For an increasing section of the queer community, pansexuality is an identity that acknowledges one’s attraction to people regardless of gender or sexuality, whoever they may be.
A pansexual person is someone who is attracted to people of all genders — not just cisgender and transgender men and women, but nonbinary people, gender-nonconforming people, and anyone whose gender falls outside of the gender binary, or beyond traditional definitions of what it means to be a “man” or “woman.”
Because the term is unfamiliar to a lot of people, there have been a number of misconceptions and myths surrounding pansexuality. This introduction can help you understand the ins and outs of what it means to be pansexual (and maybe discover that you are pansexual yourself!). Here are the most important things you need to know about pansexuality:
1. It’s the real thing.
“There are a lot of stereotypes and misconceptions created about pansexuality, and one of the most well-known ones is that pansexuality isn’t a ‘real’ sexual identity. That is absolutely rubbish! By refusing to accept and acknowledge pansexual or preventing them from accepting their own identity, pansexuals can get stifled leading to mental and physical health issues.
2. It’s not uncommon to identify as pansexuals after coming out as bisexuals.
Bisexuality is often the first step to recognizing one’s sexual preferences as different from heterosexual preferences. Pansexuality is often the easiest next step as being inclusive in one’s choice of sexual partners irrespective of their gender, self-expression or sexual identity.
3. Pansexuals are involved in monogamous relationships
Like in bisexuality, it’s a common misconception by people that pansexual folks are not able to be faithful or participate in monogamous relationships. That’s a wrong assumption. Pansexuals are just as capable of being monogamous as straight couples, gay couples, or general queer couples. And just because they are attracted to a lot of different kinds of people, doesn’t mean they are romantically or sexually involved with all of them at the same time.
4. Pansexual people can be attracted to anyone of any gender, but it doesn’t mean they’re attracted to everyone.
It’s a myth to think that pansexuals are attracted to everyone they encounter. Just because someone has the potential to be attracted to people regardless of gender doesn’t mean that they’re any more or less likely to be attracted to a particular person. That’s like saying straight women are attracted to all men, which is obviously untrue.
Read More: 5 Intersex myths busted!
5. Pansexual is not a ‘new term’.
The current definition of pansexuals has been around since at least the late 1960s. Previously, acccording to the Oxford English Dictionary, the term pansexual has been around since at least the early 1900s as a psychological term that describes sex as a primary motivator for human beings. The idea of sexual attraction that isn’t limited to binary constructions of gender is not new — it’s just that now more people believe it to be possible and positive.
6. Pansexuality isn’t just about sex.
The big misconception is about pansexuals that it’s for people of that spectrum it is all about having sex. That is false! The truth is whenever pansexuals make a romantic connection, it’s very much about creating a strong connection and building a meaningful relationship with the other person, not just about having sex.
7. Pansexuality has nothing to do with gender.
There are people who often mix up gender identity with sexual identity but the two terms are very different. The term Pansexuality refers to an individual’s sexual orientation, i.e. whom they are sexually attracted to. On the other hand, gender is about their own identity, who they are within.
8. Pansexuality is not rare.
The number of people who identify as pansexual is increasing around the globe with every passing day. Bisexuality is already quite common in the queer community as people who are attracted to or have been sexually involved with one or more genders and it is only a logical the reason that the number of pansexuals will only increase as more and more people become aware of this distinct sexuality.