What Is A Pansexual Or Pansexuality?

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Everything you need to know about pansexuality.

What is a pansexuality?

According​ to Wikipedia Pansexuality, or omnisexuality, is:

"The sexual, romantic or emotional attraction towards people regardless of their sex or gender identity."

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.

Pansexuality may be considered a sexual orientation in its own right or a branch of bisexuality, to indicate an alternative sexual identity. Because pansexual people are open to relationships with people who do not identify as strictly men or women. So rejects the gender binary and often considered a more inclusive term than bisexual.

To what extent the term bisexual is inclusive when compared with the term pansexual is debated within the LGBT community, especially the bisexual community.

With terms like sexual fluidity on the rise and more people now identifying as bisexual (possibly as a result of a growth in cultural awareness and acceptance), you might hear terms that sound new or unfamiliar, like pansexuality.


But what does it really mean to be pansexual:

Pansexuality falls under the bisexuality umbrella and, according to sexologist Dr. Carlen Costa, "is the sexual, romantic, emotional, physical or spiritual attraction to people, regardless of their specific gender identity or sexual expression." She continues, "Pansexuality is about recognizing that as a people, we have evolved, thus the language of love and relationships has also had to evolve and become increasingly inclusive."

In other words, pansexuality not only means that you can be attracted to both men and women; it means that you believe that "gender is a social construct and the way in which we move through the sexuality spectrum is a fluid experience" according to Costa. Identifying as pansexual means that you don't focus on gender in your romantic attraction to other people and can be attracted to all possible identities.

It mainly differs from bisexuality in specifying a rejection from the gender binary to begin with. Though bisexual individuals may feel this way too, pansexual people often express that they may be attracted to genderqueer people, gender-nonconforming individuals, trans people, as well as cis-gender men and women.

What are the common misconceptions about pansexuality? Pansexuality broadens the term "bisexuality," which means you are sexually or romantically attracted to more than one gender. Since bisexuality has its own set of stigmas regarding perceived promiscuity and sexuality being a "choice," pansexuality can be similarly misconstrued.

Another incorrect assumption, says Costa, is that pansexuality automatically includes "forms of attraction such as bestiality, pedophilia, [and] paraphilias such as objectophilia," which is a pretty big leap to believe that a person who likes all gender identities in humans would be interested in a deer or a car engine. The other myth is that, if you date a heterosexual cis-gender person monogamously, you're no longer pansexual, which is also not true because (1) you'd like all gender identities, remember? and (2) who you date or do not date currently does not restrict your sexual identity.


What is it like to be pansexual?

Multiple celebrities have come out as pansexual, with Miley Cyrus especially popularizing the term when she opened up about her sexuality in Elle UK in 2015. Cyrus also said that she "[doesn't] relate to what people would say defines a girl or a boy" in an interview with Out magazine.

Perhaps a more surprising public figure to identify as pan was Texas State Rep. Mary Gonzalez, who waited until after her campaign run to reveal her orientation because she feared she "would have overwhelmed everyone." Gonzalez originally came out as bisexual when she was 21, but after dating transgender and genderqueer people, realized the term didn't feel exactly right and that "gender identity isn't the defining part of [her] attraction."

Other notable pansexual figures include YouTube and TV personality Jazz Jennings, who describes her attraction as having "No limits. [She'll] date anyone. It's more that [she loves] someone for their soul," and rapper Angel Haze, who stated, "If you can make me feel, if you can make me laugh — and that's hard — then I can be with you."

h/t | cosmopolitan.com

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