A Spotlight on Pansexuality

Pansexuality is often misunderstood and merely assimilated with bisexuality. It's time we shone a spotlight on pansexuality and its validity as an identity.

Hannah Ross
22nd February 2022
Image Credit: Tim Samuel, Pexels
Google defines pansexuality as "not limited in sexual choice with regard to biological sex, gender, or gender identity". Whilst a good baseline definition, it is important to understand the nuances associated with pansexual identity for those who use it to describe themselves.

The word pansexual has different meanings for different people and for some is interchangeable with bisexuality. So why is this? Originally, the term bisexual referred specifically to two genders, male and female, and so pansexual was a way of describing that one was not limited to the dominant binary logic of gender. Since then, bisexuality has incorporated the use of all genders, but for some, it still has binary connotations. Therefore, it depends on one’s preference and what the word means to them.

"it's about emphasis on an individual’s personality and soul and takes focus off particular performances of gender and sexuality."

A pansexual interviewee described that for them it's not about physical attraction, but about a person’s aura and having a connection through mind and soul to form a romantic attraction. This does not discount sexual attraction, but for them encapsulates a way of labelling themselves without confining themselves. For them, it's about emphasis on an individual’s personality and soul and takes focus off particular performances of gender and sexuality. The way they best described it was as "not liking everybody, but liking anybody", and found this as a good way to dispel what they found was the biggest misconception of their identity - that they are attracted to everybody they see.

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