuse bisexuality with pansexuality, I understand. Sexuality and gender is confusing, and there are so many “racks” to look through while trying to define yourself.
I just feel like being pansexual just gives me a better outlook of the world, and how it works. Why focus on the hate and violence of the times, when you can show love to others, no matter the gender and what they define as.
Just be yourself, and make the world a better place to live in.
I identify as pansexual and what that means to me is that there is no limit to who I could see myself falling in love with / being in a relationship with. I am not bound by the limitations of gender, gender identity or a person’s genitalia.
Although I have never been in a relationship with a man and I am definitely more attracted to women than men, I know that who someone is, what they look like or how they identify does not make the slightest bit of difference to me. All I care about is that someone is a decent person who I get along with well and have a strong bond with.
Now, considering I have had limited sexual experiences with 1 woman and no sexual experience with men, there’s no way for me to know currently if I would be sexually attracted to, or capable of having sex with another man. But I feel that relationships aren’t based around sex and if they are it’s not much of a relationship. Honestly, I would rather never have sex with someone but get along with them amazingly, have a laugh and plenty of cuddles than have a relationship full of sex but not really a spark or a real relationship with them.
I also want to just quickly touch upon the fact that many people categorize pansexuality and bisexuality as the same thing and why it is not. So the prefixes on the words are a big giveaway, ‘bi’ means 2, ‘pan’ means all. Bisexuality is the sexual attraction to 2 genders (most commonly the 2 binary genders – male and female) whereas pansexuality is the ability to be attracted to anyone of any gender or all genders.
Only you know how you identify, never let anyone try to invalidate you or make you feel like you’re wrong for identifying a certain way. You are valid & you are enough. 🙂 <3
When having the discussion of bi vs. pan, it’s important to recognise the difference between sex and gender. Sex being biological – chromosomes, hormones etc., and gender being the way you feel in relation to the social construct of gender.
Bisexuality is the attraction to males and females while pansexuality is the attraction to all genders. While they are similar in the respect that they are both in the multi-sexual category, they are different. However it is important to understand that sexual orientation is not black and white and cannot be whittled down to such simple definitions. Sexuality is different for everyone and everyone relates to their sexuality with a personal definition.
For me, pansexuality means that I am attracted to people regardless of what they identify as. When I was growing up, I began thinking about my sexuality and the term ‘bisexual’ never really felt right. I knew I was not straight but I also knew I was not bi. When I finally began to take part in the LGBTQ+ community, thanks to the help of social media, I realised it wasn’t so black and white. To me, pansexuality is this big safety net that encompasses all these feelings I have in relation to those I’m attracted to and to my sexuality.
Around 11 or 12, I learned what bisexuality meant. I remember being in the 6th grade and telling my friend about my attraction to girls and boys/who my crushes were.
One night during the summer, she told me something that changed my life forever: a girl in our grade just came out as ‘pansexual’. I was like, “Whaaaaaaat?” There’s no way that can be a real thing!” So my friend began to tell me that this pansexual girl described it as being attracted to boys, girls, and “in between”.
In 9th grade I made my first non-binary friend. The moment that they told me they were pansexual, I blurted out, “Oh, me too!” Without even thinking, something inside of me told me, ‘Cortney, this is who you are. This is who you’re meant to be.”
Adjusting to my new pansexual lifestyle wasn’t easy. During the rest of high school, I was surrounded by people who loved making fun of pansexuality and how it didn’t exist. They would say it was made up by stupid kids who wanted to be special, and that pansexual people were just bisexual people with more drama. Heck, there were people who said bisexuality didn’t exist. Nothing was safe!
Today, my life is totally different! I will proudly call myself pansexual, and I don’t care what anyone has to say about it. I am dating a wonderful person who is proud to have a pansexual girlfriend and doesn’t see me for my identity.
To me, pansexuality is my freedom. My expression, my truth. I can’t make my definition sound special or poetic, really. With pansexuality, in the happiest version of myself I’ve ever been.
There will come a day where you won’t have to hide who you are, where you can call yourself whatever you want, and you will be surrounded by people who truly love you for you. I promise.
The Unite Team