5 frequent misconceptions about pansexuality

This Pansexual Visibility Day, we’re exploring what it means to be pansexual, and debunking 5 frequent myths about pansexuality.

With our understanding of the variety of human expertise increasing – and other people feeling extra in a position to stay as their true selves – it’s so necessary for these with extra marginalised identities to be seen.

Whereas visibility alone gained’t remedy the whole lot, it could possibly go a great distance in direction of serving to people perceive their emotions, and to really feel seen. Visibility and illustration can assist the psychological wellbeing of LGBTQ+ individuals who may really feel remoted, and open doorways to discovering neighborhood.

Sexual orientation, like all different elements of our identities, may be very private and varies from one particular person to a different. For me, being pansexual signifies that my attraction to folks has no correlation with their gender.

The idea of gender doesn’t relate to the methods through which I’m interested in others – I’m merely interested in these with the fitting power. I see magnificence in somebody’s total being, similar to I see magnificence in nature and on the earth round me. This doesn’t imply that I don’t discover folks bodily enticing – simply that this attraction doesn’t fall into classes which are associated to gender. Utilizing the time period “pansexual” permits me to revel within the expansive nature of my being, and acknowledge that I kind connections with folks, whatever the gendered methods through which they is perhaps perceived by society.

Pansexuality is simply one other shade within the vibrant spectrum of human range, present in concord alongside all the opposite palettes. However – as with many different phrases – pansexuality has lengthy been misunderstood.

So at present, on Pansexual Visibility Day, I’m going to discover and debunk a number of the frequent misconceptions about this stunning phase of the LGBTQ+ neighborhood:     

1. “Aren’t pansexuality and bisexuality the identical factor?”

Whereas there are numerous overlaps between pansexuality and bisexuality, the official definitions differ of their method to gender. The prefix pan- means “all”, so pansexuality is an attraction to all gender identities or attraction regardless of gender id, whereas bisexuality is the attraction to a number of gender identities.

There could also be people who align with the best way pansexuality is outlined but establish with the time period ‘bisexuality’, and that’s utterly legitimate. Others could use pansexual and bisexual interchangeably. Our identities are private and particular to every considered one of us – that’s what makes us all distinctive!

2. “I’ve heard that pansexuality is transphobic.”

One of many greatest misconceptions about pansexuality is that pansexual individuals are someway being transphobic by stating that they’re interested in trans folks whereas bisexual folks aren’t, as a result of they don’t see trans folks as males or ladies. This can be a harmful and unfaithful fantasy! Pansexuality is attraction regardless of gender, so a pansexual particular person’s attraction to somebody has nothing to do with whether or not they’re trans or cis.

Equally, the existence of pansexuality doesn’t imply that bisexual individuals are solely interested in males or ladies. Bisexual folks may be interested in folks with the identical gender id, and with totally different gender identities from their very own – together with non-binary folks. The not too long ago rising time period “bi+” now makes it much more specific that bisexuality isn’t restricted by binary definitions of gender and sexuality!

 3. “How can somebody be interested in everybody? Pansexuals are simply grasping!”

Simply because somebody has the potential to be interested in anybody doesn’t imply they’re any roughly more likely to be interested in a person. And it particularly doesn’t imply that they’re mechanically interested in everybody. This can be a fantasy that mirrors the homophobic notion that every one homosexual males or lesbians are mechanically attracted to each man or girl they meet.

It isn’t “grasping” for somebody to have the potential to be interested in folks of all genders. Somebody figuring out as pansexual doesn’t imply they’re continually pursuing others, usually tend to cheat, or are incapable of committing to relationships. How adults resolve to construct consensual relationships is no person else’s enterprise!

4. “Pansexual individuals are confused – they’ll’t make up their thoughts about what they need.”

Like bisexuality, pansexuality is usually erased and labelled as “sitting on the fence” or a “stepping-stone to being homosexual”. This false impression is usually offered in a gendered means, with ladies labelled as “straight however experimenting”, and males assumed to be “homosexual, however too scared to totally come out”. Apart from being inherently queerphobic, these concepts are simply one other means through which the patriarchy manifests inside our social tradition.

Once we make the above gendered assumptions, we’re centring males in our understanding of sexuality. We’re suggesting that it’s not attainable for a person to be interested in folks with a number of gender identities with out their major attraction being in direction of males. This simply isn’t true: pansexual folks know who they’re, and so they don’t want to choose between folks of various genders to show it.

5. “Pansexuality is only a new fad!”

The time period pansexual is, actually, not a brand new time period. The phrase has been included within the Oxford English Dictionary since no less than the early 1900s, and has been utilized in its present definition since no less than the late Sixties. Whereas LGBTQ+ folks have lengthy been utilizing a spread of various phrases to explain their identities, we’re merely extra conscious of them now resulting from growing social acceptance, in addition to entry to numerous experiences via the web and social media.

Even when it was a brand new time period, nonetheless, this is able to not invalidate pansexual folks’s experiences, or recommend that they had been being inauthentic. As public notion progresses, it’s possible that our language will broaden and evolve to incorporate the huge range of human expertise – and that’s stunning!

Supply hyperlink