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Among the many marginalized voices that have come to receive more attention in recent years. there's the one that belongs to those who identify as being pansexual. For laymen, this term can often be a head-scratcher. Is being pansexual different than being bisexual? Does it have something to do with loving bread? Worry not; pansexuality is actually very easy to understand. In fact, you might be pansexual and not even know it yet!
First of all, no, the pan in pansexual does not refer to any cooking apparatus. It’s actually derived from the Greek prefix which means “all” or “everything”. That is to say, a pansexual person can be sexually attracted to every and all type of person (and tbh probably loves bread too).
Herein lies the distinction between pansexuality and bisexuality, though it’s rather subtle. By definition, a pansexual person is also bisexual, but not the other way around. The difference is, a pansexual person includes, as paramount to their identity, their attraction to people outside of the traditional gender binary. Get it? Whereas technically speaking, a bisexual person is attracted to men and women (and often to unequal degrees). A pansexual person, on the other hand, is attracted to all forms of gender expression.
Sound knit-picky? Actually, identifying as pansexual just comes packaged with a desire to promote awareness of non-binary genders. In the eyes of a pansexual person, all genders are beautiful, so their term of sexual identity should reflect that. But at the same time, some pansexual people may just say they identify as being bisexual so as not to have to explain all this stuff constantly. ;)
All that being said, bisexually is absolutely still a valid sexual identity. What constitutes your identity is an extremely complicated and mysterious formula, so always be sure to trust your gut when it comes to picking a term. So even if you didn’t just discover that you’re really pansexual, at least the next pansexual person you meet won’t have to explain all this to you. ;)Previous Next
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