What’s The Difference Between Bisexuality and Pansexuality?

SO there’s this political facebook page I’ve been following for a long time that posts great memes and articles, but yesterday they posted a meme of a skeleton like “Me waiting for pansexuals to explain how they’re different from bisexuals”.
((For anybody who wants to know the page for avoidance purposes it’s called “The Ministry of Bisexual Propaganda”. Don’t send hate mail, because that makes you honestly worse than them))
And as a pansexual, I realize it’s hard to explain the difference, especially off the top of your head, especially to people who don’t accept the reality that there’s more than two genders found in human beings. So here I am, let me explain the difference to you.

First you need to look at gender. Gender is a spectrum, as is recognised by most doctors, and scientists.
A persons gender is not quite the same thing as a persons sex (their genitalia). Though, certain genders are associated with certain sex.
Gender is a spectrum as gender is a social construct.
Sex is generally what’s in your pants.
“There’s only two genders you damn special snowflakes!” You may say, in which case, you’re thinking of a persons sex, their genitalia, in which case, you’re still wrong.
In the case of genitalia there’s actually three ways it can be down there (that I am currently aware of). You can have a penis, which is medically classified as male genitalia. You can have a vagina which is classified as female genitalia. You can have both or parts of both which is classified as intersex.
Intersex is not the same as being trans.
Trans people were born in a body that doesn’t match their gender. Intersex people were born with genitalia and gendered features of both the better known sexes.
There’s as many intersex people in the general population as there are people with red hair, so don’t dismiss them because they’re a lesser known and less visible minority.

Now, back to the main explanation at hand.
Bisexuality means you are attracted to two genders or sexes (this doesn’t necessarily mean they’re limited to being attracted to men and women, which aren’t always synonymous with male and female).
It’s literally the point of the name (Bi = Two).

Now, pansexuality is different in the sense that it isn’t limited to the number two. A pansexual person can experience attraction to a person without being limited by gender identity or sex, which we’ve already established that there’s more than two of both.(Not to say that pansexuals can’t have preference, they absolutely can)

Hate me or love me, this is the explanation to the difference between the two sexualities. Both of which being completely valid sexualities.
But when it comes down to it, they’re just labels. Just love who you want to love and can we stop poo-pooing on other people for their sexualities already?

REBLOG IF YOU THINK PANSEXUALITY IS A LEGITIMATE SEXUALITY

i wanna come out to my mom as pansexual but when ive hinted at me not being 100% straight, she’s said its not a thing and that im too young to know (im 19) what my sexuality is and it just makes me SO MAD bc i want my mom to accept me but i think i need some support

so, please reblog if you agree that pansexuality is real and that im old enough to know my sexuality.

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[Image Description: Two screenshots, with captions at the bottom, of Bill Nye from his Netflix show. The first reads, “pansexual people are attracted to individuals” and the second reads, “regardless of their sex or gender.”]

Bill Nye acknowledged and validated pansexuality on his new Netflix show, Bill Nye Saves the World.

Even though I don’t particularly like the “regardless of” definition of pansexuality, I’ve seen quite a few people who are really happy about this and that is so important to me.

So, endless shoutouts to Bill Nye for acknowledging and validating people who very rarely feel seen and valid.

most people think ‘pan’ stands for pansexual or panromantic when in fact it stands for panic, which incidentally is what i do all day

i need to make a post about this because it’s really bothering me.


bisexuality = the attraction to more than one gender, or the attraction to two or more genders, or the attraction to genders same as and other than your own

pansexuality = the attraction to all genders or the attraction to people regardless of their sex and gender identity


bisexuality is not defined as the attraction to men and women. bisexuality does not exclude other genders. bisexuals aren’t any less open-minded and accepting than pansexuals or anyone else in the lgbtq+ community. bisexuality is a sexuality, not a way to reinforce the gender binary.


many people seem to think that bisexuals aren’t aware of non-binary people or that they think there are only two genders.

this is because

1. the term bisexual is older than the term pansexual, and at the time the word bisexual was first introduced, it was defined as the attraction to males and females, because the term non-binary wasn’t something people were aware of. fortunately, many people today understand what gender binary and non-binary mean and because of this, the definition and meaning of bisexuality have evolved. saying bisexuals are only attracted to men and women is the old way of thinking.

2. bi in bisexual means two, and people always like to rely on this and say that it literally means two, as in men and women. if you really have to use this as an argument, the two you’re referring to means same as your own gender and other than your own gender. that makes two groups without excluding any genders.

3. pansexuality is always thought of as the gender-blind label that includes everyone whereas bisexuality is seen as only including men and women, boys and girls, males and females. which, like i said, is not true, so please destroy this way of thinking. it’s not helping anyone.


you can identify as both bisexual and pansexual. you can identify as bisexual but feel like the word pansexual could also describe your sexuality accurately. you can identify only as pansexual. 

the difference between these two is slight but it’s there. so maybe instead of trying to tell others what their own sexualities are supposed to mean to them or what they should identify as, give everyone the freedom to identify themselves however way they feel is right for them. especially people who are neither bisexual nor pansexual can stfu and stop defining our sexualities for us thank you.

things people don’t say enough:


- it’s okay to be confused about your identity

- if you change your label from bi to lesbian, you’re NOT contributing to the argument that bisexuality is just a phase. it’s totally okay to do that.

- pansexuality is real and valid and great

- if you’re a trans women you sure as hell can identify as sapphic. if someone says you can’t, ignore them.

- if you’re ace/aro (or in the spectrums) you can still identify as sapphic too

- there’s nothing wrong with being also attracted to men, it doesnt make you any “less” sapphic

- wlwoc exist and are SO beautiful

- you can find out you’re sapphic with 5 or with 50 years, it’s all fine

- you can have a fluid sexuality and still identify as sapphic (at least as long as you’re attracted to women)

- you can be non-binary and still be sapphic