Pansexual and Panromantic Pride Day, Thursday 8th December 2022
This December 8th celebrate Pansexual and Panromantic Pride Day with us!
We would like to offer our readers a 101 on pansexuality. While often sidelined, the pan community is sizeable. The LGBT+ Pride 2021 Global Study found that in the 27 countries they surveyed, around 1% identified as pansexual.
Definition of Pansexual and Panromantic
Pansexuality refers to people who are sexually and romantically attracted to people regardless of their gender identity. Gender is not relevant. This term is often confused with bisexuality. While the two share many similarities, bisexuality usually refers to being attracted to two or more genders and may include a preference for a certain gender.
This is not to say that all bisexual people define their sexuality this way. Every bisexual and pansexual person may define themselves differently according to personal experience. They may also identify with both labels. Many think that bisexuality does not include trans and that only pansexuality includes all genders. This is simply not true. Bisexuality has always include trans and non-binary people.
Panromantic follows the same concept as pansexuality, however, without the sexual attraction. Panromantic people are more interested in forming an emotional and romantic connection to others, no matter what gender the other person identifies as. Sex does not play an essential part. This sexuality can also fall within the ace umbrella.
Issues Faced By the Pan Community
There are recurring issues the pan-community continues to face. Not only are they the butt of many overused jokes even within the wider LGTBQ+ community, but they are also almost entirely represented in the media. The words ‘I am pansexual’ are rarely uttered in film and on TV. Similarly to bisexuality, pan people are often erased within the LGBTQ+ community.
Many people hold on to the notion that you can be ‘either gay or straight’. People often undermine or diminish whatever is in-between that spectrum. They see it as ‘just a phase’, people being ‘confused’, or even ‘seeking attention’. This is likely reinforced by the Western gender binary that assumes only two genders exist, and a dogmatic view of identities and attraction. However, gender and sexuality are more complex than that.
Pansexual people’s identity is often misunderstood or questioned. This forces them to ‘legitimise’ their identity in the eyes of others as though being pan is not enough.
A significant issue is the lack of education cis and straight people have around pansexuality. As it is not one of the primary sexualities mentioned in daily news and media outlets, many do not know its definition, or even that pansexual people exist.
Too often pan people are subject to offensive, or outright dumb questions. One cis straight woman once asked me whether pansexuality refers to people being ‘attracted to ugly people’….
It is safe to say that more awareness needs to happen around pansexual and panromantic identities.
Let’s make it clear for everyone:
Pansexuality is NOT a phase!
Just because our cis-heteronormative society is not capable of understanding the nuance and fluidity of human sexuality does not mean that your sexual identity is invalid. Pansexual and panromantic people exist – and no, to answer another stupid question I’ve been asked – they are NOT attracted to kitchen pans!
Are you planning on doing anything to mark Pansexual and Panromantic Pride Day? Why not tag us on twitter or instagram and share what you’ve been up to!