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Pansexuality, also abbreviated as pan, is a sexual orientation encompassing attraction to multiple genders,[1][2][3][4] with the attraction being physical, romantic, and/or emotional.[2][3] The term has been variously defined as attracted to all genders,[3][4] capable of attraction to any or all gender(s),[1] or capable of attraction to anyone, regardless of gender identity.[2]

Definitions also vary regarding how gender and attraction interact for pansexuals. A common perception is that pansexuality means a person's attractions are not influenced by gender. However, pansexuals may feel that gender does not matter[1][2][5] or instead feel it is a factor in the way they are attracted. Some pansexuals are attracted to different genders in different ways, or they are more attracted to particular genders.[1]

Pansexuality is part of the bisexual umbrella—anyone who is attracted to more than one gender.[6] The Bisexual Resource Center uses "bisexual+" or "bi+" to distinguish the umbrella usage from the singular term.[7] Pan is also in the multiple-attraction spectrum (aka m-spec).[8] In both umbrellas, pansexual is alongside the labels omnisexual, polysexual, and others.[6][7][8] While m-spec[8] and bisexual[6][7] both encompass pansexual,[6][7][8] bi is considered part of m-spec.[8]

Etymology[]

The term "pansexual" is derived from the Greek prefix pan-, meaning "all" or "every".[9]

Community[]

Pansexual and Panromantic Visibility Day is celebrated on May 24. Pansexual Pride Day is on December 7.[10]

Flag[]

The pansexual pride flag was designed by Jasper[11] and posted to the Pansexual Pride Flag (@pansexualflag) Tumblr blog sometime before August 6, 2010.[12] It consists of three horizontal stripes: a strong pink at the top (hex color code #FF1B8D,[13] created with #FF218C),[14] a strong gold yellow in the center (#FFD900,[13] created with #FFD800),[14] and a light cerulean blue at the bottom (#1BB2FF,[13] created with #21B1FF).[14] They explained why they chose those colors and the colors' meanings:

I chose pink, yellow and blue as pan colours because pink and blue have come to be accepted to represent binary gender (pink for the female spectrum, blue for the male spectrum), while yellow is a bright colour, that symbolises life and happiness in many cultures, and is neglected by most queer-representing flags. Yellow makes it stand out from the bisexual colours, representing non-binary attraction, while the similar use of pink/blue (in a different shade) acknowledges the similarity of having attraction fall into the binary.

Jasper, Pansexual Pride Flag[15]

The flag has had its color meanings re- or mis-interpreted by others. One interpretation is that they represent the attraction to those genders.[16][17][18] Another is that they represent the gender identities of people who are pansexual.[19]

Distinction[]

Bisexual[]

Pansexual and bisexual have nuanced differences[7] that are frequently debated[1] and a source of confusion over how to distinguish them.[1][20] Which label a person uses is ultimately a matter of personal preference.[1][7]

People may identify as both bisexual and pansexual.[5] People choose one label over the other for various reasons, but the choice may come down to "because it just feels right". They may consider bi and pan to be distinct orientations, feel there is a negative stigma towards bisexuality, are trying to prompt conversations about sexual and romantic diversity since it is lesser known, or want to actively challenge the gender binary;[1] bisexuality is not limited to the gender binary, but it is often misunderstood as that.[4] Those who consider bisexuality and pansexuality separate may distinguish pansexuals as attracted to all genders and define bisexual as multiple but not all genders.[20] Although indifference to gender is often associated with pansexuality, some definitions of bisexual include attraction regardless of gender.[7] Pansexual is sometimes viewed as a more inclusive and expansive label[4] with a political emphasis on non-binary gender identities and transgender people.[6]

Omnisexual[]

The prefixes "omni-" and "pan-" both mean "all". For people attracted to any or all genders, omnisexual may be a person's preferred term. They may use the differentiations that omnisexual means gender is a factor in their attractions while pansexual means attraction is unrelated to gender.[1][5] This is sometimes phrased as pansexuals being "gender-blind" while omnisexuals are not.[21] Other people use the terms interchangeably.[5][21]

Polysexual[]

The "poly-" prefix means "many", and pansexual and polysexual people are both attracted to multiple genders.[22] However, polysexuals do not feel attraction to all of them—there are genders they are specifically not attracted to.[1][5][22] The labels are sometimes distinguished further as gender being a factor in a polysexual person's attractions and pansexuals attracted regardless of gender.[22]

Perceptions and discrimination[]

A lot of discrimination against pansexuality can come from a lack of understanding of what pansexuality is, and how it differs from other multisexual identities, and even other LGBTQIA+ identities.[23][24][25] For instance, pansexuality can sometimes be mixed up with hypersexuality, which is a separate concept from sexuality by itself.[23] Other common forms of discrimination against pansexuality include assuming that pansexual people cannot be monogamous,[24] questioning if a person is truly pansexual if they are dating someone of the opposite gender (such as a pansexual woman dating a man),[24] or that people only use the label because it's currently popular.[24][25]

Oftentimes a pansexual person may face discrimination from within the LGBTQIA+ community itself as well. An example of this is how some pansexual people may be accused of "hiding [their] gayness" by having a partner of the opposite gender.[25]

Media[]

Television[]

Comics[]

  • Loki from Marvel Comics (at least specifically for a YA novel featuring this character,[38] other sources refer to him as bisexual for his MCU appearance)[39][40][41]
  • Deadpool from Marvel Comics[42]

Music[]

Video Games[]

Resources[]

  • The Bi Pan Library — archive of media about or created by people who are bi, pan, and m-spec

Notes[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 The differences between multiple-attraction spectrum labels such as bisexual, pansexual, omnisexual, and polysexual depend on the definitions used. Some sources distinguish each label, while others use the same or similar language.

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 The ABC's of LGBT+ by Ash Hardell. Published 2016 by Mango Media. ISBN 9781633534087.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 "Glossary of Terms: LGBTQ" by GLAAD on GLAAD Media Reference Guide – 11th Edition. Published 2022. Pansexual: "An adjective used to describe a person who has the capacity to form enduring physical, romantic, and/ or emotional attractions to any person, regardless of gender identity. This is one of several terms under the bi+ umbrella." (Archived on 2024-04-11)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "National Glossary of Terms" by PFLAG on <pflag.org>Pansexual: "Refers to a person whose emotional, romantic and/or physical attraction is to people inclusive of all genders. People who are pansexual need not have had any sexual experience: It is the attraction and self-identification that determine the orientation." (Archived on 2024-02-20)
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 The Queens' English: The LGBTQIA+ Dictionary of Lingo and Colloquial Phrases by Chloe O. Davis. Published 2021 by Clarkson Potter/Publishers. Pansexual: "A sexual orientation where a person is attracted to people of all—'pan' is a prefix meaning 'all'—genders and sexualities." [...] "Some people view ‘pansexual’ as a more expansive and inclusive label than 'bisexual.'" [...] "Want more info? Think: Love knows no gender." ISBN 9780593135006, ISBN 9780593135013 (Ebook)
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 "Pansexuality: What It Means" by WebMD Editorial Contributors on WebMD. Medically reviewed 2021-10-20 by Isabel Lowell, MD (Archived on 2024-01-21)
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 "The Bi Umbrella" on Bi.org. Published by The American Institute of Bisexuality. (Archived on 2024-04-10)
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 "What is Bisexuality?" on Bisexual Resource Center(Archived on 2024-02-02)
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 "What does 'm-spec' mean?" on The Bi Pan Library. Published 2021-10-17. (Archived on 2024-04-21)
  9. "Pan Definition & Meaning" on Merriam-Webster(Archived on 2024-01-17)
  10. "Celebrating Pansexual and Panromantic Visibility Day" on Campus Pride. Published 2022-05-24. (Archived on 2024-01-19)
  11. "confession time" (original link down) by Jasper on @justjasper on Tumblr (Tumblr post). Published 2013-02-13. (Archived on 2020-07-11)
  12. [Untitled] (original link down) by Jasper (anonymously) on Pansexual Pride Flag (Tumblr posts tagged: flags)(Archived on 2011-08-24)
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 [Untitled] by Jasper (@shrikeabyssals) on <twitter.com> (Tweet in thread). Published 2019-08-13. "Pink, yellow, blue. A strong magenta, a strong gold yellow, and a light cerulean. The pink not too purple, the yellow not too bright, the blue not too cyan. Hex FF1B8D, FFD900, 1BB2FF." (Archived on 2021-09-25)
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 "Hex Color Codes" (original link down) by Jasper (anonymously) on Pansexual Pride Flag (Tumblr post). Published 2010-10-08. (Archived on 2011-08-24)
  15. "Colour Symbolism" (original link down) by Jasper (anonymously) on Pansexual Pride Flag (Tumblr post). Published 2010-08-11. (Archived on 2011-08-24)
  16. "What do all the different Pride flags stand for?" by Sam Damshenas on Gay Times. Published 2021-05-27. (Archived on 2024-04-19)
  17. "A field guide to Pride flags" (original link down) by Clare Bayley on <clarebayley.com>. Published 2013-06-28. (Archived on 2014-07-24)
  18. "LGBTQ Pride flags go beyond the classic rainbow. Here's what each one means" (original link down) by Alia E. Dastagir and David Oliver on USA TODAY. Published 2021-06-01. (Archived on 2021-06-01)
  19. "A Storied Glossary of Iconic LGBT Flags and Symbols" (original link down) by Matt Petronzio on Mashable. Published 2014-06-13. (Archived on 2014-06-15)
  20. 20.0 20.1 "What is Bisexual?" by WebMD Editorial Contributors on WebMD. Medically reviewed 2023-07-07 by C. Nicole Swiner, MD (Archived on 2024-02-16)
  21. 21.0 21.1 "What is Omnisexual?" by WebMD Editorial Contributors on WebMD. Medically reviewed 2023-07-02 by Gabriela Pichardo, MD (Archived on 2024-04-07)
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 "What Does It Mean to Be Polysexual?" by Colleen Murphy on <health.com>. Published 2021-05-27. (Archived on 2023-09-29)
  23. 23.0 23.1 "Understanding Pansexuality and Bisexuality: Differences And Similarities" by Himani on PrideMantra(Archived on 2023-12-07)
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 24.3 "Why pansexuality is so often misunderstood" by Klein, Jessica on BBC. Published 2022-08-05. (Archived on 2024-02-14)
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 "Prejudice against pansexuality within the queer community" on The New Indian Express. Published 2021-09-02. (Archived on 2023-09-28)
  26. Husk's sexuality was stated twice by Faustisse's now-archived streams. The statements were transcribed at 3:07:39 and 2:04:33, respectively.
  27. Designing for the Next HAZBIN HOTEL Comic (archived). Recorded at 2:12:04.
  28. [1]
  29. "The "watching and dreaming" PostHoot with the one and only Dana Terrace! (35:28)" by Cissy Jones on <instagram.com>. Published April 28, 2023. (no backup information provided)
  30. https://www.gaytimes.co.uk/originals/the-witcher-joey-batey-hugh-skinner-queer-interview/
  31. https://twitter.com/LUCIFERwriters/status/848629312857063424
  32. https://64.media.tumblr.com/953314bd4eba75c0300a5a68b9fde434/tumblr_p268wp88IX1vge2yso1_1280.jpg
  33. "How Lucifer season 5 continues to fail its "hero"" by Opie, David on Digital Spy. Published 2020-08-24. (Archived on 2021-08-07)
  34. https://www.nerdsandbeyond.com/2020/06/27/pride-month-spotlight-maze-from-lucifer/
  35. https://64.media.tumblr.com/b81af1d410c3ac681b20a770ef63104e/tumblr_p268wp88IX1vge2yso2_500.pnj
  36. "‘Steven Universe’: 5 Ways This Kids Show Was Queer Before Its Lesbian Kiss" by Cao, Caroline on Yahoo.com. Published 2018-07-18. (Archived on 2019-06-12)
  37. "Haha! Guess what my sexuality is~❤️" on Instagram. Published 2020-07-26. (Archived on 2022-10-14)
  38. "Loki will be pansexual and genderfluid in Marvel’s new YA novel" by Baker-Whitelaw, Gavia on Daily Dot. Published 2017-12-12. (Archived on 2023-12-09)
  39. "Tom Hiddleston says Loki coming out as bisexual was only a 'small step'" on NBC News. Published 2022-05-10. (Archived on 2023-06-06)
  40. "Tom Hiddleston's Loki Makes Marvel Cinematic Universe History as First Openly Bisexual Character" by Campione, Katie on People.com. Published 2021-06-23. (Archived on 2023-03-07)
  41. "Loki confirmed as bisexual, becomes first major queer character in Marvel Cinematic Universe" by brito, Christopher on CBS News. Published 2021-06-24. (Archived on 2022-10-02)
  42. "Deadpool: the pansexual superhero who has never had a non-heterosexual experience" by Gilbey, Ryan on The Guardian. Published 2016-02-11. (Archived on 2024-06-05)
  43. "How Disney star Dove Camern Became the 'Bad Girl Next Door' and her queer anthem" by Mikael Wood on <latimes.com>. Published 6-24-2022. (no backup information provided)
  44. [2]
  45. [3]
  46. In Animal Crossing: New Leaf, Isabelle has a crush on the player, regardless of gender.
  47. [4]
  48. [5]
  49. Pride Sticker Pack merchandise on Bugsnax wiki (orig. Fangamer)
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