PANSEXUAL

 

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What is Pansexuality?

Pansexuality, or omnisexuality, is sexual attraction, romantic love, or emotional attraction toward people of any sex or gender identity. Pansexual people may refer to themselves as gender-blind, asserting that gender and sex are insignificant or irrelevant in determining whether they will be sexually attracted to others.

 

Pansexual is a term that has been growing in recent years as a way for people to better identify their sexual identity. The word Pansexual is derived from the Greek prefix pan, meaning "all". The term is reflective of those who feel they are sexually/emotionally/spiritually capable of falling in love with all genders. Pansexuals have the capability of attraction to others regardless of their gender identity or biological sex. A pansexual could be open to someone who is male, female, transgender, intersex, or agendered/genderqueer.

Do Pansexuals like everyone?  Pansexual identified people have the physical/emotional/spiritual capability of falling in love or being with someone regardless of their gender. This doesn't mean they like everyone, and some Pansexuals do have physical preferences. The identity is used merely to express the openness and fluidity to people of all genders.

How is Pansexuality different from Polysexuality?  Pan means "all" while Poly means "many" and so there are some similar overlaps, a Polysexual may be attracted to some gender variant people but not have the capability or desire to be with some others. Pansexuals are open to any person regardless of their gender or sex.

Among celebrities who have identified themselves as pansexual are Prince, Miley Cyrus, Kristen Stewart (Twilight), Lily Rose Depp (Daughter of Johnny Depp), Shailene Woodley (Divergent, Fault in Our Stars), Ireland Baldwin (Daughter of Alec Baldwin and Kim Bassinger), and Angel Haze (rapper).  

 

 

Are There Differences Between Bisexual and Pansexual?  There is some overlap when defining bisexual and pansexual orientation; however, there are important differences between the two identities. DifferenceBetween.Net states that these differences are :  Bisexual people are attracted sexually and romantically to both males and females, and are capable of engaging in sensual relationships with either sex. Despite being able to form meaningful, lasting relationships with both sexes, bisexual individuals may, to a small or large degree, have a preference for one sex over the other.  Similarly, pansexual people may be sexually attracted to individuals who identify as male or female; however, they may also be attracted to those who identify as intersex, third-gender, androgynous, transsexual, or the many other sexual and gender identities. The latter distinction is what draws the line between pansexuality and bisexuality.

 

People who self-identify as pansexual do so with purpose, to express that they are able to be attracted to various gender and sexual identities, whether they fall within the gender binary or not. Recognition of the existence of different genders and sexualities is a major aspect of pansexual identity. Pansexual people are bisexual, in-fact; however, bisexuality does not place the same emphasis on sexual and gender identity awareness, but more simply indicates attraction to the two (generally accepted) biological sexes.    

 

The differences between the two sexual identities are undermined by the fact that some people who consider themselves pansexual identify themselves as bisexual out of convenience, as its a more widely known sexual identity. In addition, some people who consider themselves bisexual may be open to dating someone who falls outside the gender binary.  Self-perception, rather than objective sexuality, determines which sexual identity an individual chooses to embrace. Simply being attracted to both biological sexes does not mean one considers oneself bisexual. In fact, many people at one time or another will have some romantic or sexual experience or feelings toward each sex, though, most would not embrace the bisexual label. Similarly, being attracted to people who embrace varied identities does not mean that individual will identify as pansexual.

There are few organizations which are geared solely for those who identify as pansexual, and many bisexual organizations include alternative identities such as: pansexual, omnisexual, multisexual, and other non-monosexualities, so representation and visibility likely also play a part in how people choose to self-identify.  There is some controversy over the two labels, as some in the bisexual community feel as though the pansexual label is a form of bisexual erasure and that the bisexual identity is already inclusive of those who have an attraction to those who fall anywhere along the gender continuum and outside of it.  There is a feeling that pansexual people are simply avoiding the bisexual label due to the stigmas associated with it (that bisexual people are simply greedy and promiscuous, and spread disease among both the heterosexual and homosexual communities). Conversely, many in the pansexual community feel as though these beliefs are forms of prejudice and pansexual erasure.  Not only those who identify as biologically male or female identify as bisexual, the gender identities of people who use and feel comfortable with this label vary.

The pansexual label; however, is more accommodating for those, regardless of their own gender identity, who sometimes do not fit neatly into the male or female genders, for example, when people who are engaged in a homosexual or heterosexual relationship and their partner transitions from male-to-female or female-to-male. Although, some choose to take on change their sexual identity according to the gender to which their partner has transitioned, an increasing number have chosen to self-label as pansexual, queer, or one of the other non-monosexual identities.  The pansexual identity is much more accommodating to the coupling of individuals who embrace various sexual and gender identities.  Many people strongly identify as either bisexual or pansexual, and never use the labels interchangeably.  The identity is used merely to express the openness and fluidity to people of all genders.

 

LINKS:

 

Pansexuality: Wikipedia
What is Pansexual?
Pansexual, Polysexual, Omnisexual, Ambisexual
Pansexuality: Everything You Need to Know
Prince: Pansexual Genius
What it Means to be Pansexual

List of Pansexual People

Hollywood Pansexuals

 


Flags and Colors
 

The pan-sexual flag is striped with the rose, blue, and gold, representing the female gender, male gender, and third-gender, respectively. The third-gender includes those who are intersex, genderqueer, transsexual, androgynous, and other who identify as being both genders.

 

 

The bisexual pride flag is striped with the colors royal blue, magenta, and lavender, representing same gender attraction, opposite gender attraction, and attraction to both genders, respectively.




Each flag is representative of the overarching ideologies underlying the bisexual and pansexual identities, with bisexuality indicating the capacity to be sexually attracted to and engage romantic relationships with both sexes/genders, and pansexuality indicating the ability to have romantic attractions and relationships with people of various genders and sexualities.
 


Comparison to Bisexuality

 

Pansexuality may be considered a sexual orientation in its own right or a branch of bisexuality, to indicate an alternative sexual identity. Because pansexual people are open to relationships with people who do not identify as strictly men or women, and pansexuality therefore rejects the gender binary, the "notion of two genders and indeed of specific sexual orientations", it is often considered a more inclusive term than bisexual. To what extent the term bisexual is inclusive when compared to the term pansexual is debated within the LGBT community, especially the bisexual community.

 

A literal dictionary definition of bisexuality, due to the prefix bi-, is sexual or romantic attraction to two sexes (males and females), or to two genders (men and women). Pansexuality, however, composed with the prefix pan-, is the sexual attraction to a person of any sex or gender. Using these definitions, pansexuality is defined differently by explicitly including people who are intersex or outside the gender binary.

Pansexuals can be attracted to cisgender, transgender, intersex and androgynous people, and that the term pansexual "is generally considered a more inclusive term than bisexual".  Cavendish's Sex and Society, however, states that "although the term's literal meaning can be interpreted as 'attracted to everything,' people who identify as pansexual do not usually include paraphilias, such as bestiality, pedophilia, and necrophilia, in their definition" and that they "stress that the term pansexuality describes only consensual adult sexual behaviors".

The definition of pansexuality can encourage the belief that it is the only sexual identity that covers individuals who do not cleanly fit into the categories of male or man, or female or woman. However, bisexual-identified people and scholars may object to the notion that bisexuality means sexual attraction to only two genders, arguing that since bisexual is not simply about attraction to two sexes and encompasses gender as well, it can include attraction to more than two genders. Gender is considered more complex than the state of one's sex, as gender includes genetic, hormonal, environmental and social factors. Furthermore, the term bisexual is sometimes defined as the romantic or sexual attraction to multiple genders. The Bisexual Resource Center, for example, defines bisexuality as "an umbrella term for people who recognize and honor their potential for sexual and emotional attraction to more than one gender", while the American Institute of Bisexuality states that the term bisexual "is an open and inclusive term for many kinds of people with same-sex and different-sex attractions" and that "the scientific classification bisexual only addresses the physical, biological sex of the people involved, not the gender-presentation."

Scholar Shiri Eisner states that terms such as pansexual, omnisexual, polysexual, queer, etc. are being used in place of the term bisexual because "bisexuality, it's been claimed, is a gender binary, and therefore oppressive, word" and that "the great debate is being perpetuated and developed by bisexual-identified transgender and genderqueer people on the one hand, and non-bi-identified transgender and genderqueer people on the other." Eisner argues that "the allegations of binarism have little to do with bisexuality's actual attributes or bisexual people's behavior in real life" and that the allegations are a political method to keep the bisexual and transgender movements separated, because of those who believe that bisexuality ignores or erases the visibility of transgender and genderqueer people.

 

LINKS:

 

Pansexuality: Wikipedia
What is Pansexual?
Pansexuality: Everything You Need to Know
What it Means to be Pansexual

 


Pan, Poly, Omni, Ambi

 

The American Institute of Bisexuality argues that "terms like pansexual, polysexual, omnisexual, and ambisexual also describe a person with homosexual and heterosexual attractions, and therefore people with those labels are also bisexual" and that "by replacing the prefix bi (two, both) with pan- (all), poly- (many), omni- (all), ambi- (both, and implying ambiguity in this case), people who adopt these labels seek to clearly express the fact that gender does not factor into their own sexuality," but "this does not mean, however, that people who identify as bisexual are fixated on gender." The institute believes that the notion that if a person identifies as bisexual, then it is a reinforcement of a false gender binary is a notion that "has its roots in the anti-science, anti-Enlightenment philosophy that has ironically found a home within many Queer Studies departments at universities across the Anglophone world" and that "while it is true that our society's language and terminology do not necessarily reflect the full spectrum of human gender diversity, that is hardly the fault of people who choose to identify as bi. [...] The Latin prefix bi- does indeed indicate two or both, however the 'both' indicated in the word bisexual are merely homosexual (lit. same sex) and heterosexual (lit. different sex)." The institute argues that heterosexuality and homosexuality, by contrast, "are defined by the boundary of two sexes/genders. Given those fundamental facts, any criticism of bisexuality as reinforcing a gender binary is misplaced. Over time, our society's concept of human sex and gender may well change."

The term pansexuality is sometimes used interchangeably with bisexuality, and, similarly, people who identify as bisexual may "feel that gender, biological sex, and sexual orientation should not be a focal point in potential [romantic/sexual] relationships". In one study analyzing sexual identities described as alternative terms for bisexual or bi-self labels, "half of all bisexual and bisexual-identified respondents also chose alternative self-labels such as queer, pansexual, pansensual, polyfidelitous, ambisexual, polysexual, or personalized identities such as 'byke' or 'biphilic'". Polysexuality is similar to pansexuality in definition, meaning "encompassing more than one sexuality," but not necessarily encompassing all sexualities. This is distinct from polyamory, which means more than one intimate relationship at the same time with the knowledge and consent of everyone involved. The term fluid may indicate that "a person's homosexual and heterosexual attractions exists in a state of flux and changes over time."

 

LINKS:

 

Pansexuality:Wikipedia
What is Pansexual?
Pansexual, Polysexual, Omnisexual, Ambisexual
Pansexuality: Everything You Need to Know
What it Means to be Pansexual

Huffington Post: Spark Chaser or Long Burner

Wikipedia: Polyamory

FAQ: More Than Two

FAQ: Love More

Glossary of Polyamory Terms

Psychology Today: 7 Forms of Non-Monogamy

 


Relevant Information

 

Gay

Lesbian

Bisexual

Transgender

Asexual

Intersex

Polyamory

Queer

Questioning

 

 


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ALGBTICAL

Association for Lesbian Gay Bisexual & Transgender Issues in Counseling of Alabama