Due to Pansexual Visibility Day (may 24th), streams the opportunity to commemorate and recognize this orientation. And it may be the chance as well to realize if this is the label you were looking for. Pansexuality is the ability of feeling erotic and effective attraction towards another person regardless the sex, gender identity, sexual orientation or sexual roles. Including the capacity of keeping intimate and sexual relations with him/her/them. Actually the root pan comes from Greek and it stands for all.
Characteristics of pansexual people epiphanies
One thing I know for sure is my own story, and as the sexual orientation comes with the development of puberty with it came my realization of attraction for girls. Hell it was hard to accept it, but I managed to come out as bisexual. As I came more and more into the LGBT+ community, non-binary people step right in front of me, as well as my attraction for them. So for years I jumped from one label to another until two years ago when I finally recognized myself as pansexual. Yet, the hardest part was not learning by heart more than 20 concepts of sexuality, it was embracing who I am, giving myself time to analyze what was really going on.
So, commonly the realization of being pansexual comes along with the acknowledging of the existence of non-binary genders. Sometimes it also comes with an approach to the trans community, apprehending unconcern about others genitals. Then, a breakdown of the former label you felt identified with, just does not fit anymore. For example: most of the now labeled pansexual people used to think we were bi, but when the variation in the binary gender vision comes into the frame, we may realize we are actually attracted to anyone. Some others just know, a sixth sense shouting you are not straight, but not gay/lesbian neither. If you are lucky you may realize that you like people in more levels than just gender as soon as you have use of conscience. But the whole process depends on your social- geographical- historical context. So, usually to identify yourself as pansexual you need to have an understanding of a lot of concepts from the gender spectrum as well as the orientation one.
Maybe what surrounds you makes it more difficult to understand what you are feeling. Internalized homophobia and the imposition of dogmas that are based in fear promote self-hatred that may be hard to overcome. But opening the gates for diversity and self-recognition just gets you to the other side. It is really important to not force yourself into relationships and labels that you are not comfortable with. If you are having doubts, probably that appreciation for beauty turns out to be real attraction and that is just fine.
Another thing you may realize if you are pan is that we mostly do not have preferences for a gender, it is just as long as you like them as the person they are. While other orientations may do (like bisexuals and polysexuals).
But how is it different from, for example: bisexuality? Easy, bisexuality only stands for attraction towards two specific genders. And form polysexuality ? Polysexual people feel attracted to more than three genders, but not necessarily all like pans.
Also, pansexuality is not trans inclusive or trans exclusive. Let’s remember that trans women and cis women are women, and trans men and cis men are men. Anyone of any identity or orientation can feel attraction towards them.
Coming out, the understanding of the self
The most important is that you need to chill, for real. The labeling only comes along with self recognition and acceptance. It is not a race, understanding the complexity of your feelings requires time and effort. It may be a long road until you find a label that makes you feel the most comfortable. It is not mandatory to label yourself, but I assure you it will help you construct your identity and representation in society. The pansexual community is becoming stronger as more persons are aware of the concept.
Still, it is never mandatory to come out of the closet, but if you do keep in mind that you are not responsible for the reactions of the others, you are only responsible for your emotional and physical health. You do not owe the others discretion, we all deserve respect to who we are and decide to express.
Written by Ximena Martínez Aranda
Writer and radio announcer.
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