Keys, a lot of people on my dash today have been saying that bi and pan are the same identity, which is really uncomfortable to hear as someone who IDs as a pan wlw and I don't know what to do about it.
I’m really sorry you’re seeing so much pan erasure today. If the people posting that stuff are otherwise kind people, you could try explaining to them what pansexuality means and how you don’t want your unique experiences to be brushed over.
I remember back when I identified as bi and spent a lot of time on multisexual forums, there were a lot of conversations about the differentiation of the two identities. I’m, obviously, no authority on any of them as a lesbian, but I remember the distinction that always made sense to me was:
Bisexuality referred to being attracted to more than one gender, while pansexuality referred to being attracted to people with gender not being a factor in attraction.
The metaphor I would use to explain the distinction to people was–
Imagine you’re into women, and you think women’s hair is just gorgeous and sexy. You’re attracted to women with long hair, women with buzz cuts, and women with wild styles. A woman’s hair, and how she expresses style with it, is a genuine component in your attraction to her. That’s like how bi folks’ attraction is influenced by gender. They can be attracted to all sorts of folks of different genders, but their gender is a genuine component of their attraction too.
Now imagine that you’re thinking back through all the women you’ve dated, and you realize that you’ve dated women who were right handed, women who were left handed, and women who were ambidextrous. You’ve dated people with traits across the board in that area, but their dominant hand really didn’t influence your attraction to them, it was just incidental. Their other traits– interests, smiles, the way they laughed, their style, their voice– those things drew you to them. Their ‘handedness’ wasn’t a factor. And that’s how pan folks’ attraction is influenced by gender. They can be attracted to all sorts of folks of different genders, and but their attraction genuinely isn’t influenced by gender.
And not everyone uses those definitions and divides based on that, but for those that do, it is a really big distinction. Because lesbians, gay men, bi folks– all have attraction rooted in or influenced by gender of partner, and pan folks don’t. And that’s important. It influences their perspective, their interactions with people, and contributes to a unique experience. It’s not the same as bisexuality. They’re both beautiful, and their distinctions are valuable and important.
I posted the original post over a year ago, and I was never expecting it to take off like it did. However, in the past year or so I’ve seen why this post can be problematic.
It made an unfair assumption that coming out is easier for certain people, that the people not included in this list somehow have it easier than the people who do, and though it was not my intent I realize how wrong it is.
I thought of this post late one night, when I was tired and thought I was funny. But I realize now that it was a hurtful assumption to a lot of people.
I appreciate the positive responses I’ve had to this, but I don’t want this post reblogged anymore.
I’m incredibly sorry if I have hurt or offended anyone with this post. I’m sorry if I was a total jackass for not only posting this, but not saying something about it sooner. I’m sorry, and even though I understand if you don’t want to forgive me I hope that you do.
I’m leaving what was originally said under the post, so that way you know what post this whole thing refers to.
Once again, I’m sorry. And I hope this helps righting the wrong that I did.
Asexuals, bisexuals, and pansexuals all have a closet to come out of. Except it’s less of a closet and more like the wardrobe to Narnia.
‘Cause when they come out, no one believes them or the things they experienced.
The Pan-Handler is a superhero who works by night, lurking in the shadows to protect citizens from LGBTQ+ discrimination. Yielding her dual pans as weapons, she uses her super strength and invisible tenancies to destroy anyone who attempts anything against her beloved community.
okay so my sexuality's a complicated deal so let's just call me queer as hell
nono I wanna know can't you explain it
well ok mainly I am asexual which means I don't want to do the do nor do I long for it, so it has nothing to do with lack of confidence or anything like that, I simply don't find anyone sexually attractive
but I'm also bi romantic. The sexual and romantic attraction are different, and I still fall in love and want to have physical contact with my partner, I just don't need the hanky panky
right cause you have a girlfriend that's pansexual right
exactly and as long as we're both happy with not doing the rumba naked, that's a valid relationship
I get it, I get it... I didn't know the entire sexual and romantic orientations were different
yeah I know it was an eyeopener for me when I found ou-
Lady behind us in line:
excuse me so sorry but I couldn't help but overhear but I didn't know half of what you just said and I was just wondering what that thing your girlfriend was is, pansexual?
*awkward glance at friend* oh uh I'm not an expert or anything and uh ok so basically it's similar to being bisexual, but there's less value in what gender the one you're attracted to is, at least as I understood it. So a bisexual would be attracted to a person despite their gender, a pansexual wouldn't really care at all in a way uh I'm sorry I'm bad at explaining
Lady behind us in line:
that's alright I can look it up myself later you gave me a general idea! So where did you find out these things, you're pretty young?
well, Internet. Once you're a bit confused about what you might be you usually go looking for explanations...
Lady behind us in line:
so uh in theory... It's fine if you don't know, I just want to check with you... Is there a thing called aROMANTIC? like you're asexual, is there a equivalent to the romantic orientation you mentioned?
oh yeah, absolutely! You can be both asexual and aromantic, or aromantic and heterosexual, literally all combinations are possible!
Lady behind us in line:
*smiles LIKE REALLY GODDAMNED GENUINELY* thank you so much, I did not know that. *fishes up phone from pocket* now if you excuse me, I'm going to call my mother and tell her I'm not crazy for never having been married or stayed with one guy for long despite being 50+ but still has three children! *steps out of line and walks off while dialing*
wow that was... Amazing
see how happy she got? That's the power of right information.
And that's why I've been smiling since this happened.
Fun fact: you’re allowed to change your mind on how you identify. We are all changing and discovering who we are. Just because you identified as one thing before doesn’t mean you aren’t allowed to change your mind as you learn more about yourself.
Since us pansexuals, bisexuals, and asexuals “don’t exist,” we are able to walk through other planes and worlds of non-existence. This is why so very few of us can be found during winter and summer break; we are likely taking summer classes at Hogwarts or vacationing in Isengard-gard-gard.