What is Pansexuality? Pansexuality can be defined as - sexual, romantic or emotional attraction towards people regardless of their sex, or gender identity. It can also be defined as attraction to all genders. Like most people, pansexual people are not attracted to every single person. However, the gender of the people that they are attracted to isn’t a factor that they take into consideration when experiencing the attraction. People of any gender identity can identify as pansexual. There are several sexualities that are similar to pansexuality, but it depends on what label an individual is most comfortable with, and identifies with the most.
The term “bisexual” is also a term that is used to describe an attraction to multiple genders, and it is one that may confuse people a little. Bisexual is a term that means attraction to two or more genders, and since it’s so similar to pansexuality, people often wonder about the difference between them and question why both should be used. To clarify the difference between the two terms, a metaphor of desserts can be used. In one scenario, someone may like all desserts, but prefer a few over the rest and come back to eat that dessert over and over again. This would be similar to how a bisexual person experiences attraction. In another, someone may not care what the dessert looks or tastes like as long as it is sweet. This would be similar to how a pansexual person experiences attraction. The two sexualities may seem to have a broad overlap, but they are distinct, separate, and individual identities, and that difference between the two is something that should be respected and maintained for people to find comfort and identity in.
Some people believe that because people can be attracted to people of any gender, pansexual people are more likely than others to act on their attractions. This may contribute to the stereotype that pansexuals are promiscuous. This is, however, untrue. This popular stereotype dehumanises and deindividualises pansexual people, instead of treating them like the regular individuals. Pansexual people may experience a lot of sexual attraction, or may experience minimal or even none at all - just like people with other orientations do. Those who are attracted to all genders romantically but not sexually, may choose to identify as panromantic or asexual instead. Pansexuality is simply a label that dictates who you are attracted to - not the degree of attraction.
The “this is just a phase” argument is unfounded and has no real roots in reality. Pansexuality is an identity that is just as valid as any other, and is an independent orientation, in and of itself. In any case, sexuality is not a static concept - it is fluid and can be subject to change. Pansexuality is a wonderful identity and sub-community to be a part of in the LGBTQ+ community and spectrum, and those who identify with it are, and should be, most certainly proud of their orientation.