Parnika believes that sexual attraction can be either simple or complicated to figure out. For some, it becomes simple as they love regardless of the other’s sex or gender. This is what it is like being a pansexual. Let’s understand it better, shall we?
To lay down a definition, pansexuality is the attraction where one feels sexually or romantically towards another — regardless of gender or sex. The prefix “pan” means all, which redirects one to the meaning of pansexuality. According to David Bond, someone who identifies as a pansexual can be attracted to multiple sexes and gender identities. He says, “It might have to do with who you have romantic feelings for or who you have a sexual attraction for, and those two can be hand-in-hand or distinct.”
The flag of pansexuality has the shades Magenta, Yellow, and Cyan. Magenta represents women, yellow stands for non-binary, and cyan for men. With this laid down, let’s further look into pansexuality with other sexual orientations and the misconceptions that come with it.
Today, pansexuality has come a long way. It recently gained media attention as celebrities like Miley Cyrus, Demi Lovato, and Brendon Urie came out to the world.
Figuring out sexual orientation can be quite confusing to an individual. Usually, when someone realizes that they are pansexual, they tend to think they are bisexual because they are attracted to more than one gender. “I always thought I was bisexual… but later, I also felt attracted toward trans people and gender non-conforming people. So I read a few books, and I realized I’m actually pan.” said a male student. “When I’m attracted to someone, gender identity of the person is not something that is a consideration to me. It’s basically how a straight or gay person is attracted to their partner but for me, the gender is not really a thing,” he added.
Bisexuality and pansexuality are often confused with being the same, as the baseline of both of them is being attracted to more than one gender. However, these two sexual orientations are different, like sisters from the same parent. An individual can be said bisexual when they are attracted to two or more genders. In contrast, pansexuals are attracted to all genders.
According to healthline.com, Bisexual means attracted to multiple genders, and pansexual means attracted to all genders. These are different because “multiple” isn’t the same thing as “all.” Bisexuality can have a different definition to many people. Hence the amount of confusion between the two. But, many agree that bisexuality is being attracted to many genders, and pansexuality is being attracted to all genders.
A lot of people assume pansexuals are bi-phobic. Bi-phobia is that prejudice or intense hate towards the bisexual community. However, many think pansexuals are bi-phobic simply because these two sexual orientations have only one factor in common. However, many pansexuals claim not to be that way. Though bisexuality and pansexuality are two faces of the same coin, they do not hate each other. With that being said, let’s look into more misconceptions around pansexuality.
Like with everything else, pansexuality has several misconceptions around it. Few of them being:
“It’s just a phase”
The most common one for every sexual orientation is that it is just a phase. In that case, one might assume that every other sexuality is a “phase.” “ It can depend on being a ‘phase.’ Maybe for years, they’ve identified as being pansexual, and later they come out as being Queer. That might happen because of enough experimentation with different genders and sexualities. Finally, they settle down on the term that identifies with them the most,” says a user on the LGBT+ forum.
“They just don’t want to come out as gay fully”
Many people assume that pansexuals are just “testing the waters.” But, unfortunately, this leads them into thinking if they are figuring out if they are actually straight, gay, lesbian, or bisexual.
“They are more likely to sleep around with everyone”
Many pansexuals consider this to be very offensive. The misconception that pan people think “everyone” is attractive or 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,” says Lee Monster.
All of the above information proves that pansexuality is just as important as any other sexuality in the rainbow spectrum. However, many pansexuals are still closeted because of the cons that come out of a simple act of one being nobody but themselves. Additionally, many do not have an idea about pansexuality because of the lack of resources available to them for example lack of pansexual characters in movies and books.
In conclusion, pansexuality, like any other sexual orientation, is a part of an individual and it’s high time our surroundings begin to get sensitized with it. “Live and let live,” said a 21-year-old student. At the end of the day, love is love and it cannot be contained.