PANSEXUALITY: WHAT DOES IT MEAN AND HOW IS IT DIFFERENT FROM BEING BISEXUAL?

PANSEXUALITY: WHAT DOES IT MEAN AND HOW IS IT DIFFERENT FROM BEING BISEXUAL?

In Greek, “pan” translates to “all” and therefore, the term “pansexual” can be understood as a sexual identity used to describe being attracted to people of all genders, beyond male-female parameters.

The term pansexual has been around for quite some time.

However, Google trends shows that the search term peaked in August 2015 after Miley Cyrus came out as pansexual in an interview with Elle UK.

The terminology: bi meaning “two” and pan meaning “all”, suggests a clear difference between people who are attracted to two genders and those who are attracted to people of all gender identities.

In actual fact, bisexuality is applied to mean different things by different people. To some, bisexuality means to be sexually attracted to both men and women. But others see bisexuality as simply a way of describing those who are not exclusively sexually attracted to one specific gender, seeing it used interchangeably with the term pansexual.

“Both identities are valid,” explains The F-Word editor, Joanna Whitehead, “although more people tend to be familiar with the concept of bisexuality.” However, thanks to Monáe that could be about to change.

“Identity is important,” Whitehead says, adding that it’s crucial that those identifying as bisexual work to eradicate the stigma attached to it, something the journalist spoke about on an episode of The Independent‘s lifestyle podcast, Millennial Love.

By Sabrina Barr & Olivia Petter for The Independent Magazine

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