Ok, I considered myself bi since I was like 12. But I've been struggling the last couple years because I've realized I'm attracted to anyone who has what I consider a beautiful soul, men, women, trans, I honestly don't care about gender or sexual orientation. Do you think this means I'm pan? Because I didn't even know that term existed until a few days ago, or... what am I, Hedwig? What am I?
Okay, so disclaimer that I am definitely NOT the expert here, but I will do my best…
I personally identify as pan AND bi as I see pan as being under the umbrella of bi. The definitions vary so you will probably find there is a lot of crossover between the two.
VERY simplistically (and subjectively):
Attracted to two or more genders = bi (check for me)
Attracted to ALL genders = pan (check for me)
I also just want to clarify for your reference that trans people are not another gender. I think you probably meant to say non-binary people? Some non-binary people do identify as trans, however I just want to state very clearly that trans women are women and trans men are men.
I think it might also help you if you don’t disregard gender from a person’s character completely. Some people see and use their gender as an expression of themselves so might not like you to disregard it when you think of them romantically, or even platonically.
Here’s a food example because I’m hungry: you might like both caramel and chocolate. There’s a difference between thinking: I like both because I like anything sweet, and thinking: I like chocolate because of its creamy texture and I like caramel because it has a sharp flavour. (TBH - and this isn’t a euphemism I swear - I haven’t eaten real caramel in years so I can’t remember what it tastes like so this is the best I can come up with).
This doesn’t mean you have to think of people as their gender stereotype - you can just appreciate how people choose to express their gender which could be in an infinite number of ways.
Anyway, sorry to get all serious here - it’s just that I think a lot of pan people (myself included) go through a stage of disregarding gender completely but this can be just as damaging as gender stereotypes so I want to make sure you can skip straight to the good stuff at the end of the tunnel. 😀
So if you do decide you are, in fact, pan too, welcome to the pan clan. That’s not a thing but it should be. Can we make “pan clan” a thing please?
Again, I’m not an expert. This is all my opinion. But I hope it will help you on your bi/pan journey. 🏳️🌈