a pansexual timeline
People want us to believe that pansexual history either doesn’t exist or is entirely bad. But pansexual’s positive/neutral history is older and more extensive than its negative history. And the negative is not proof it’s a bad label (if that were true, all labels would be bad). This is the pansexual history people don’t want us to know.SEE ALSO: pansexual representation and pansexual statistics
CREATED BY: posi-pan on Tumblr, PansexualityOrg on Twitter, Kory on MediumLAST UPDATED: 8/18/22
Let’s just get Freud out of the way, shall we? Freud is credited with the theory of pansexualism, which suggests all desire and interest is driven by sex instinct.It is discussed and criticized in 1915 by J. Victor Haberman in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology; “the pan-sexualism of mental life which makes every trend revert finally to the sexual. Let us therefor from now on remember that even a large contingent of the Freudians ... has given up this pan-sexualism, and that we therefor seem to have a right to challenge this; ... and that one is justified in acknowledging just a little nausea at this incest theme which runs like a fugue throughout the writings of all these Freudian enthusiasts.”Note: I cannot stress enough that pansexualism and pansexuality are two completely different things. Over time the term pansexual lost the criminal and immoral indications of pansexualism lent by psychoanalysis and was adopted to mean a handful of things, including the meaning we use today.While there isn’t record of pansexual being a sexuality label yet, there are reports of people in the 1920s and 1930s who “loved across labels and boundaries” in Harlem and Chicago’s South Side.Similarly, some men in 1930s New York are described in George Chauncey’s Gay NewYork as “difficult to argue that they were really homosexuals” but “neither could they plausibly be regarded as heterosexuals” and “nor were they bisexuals”, rather, they’re argued to be “men who were interested in sexual activity defined not by the gender of their partner.”Note: Even without pansexual being used, these examples show what pansexuality represents and the language pansexual people use in a historical context, and, in one case, distinguished from bisexual.Freud’s pansexualism concept continues to be used, discussed, and criticized in medical texts throughout the 1940s and 1950s. A notable criticism comes from Pope Pius in 1952 warning against the “pansexual method of psychoanalysis”.In 1962, John Calhoun conducts a study on the behavior of Norway’s rat population and describes rats who show “indiscriminate sexual behavior” in regard to sex as pansexual.A film review in The Village Voice in 1963 lists pansexuality alongside lesbianism.A story in People on novelist and activist Rita Mae Brown states she was kicked out of university in 1963 for her pansexuality, which she describes as “open to loving anybody”.The Lesbian in America in 1964 describes pansexuality as getting pleasure from “oneself, those of one’s own sex, and those of the other”.In The Village Voice in 1967, an ad for Evergreen Review promotes a feature on the love and sex lives of hippies, and asks, “What’s all this talk about her new pan-sexuality?”.In 1968, the Los Angeles Press publishes an article stating all Warhol films are pansexual and that Warhol is years ahead; “Everyone from Buckminster Fuller to Margaret Mead is predicting popular pansexuality by A.D. 2000.”The Downtown Pop Underground, about the New York City culture in the 1960s-1970s, credits the so-called pansexuality of the glitter/glam rock movement to Jackie Curtis. “In addition to developing a now-ubiquitous pansexual style, Curtis anticipated punk’s DIY fashions by wearing ripped thrift store clothes that were safety-pinned together.” and “‘That was the beginning of pansexuality, and David Bowie picked up on that,’ said Tony Zanetta, who worked with the glam rock singer.”Alexis Del Lago talks about being part of a pansexual group in the late 1960s-early 1970s that was “not about being gay or straight, what mattered was the expression of ourselves”.The 25th anniversary edition of Bi Any Other Name: Bisexual Speak Out states pansexual people have been “actively involved in the bisexual community since the 1970s”.Rolling Stone describes Jackie Curtis as “one of a whole new breed of pansexual apparitions” in 1970.The Village Voice in 1971 lists pansexual along with homosexual and asexual as groups “now claiming their share of respect and power”.A 1971 Common Sense issue states everybody is “born ambisexual, multisexual, polymorphous perverse, pansexual, call it what you will”.Pansexuality is described in Ramparts in 1973 as a “none of the above” sexual identity, an “I-don’t-care-what-you-call-me, anything-that-feels-good-goes, open-ended” attitude, and attraction to “people, their auras, vibrancies, minds and good looks, not to genders”.Rolling Stone describes David Bowie as having “show biz pansexuality” in 1973.The Village Voice in 1973 describes omnisexuals as having the same “hump-a-brick if-it’s-hip-this-week image as in pansexuality”.In the Los Angeles Press in 1973, Dr. Eugene Schoenfeld mentions asking a “well-known pansexual designer” what she thinks of the claim only women can truly satisfy women, her response is a “succinct ‘bullshit!’”.Pansexual is given as an alternative to bisexual in a 1974 Pandora issue, in which a trans woman criticizes genitalia based relationship determination; “anybody who is not bisexual (or pansexual, whichever you want to say) you could say in a way is being grossly unjust, is saying ‘I am accepting you for whatever genitalia you have vs. who you are.’”In 1974, Alice Cooper says he likes the concept of pansexuality, “the prefix pan means that you’re open to all kinds of sexual experiences, with all kinds of people. It means an end to restrictions, it means you could relate sexually to any human being.” And when asked if he could be pansexual, “anything is possible. I’m just saying it might happen, and if it does, I’ll be open enough to take it as it comes.”Dr. Wardell Pomery, who worked with Alfred Kinsey, refers to people who “have the capacity to develop sexually in many different ways” as pansexual in Daytona Beach Morning Journal in 1974.A list of terms is provided in New York in 1974 for a person “able to have sex with a male or female, whose sexual persuassion is certainly nothing new”, and among those terms were bisexual, ambisexual, pansexual, and omnisexual.The New York Times in 1974 mentions people “going bisexual this year” which “seems to be different from going homosexual, which was last year” and adds, “I know what comes next season. It’s pansexuality.”In 1974, the Calgary Herald publishes an Ann Landers letter in which someone complains about “articles on unisex, omnisex, pansexual, transexual, homosexual, and bisexual confessions staring at me from the pages of every newspaper and magazine” they pick up.
Saturday Review in 1974 describes “pansexual theater” as “sexual anarchy is a given”.Stereo Review describes David Bowie and “other painted persons” as “happy to be asexual, bisexual, polysexual, pansexual, whatever works” in 1974.In a 1974 The Rag issue, Marc Sanders states, “The label ‘Human Intimacy’ potentially embraces us all: gay, straight, or pansexual.”In a 1976 radio interview, Tim Curry describes Frank N. Furter as “completely pansexual”; finding “most people attractive” and willing to “entertain the notion of sleeping with anybody”.Pansexuality is brought up in Mother Jones in regard to how feminism should create choices that “extend beyond the narrow framework of sex; lesbianism, bisexuality, pansexuality, heterosexuality” in 1976.In The View from Another Closet: Exploring Bisexuality in Women in 1976, Janet Bode interviews women about their sexuality, noting not all the women identify as bisexual or any labels at all. Maria says, “If I must have a label call me pansexual, ambisexual, antisexual, androgynous, neutral, undecided...just don’t make me into something I’m not!”The Washington Post describes Peter Allen’s appeal as pansexual in 1977.Gay Sunshine Interviews in 1978 states, “the participants will be gay, straight, bisexual, trisexual, polysexual, pansexual, whatever.”The experiences of bisexual and pansexual women are included in The Gay Report, 1979. For example, a nonmonogamous pansexual discusses their relationship dynamics.Gay L.A. A History of Sexual Outlaws, Power Politics, and Lipstick Lesbians discusses the “acknowledged pansexuality norm” of punk rock women in the 1970-1980s; “There was an amorphous sexual energy, who you slept with didn’t have anything to do with gender ... You’d go to a club, come back to the crash pad shit-faced, and end up sleeping with another girl as likely as with a guy, and you didn’t have to hide it.” Punk women’s pansexuality is contrasted against lesbian feminists; “Punk females ‘were not at all political,’ Phranc says. ‘They were into anything goes. It was all personal pleasure and fashion.’ Despite their sexual fluidity and gender ambiguity, the girl punks were nothing at all like the radical feminists of the decade before who had experimented with lesbian relationships as ‘the next important step’ and wore ‘boy things’ as a politically correct uniform. Like the lipstick lesbians, girl punks provided another model of style for young females who enjoyed sex with other females—one that was far more loose and light and trendy than anything lesbian feminists could be comfortable with.” The “strength, power, and presence” of women’s punk rock bands, such as the Slits, Castration Squad, and Red Fear, which “flaunted aggressive female pansexuality”, is praised.Club X, a kink/fetish club formed in the 1980s, is described as a “pansexual gathering” and “for anyone”.Ann Ferguson briefly mentions in “Patriarchy, Sexual Identity, and the Sexual Revolution”, 1981, there have been suggestions to “avoid such labels as heterosexual, bisexual, and lesbian feminist” and begin to “frame a bisexual or pansexual politics” and agrees with needing “new ideas to get beyond existing labels”.The article “Radical Feminists Organize” in a 1983 New Directions for Women issue explains radical feminists believe the main goal of radical feminism is “not ending racism, capitalism, imperialism, militarism or nuclear power, instituting goddess religion, matriarchy or a female nation, making energy circles or friends, having places to go, becoming a stronger or better person or a lesbian, heterosexual, bisexual or pansexual. It is to end male supremacy.”A movie review in The Phoenix in 1984 describes Rocky Horror Picture Show as a story of “two dorky all-American kids who find themselves indoctrinated into the pansexual ways of Dr. Frank ‘n’ Furter”.St. Petersburg Times surveys people’s sex lives in 1984, and those who enjoy all their listed forms of consensual sex were labeled pansexual.Joan Jett is described as having a “pansexual strategy” in The Phoenix in 1985.L.A. Times describes Morrissey’s love songs as “just ambiguous enough to allow him to claim they’re pansexual” in 1985.Men and Feminism in Modern Literature, 1985, uses pansexuality to mean “promiscuity”.An article about The Replacements in 1985 in The Phoenix refers to their song “Androgynous” as a “piano-only ballad of pansexual solidarity”.A 1986 movie review in Edmonton Journal states, “Menage is a wild stroll down Rue Bizarre into a world bored with conventional sexuality and love, a dizzy, amazing, playful look at pansexuality that breaks up conventional stereotypes of gender.”A 1986 review of Dress Gray in the The Day states screenwriter Gore Vidal, “an avowed bisexual, has frequently delved into the subject of homosexuality or pansexuality in his novels and his screenplays.”In Sisters of the Road by Barbara Wilson, 1986, the main character ponders, “I wasn’t a lesbian then, I guess I was bisexual, sort of pansexual, you know.”In Tennessee Williams by Harold Bloom, 1987, it is stated, “it seems likely that Brick eventually would turn into his dying father, and would become pragmatically bisexual or pansexual.”In The Triumph of Vulgarity: Rock Music in the Mirror of Romanticism, 1987, rock music is described as pansexual, thriving on ambiguity. Mick Jagger is said to have come the closest to “fulfilling rock’s pansexual fantasy”, as there is no barrier to his appeal.Fidelity, 1988, describes Alred Kinsey as supporting an ideology that “might be called pansexuality”, it indicates “anything goes that provides excitment and pleasure”, but is in fact an ideology that “frowns upon monogamy and traditional concepts of normality”.A 1988 SPIN article describes Oscar Wilde as “patron saint of every British eccentric, pansexual, and dreamer, from Quentin Crisp to Steven Morrisey”.Tim Curry’s Dr. Frank N. Furter is described again as pansexual in The Washington Post in 1988.The AIDS Project Newsletter from 1988 has a humorous glossary of sexual identity terms, including omnisexual, pansexual, and polysexual.Juan Mario Herakovic’s 1989 dissertation describes the “sexual patterns of promiscuous sexual behavior and perversions” in borderline personality disorder patients as pansexuality.Buying Time by Joe Haldeman, 1989, describes a character as a “pansexual nymphomaniac” who is “willing to try anything twice”.The author of an article in a 1989 Bi Women Quarterly issue wrongly blames “invisibility, discrimination, biphobia” and “the stymied bi community and bi political movement(s)” on people who are attracted to multiple genders but don’t identify as bisexual, including “self-defined pansexuals”.
Bisexuality: A Reader and Sourcebook by Thomas Geller, 1990, defines pansexual as “one whose sexual interests include people who are gender minorities” which is “usually implied by the word bisexual”. Pansensual is defined similarly, but focused on sensuality and intimacy.The SAGE Encyclopedia of LGBTQ Studies states pansexuality emerged in the “early 1990s as a new sexual identity that attempted to describe desires that already existed for many people”, created “alongside the now seldom-used term pomosexuality, in an effort to further deconstruct ideas about sexual identity, desire, and activity”. The trans community is said to be at the forefront of the emergence of these identities. It concludes, “ultimately, pansexuality is a sexuality that attempts to move beyond traditional binaries associated with sexuality and gender and include people across, and beyond, the gender spectrum and people who desired sexual activities exist beyond what has been traditionally considered heterosexual sex”.Bisexual and Pansexual Identities: Exploring and Challenging Invisibility and Invalidation by Nikki Hayfield explains pansexuality can be an “anti-identity based on the deconstruction of sex, gender, and sexuality, and on resistance to all labels, particularly those which uphold binaries” or a reflection of “embracing fluidity, both in terms of changes in levels of attraction to people of various genders and in relation to changes in how any individual identifies their own gender over time”. It suggests queer and pansexual “may be understood as overlapping terms” for some and distinct for others, and details early accounts of pansexual in BDSM communities, noting the link between some people’s BDSM activities and their pansexuality.In a 1990 Cross Talk issue, Lee Risemberg, who claims to have coined pansexual despite its prior existence, states a pansexual “would have no problem entering an intimate situation with a male, a female, or an intersexed individual” and “has the potential to relate sexually and emotionally to any human being, regardless of the anatomical structure of the partner”.Shay Quillen in The Cavalier Daily in 1991 describes Prince’s “Diamonds and Pearls” as a “new mark for ambiguous pansexuality”.Perspective on Science and Christian Faith, 1991, talks about Alfred Kinsey and his modern followers encouraging a “pansexual ideal”, in which there are “no clear distinctions between female and male”.In a 1992 Anything That Moves: Beyond the Myths of Bisexuality issue, Mykel Board says he “prefers pansexual”. Kory Martin-Damon states “alternative lifestyles are also almost nonexistent in sci-fi. I do not speak only of homosexuality. I speak of pansexuality, polyfidelity, bisexuality, and even asexuality.”Closer to Home: Bisexuality & Feminism, 1992, argues pansensuality is a “new kind of political movement” that “presents a challenge to the cultural emphasis on biological sex, particularly as a basis for sexual identity; the assumption that everyone is either heterosexual or homosexual; the notion of sexuality itself by introducing the broader concept of sensuality; and the current political landscape, a battlefield that heterosexuals and homosexuals have claimed as their own, and assert ourselves as a new political force.”Bisexual Centrist Newsletter, 1992, states, “bisexual activists who have adopted a les-bi-gay philosophy also want bisexuals to be part of a larger sexual minority community, but their chosen subculture is more narrowly defined than that of the pansexual activists.”Different Loving, 1993, points out despite the “current pansexual trend” stressing “unity among gay, lesbian, and heterosexual D&Sers (pansexuality is particularly popular in the burgeoning radical sexual communities of Nothern California and the Pacific Northwest), there is as yet only an uneasy alliance between some heterosexual and homosexual segments of the D&D community.”In “A Bisexual Feminist Perspective”, 1993, Liz Highleyman says queer anarchism involves breaking down the strict boundaries between the categories of sexuality, “so, I guess I think of bisexuality, omnisexuality, pansexuality as being more ‘anarchist’ that strict homosexuality or heterosexuality.”In “Reactionary Queers? Queers React”, 1993, Liz Highleyman also says “I’m personally happy I’m bisexual/pansexual because I don’t like to discriminate on the basis of gender.”An article in The Herald Journal in 1993 described a magazine as pansexual because it “appeals to almost anybody”.Maclean’s in 1993 describes Madonna, Prince, and k.d. lang as “representing a diffusion of genders, not asexuality but pansexuality”.New Straits Times in 1993 describes the music of artists like David Bowie, Lou Reed, and Marc Bolan as inspiration for a “giddy, glittery pansexual liberation” in an article subtitled “Meshing cheesy pop with pretentious artrock, glam music inspired by a giddy, glittery pansexual liberation”.k.d lang is described as having a “pansexual appeal” in Rolling Stone in 1993.In a 1993 GenderFlex issue, Veronica says, “At least invite the kings. Women are also political and communal. Females have as much at stake in community as do males; the intersexed people, whether they are intersexed by birth or by other means (hormones, surgeries), may well have more at stake than males or females regardless of being CD, TG, TS, TV; or gay, straight, bi or pansexual, asexual, monosexual, green, black, blue, bronze, gray, etc.”Polysexuality is used interchangeably with pansexuality and described as “a general awareness of and interest in sex” in Innis Herald in 1993.The following is published in a 1994 Tradeswomen Magazine issue: “my approach to the presence of all women in the trades, whether they be lesbian, bi-sexual, transexual, straight, asexual or pansexual is simple: WE'RE HERE! WE'RE THERE! WE'RE EVERYWHERE! GET USED TO IT!”A 1994 San Francisco and the Bay Area on the Loose issue has an article that mentions the gay community and adds “(and the straight, bisexual, asexual, transsexual, and pansexual communities)”.Human Sexuality, 1994, defines pansexual as “lacking highly specific sexual orientations or preferences; open to a range of sexual activities”.Rod Stewart is described as having a quality in his voice that was “almost pansexual in its allure and charm” in Pioneers of Rock and Roll: 100 Artists Who Changed the Face of Rock, 1994.In The Very Inside: An Anthology of Writings by Asian & Pacific Islander Lesbian and Bisexual Women edited by Sharon Lim-Hing, 1994, Darlena Bird Jimenes states, “In all of my work there is a gay-affirmative energy; a space that is multi-sexual, ambigendered. A place to explore the pansexual, the intrasexual. I become the gender transcender.”In a 1994 Sinister Wisdom: Lesbians & Religion issue, Diane Anderson explains, “I am a femme to my genderfucked butch girlfriend. I am pansexual. I can relate to both the masculine and feminine.”Boze Hadleigh asks, “How about pansexual or polysexual, which means the same as bi?”, in Hollywood Lesbians, 1994.
In Talk Dirty to Me: An Intimate Philosophy of Sex, 1994, the author mentions a friend who “isn’t particularly fond of any of the new terms being promoted by an increasingly visible bisexual movement - words like pansexual and omnisexual.”In Gay & Lesbian Literature, 1994, it’s said that James Broughton “describes himself as a pansexual androgyne, not a bisexual nor a homosexual nor a heterosexual”.In a 1994 Anarchy: A Journal of Desire Armed issue, Liz Highleyman describes pansexual, polysexual, and omnisexual as “newer labels with less baggage” than queer.Keanu Reeves is described as having a “pansexual affect and appeal” in the Chicago Tribune in 1994.The 1994 dissertation “An Historical View of Twentieth-Century American Society as Witnessed Through Musical Theatre 1927-Present” describes the character Woof from the late 1960s musical Hair as “seemingly gay or pansexual”.Cuir Underground, published from 1994-1998, was a magazine for the “pansexual kink community”.The labels chosen by women interviewed for “Lavender, Lipstick, Labryses and Leather: Lesbian Fashion and the Politics of Exclusion” in 1994 include “lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, dyke, and queer”.Joyce Trebilcot admits to not “directly addressing” sexual identities such as pansexual or omnisexual in Dyke Ideas: Process, Politics, Daily Life in 1994.A Circlet Press Bookshop’s mail order flyer from 1994 reads “SM Leather Fetishes Bodyart Gay Lesbian Bi Het Pansexual”.Brazilian musician Renato Russo discusses his sexuality in 1994: “Faço parte de uma minoria, que não é tão minoria assim, ainda mais neste país. Me considero pansexual, mas sou o que as pessoas chamariam de homossexual.”Bisexual Politics: Theories, Queries, and Visions by Naomi S. Tucker, 1995, mentions pansexuality a few times); bisexual activist Cynthia Slater is noted for founding the Society of Janus, a “pansexual SM support group” and the first SM group in the nation to march in a gay pride parade. Sunfrog states voices in the bi movement are “breaking down borders once again” in the “promising existence” of terms such as “omnisexual, pansexual, and polysexual”, and these labels indicate an “expanding consciousness” and the “limitations of language and the existing terms” do not encompass the full scope of our sexualities.Liz Highleyman declares “bisexuals have not restricted the project of deconstructing identity-based categories to academicians. Rather, it’s an integral part of how we make sense of the world and live our lives as bisexual, pansexual, omnisexual, multisexual, just sexual, androgynous, genderfucked, bi-gendered, non-gendered, gender-indifferent, or ‘don’t label me’ human beings seeking to create communities with those with whom we find common cause, even (or maybe especially!) if our labels don’t happen to coincide.”Race Bannon talks about community in a 1995 Cuir Underground article, stating, “in spite of the pansexual movement taking place among a small group of us, most gays, lesbians and heterosexuals would generally prefer to play and socialize with their own kind.”In a 1995 Cuir Underground issue, Veronika Frost discusses S/M play; “Rules are less strict about orientation identity and behavior being congruent with each other. Pansexuality seems to be increasing in popularity. Cross-orientation play (gay men playing with dykes, gays and lesbians playing with heterosexuals and vice versa,etc.) got its start in San Francisco in the early 1980s.”In a 1995 Anything That Moves issue, it’s stated, “Our liberation struggle, in a community that comprises a vast breadth of people and issues, transgender, bi/pan-sexual, lesbian and gay, is deeply linked to other liberation struggles, which are all struggles to respect each person as a whole person, to not allow anyone to be used as a tool against their will. Our difference are our riches, and our similarities make community.”
In a 1996 Cuir Underground article titled “Kinky Summer Reading”, Liz Highleyman describes several “pansexual magazines”, such as Black Leather in Color, Black Sheets, Body Play and Modern Primitives Quarterly, Boudoir Noir, Diversity, Kinky People Place and Things, Paramour, and The Leather Journal.In “Kinky Bisexuals” from a 1996 Cuir Underground issue, Liz Highleyman discusses bisexual activist Cynthia Slater’s SM support group Society of Janus being pansexual, but “widely regarded as predominantly hetero”, and mentions San Francisco having “several pansexual parties and venues (eg., LINKS, Queen of Heaven) that welcome bisexuals specifically”.Carol Queen muses about people who “behave” bisexually, but don’t identify as bisexual, in a 1996 Cuir Underground article, expressing sympathy for the use of the pansexual, metasexual, or just sexual, and agrees it’s “inappropriate to co-opt another person’s right to name herself or himself, to come out at his/her own pace, to embrace a label that feels descriptive of their deep sexual truths”.Tales from the Clit, 1996, explores the “female experience of pornography” and includes the perspective of a 35 year old who identifies as pansexual.The call for submissions in a 1996 Anything That Moves issue includes “work by bi/pan/or-similar-sexuals”.It’s stated in Bisexuality: The Psychology and Politics of an Invisible Minority by Beth A. Firestein in 1996 that some respondents “preferred alternative terms such as pansensual.”In a 1997 Anything That Moves issue, Alejandra Sarda discusses labels; “I would still feel more comfortable with calling myself pansexual,” but adds, “the problem with being pansexual was the loneliness. If I wanted to connect with others who felt as I do, I had to speak a common language. Connecting with other bisexuals was of key importance to me, so I started calling myself bisexual.”Comatonse in 1997 describes “pansexual and transgender communities” as “rejecting the heterosexual/homosexual paradigm in favor of a multiplicity of identities, and for whom concepts of identity are more openly related to the complication and/or subversion of cultural norms”.PoMoSexuals: Challenging Assumptions About Gender and Sexuality by Carol Queen and Lawrence Schimel, 1997, has a section titled “Don’t Fence Me In: Bi-/Pan-/Omni-Sexuals” and the introduction states, “Twenty years ago, identity seemed self-evident” and “bisexuals and transsexuals were suspect” but “bisexuals never shut up and went away. [Omnisexuals and pansexuals began to dot the landscape.[(https://archive.org/details/pomosexualschall0000unse) ... Anyone with eyes and a brain could see categories breaking down, assumptions rupturing, clear-cut identities going the way of the Berlin Wall.”Queer Theory: An Introduction by Annamarie Jagose, 1997, states some people claim the “queering” of lesbian and gay studies “radically erodes the last traces of an oppressive gender coherence,” whereas others “criticise its pansexuality as reactionary, even unfeminist.”Transgender Care, 1997, describes “pansexual attractions” as “a liberating and newly coined reference to individuals who are primarily attracted to all individuals and all sexes”.A flyer in a 1997 The Emily issue advertises a queer art show, saying “Any queer can put work in this show! Go on, give it a try! Express yourself: About your life as a lesbian, gay, two-spirited, bisexual, intersexed, transgendered, queer of color, queer with a disability, pansexual. The possibilities are infinite.”“San Francisco’s Leather Week” in Cuir Underground in 1997 describes Grey Hankie Night, a social for bondage enthusiasts, as a “pansexual event”, meaning it's “open to all genders and orientations”.In a 1997 Cuir Underground issue, must see places for kinky travelers are detailed, including a pansexual play party hosted by a leather/SM group in Vancouver, women-specific and mixed-gender pansexual groups in Austin, and a New York club for pansexual perverts.In Ms. Mentor’s Impeccable Advice for Women in Academia by Emily Toth, 1997, the question “Isn’t everyone, in reality, bisexual (or pansexual)?” is posed.Women Filmmakers of the African and Asian Diaspora by Gwendolyn Audrey Foster, 1997, states “homosexuality, pansexuality, and bisexuality are embedded in Indian culture in music and in a culturally rich tradition of the celebration of erotic energies that prevail in modern South Asian culture.”In 1998, the glam rock era is described in The Advocate as “embracing nonconformity, willing to be bisexual, pansexual, and shocking with lipstick, eye shadow, or attitude”.David Bowie is described as having “dramatically presided over the glittery, pansexual pop utopia” in the Eugene Register-Guard in 1998.“Pansexuals ‘r’ us” by Liz Highleyman, 1998, reviews Carol Queen’s book The Leather Daddy and the Femme, referring to it as “highly pansexual”.Liz Highleyman discusses a bisexual conference in a 1998 Bay Area Reporter issue, noting a keynote speaker said, “When we say unity, we don’t mean uniformity...to acknowledge our differences is not fragmentation or divisiveness.” and an activist noted “many young people with attractions to both men and women reject the bisexual label as too confining, and instead prefer labels such as pansexual — or no labels at all.”Looking Queer by Dawn Atkins, 1998, includes an essay from Raven Haldera, a “pansexual, intersex, F2M” editor, writer, and activist.In a 1998 Anything That Moves issue, Marshall and Matt discuss pansexual as an alternative to bisexual and speculate the lack of knowledge could prevent pansexual from gaining widespread acceptance. Rachel muses “transgendered” could be to gender what queer is to sexuality; “in other words, lesbians, gays, dykes, fags, bisexuals, pansexuals — even some sadomasochists and sex workers — can band together to call ourselves a big, powerful bunch of queers.” Mark notes the men who “live bisexual lives” but don’t identify as “bi-, pan- or omni-sexual”.The study “The Politics of Bisexual/Biracial Identity”, 1999, states bisexuality is “also known as pansexuality or ambisexuality”.In a 1999 The Catalyst issue, a reader criticizes the suggestion that queer sex should be discussed at a separate talk from straight sex; “and what about bisexual-, omnisexual-, and pansexual-identified people? Should they have to go to two separate talks to meet their needs? Moreover, many people that are questioning their sexuality and/or are closeted may not feel comfortable attending a sex talk that is just for Bisexual, Lesbian, Gay, Queer, Pansexual, Omnisexual, and/or Transgender students.” Another person claims bisexual has been “replaced” by pansexual and omnisexual “by the movement”.
Pansexual is listed alongside bisexual and asexual in a 1999 issue of Journal of Women and Social Work as suggested identities to include in future research that examines the conflict between sexual identity and religious upbringing.Pansexual is defined as “having sexual desires, interests, and behavior with all genders, sexual orientations, and persuasions” in The Survivor’s Guide to Sex, 1999. It’s explained further as being a term people embrace “in an attempt to broaden the categories of gay and straight, man and woman, S/M and vanilla”.“Pansexuality and the Law” is a 1999 essay that examines the concept of pansexuality, how it “simplifies communication and provides a useful tool for understanding that sexuality includes more than just three subcategories: heterosexuality, homosexuality, and bisexuality, and deconstructs the stereotypical interrelation between biological sex and sexual behavior” and “adding another conceptual term to our lexicon could improve the way we analyze and discuss issues involving gender, sexuality, and the law”.Pansexual is mentioned in the 1999 episode of Sex and the City, “Was It Good For You?”. Samantha explains 2000 “won’t be about sexual labels, it’ll be about sexual expression. It won’t matter if you’re sleeping with men or women. It’ll be about sleeping with individuals. Soon everyone will be pansexual. It won’t matter if you’re gay or straight.” after two gay men ask her to have sex with them.The 1999 article “To Love Women, or To Not Love Men: Chronicles of Lesbian Identification”, interviews a woman who states, “the majority of us are not only bisexual or pansexual, but the majority of us change over time.”In 1999, Anne Killpack writes an editorial about labels in Anything That Moves, stating, “whether you call yourself bisexual, polysexual, multisexual, pansexual, me-sexual or refuse to be labeled altogether, if you are like me and find people attractive regardless of their sex or gender, then we need you.”In a 1999 issue of Anything That Moves, Raven states, “I don’t know what I am. Pansexual, maybe. Of course, you say that word and people ask jokingly if that means you have sex with Pan, the goat-like Greek God of lust. I look them in the eye and tell them no, I have sex as Pan. Get over it.”The Concise Oxford Dictionary, 1999, defines pansexual as “not limited or inhibited in sexual choice with regard to gender or activity.”In Bisexuality: A Critical Reader edited by Merl Storr, 1999, it’s noted that some writers and activists have “rejected” the term bisexuality “in favour of what they feel to be less loaded terms” such as pansexual and pansensual, due to the “binarism implied by the ‘bi’ in bisexuality”.Tumblr user “intersex-ionality” shares their personal experience regarding pansexual becoming an identity label in the late 1990s. They detail the “corruption of bi” (“‘bi means 2’ became the dominant interpretation”) and how the responses to that were reclaiming and redefining bisexual and making “something new, something that would be self defined rather than reclaimed from medical studies, and that would be clearer and more transparent even in its basic design”, the latter being how pansexual “rose to prominence” and “this political context is why it became a Big Deal rather than staying a niche concept”. They continue, “pansexuality literally is a separate political group from bisexuality. The identity fractured off and became its own unique culture and label. The old claim that ‘bi is transphobic’ is nonsense today, but that claim came from a very real historical problem.”In a 1999 issue of Out, Alan Cumming is asked about his sexuality and says, “Bisexual, I suppose... No—pansexual. Some bloke in a newspaper called me a ‘frolicky pansexual sex symbol for the new millennium.’ I thought that was fabulous.”A 1999 article in the Bay Area Reporter celebrates Society of Janus, a pansexual leather organization, stating the founder Cynthia Slater had one goal; providing an “open, honest, pansexual space to safely explore one’s desires”.“Calling all trannyfags” by Willy Wilkinson, 2000, discusses the need for FTM specific groups and workshops, and concludes with “if you’re a gender-variant person on the FTM spectrum who is exploring or already in the scene, come kick it with other FTMs and talk about what’s real for us. Whether you’re queer, pansexual or questioning, everyone is welcome, regardless of physical status.”A letter to the editor “Time for a Pansexual Flag” in a 2000 issue of Anything That Moves questions “don’t pansexuality and polyamory tend to imply multi-complicity, interdependence, universality? Should Pan and Polly propose a rainbow variant which would be more inclusive?”A 2000 article in the Bay Area Reporter by Liz Highleyman states Cynthia Slater, who founded the Society of Janus and died in the early years of the AIDS epidemic, is “widely regarded as the ‘mother of pansexuality” for “bringing together men and women and people of different sexual orientations within the leather/SM community.”Anne Killpack reviews The Bride Wore Black Leather in a 2000 issue of Anything That Moves and questions, “How do you handle ‘fag-dyke sex’ and its frequent community backlash? What’s with all the lesbian potlucks? What’s the difference between intersexed and transsexual? Between pansexual and omnisexual?”In 2000, in Gainesville Sun, Little Richard is described as pansexual because he was “not about genders”.The 2000 book The Bride Wore Leather--and He Looked Fabulous! discusses pansexual and omnisexual as alternatives to bisexual.An ad in a 2000 issue of Anything That Moves states, “Planning on being in the Bay Area for Pride 2000? This year, not only is Anything That Moves hosting a booth, we’re also organizing a parade contingent — and we’d love to have you march with us! Our contingent is open to members and supports of the bisexual, transsexual, pansexual, queer and questioning community (and that means you!).”“The Epistemic Contract of Bisexual Erasure”, 2000, states “the bisexual, who is sometimes understood to be pansexual.”In 2000, Still Doing It: Women & Men Write about Their Sexuality mentions “pansexual parties” in which “the only limitations on our sexual activities is mutual consent”.A 2000 article titled “New pansexual all-night dance club to open” details “San Francisco’s first pansexual nightclub, marketed toward every sexual orientation.”A 2000 issue of Bi Women Quarterly states Sophie B. Hawkins has “been open about her pansexuality.”In 2000 in Revolutionary Voices: A Multicultural Queer Youth Anthology pansexual is considered interchangeable with omnisexual, which is defined as “broadly defined, someone who is emotionally, spiritually, physically, and/or sexually attracted to those of all genders and sexes.”The 2000 paper, “Introduction to the Symposium, (De)Constructing Sex: Transgenderism, Intersexuality, Gender Identity and the Law” refers to pansexual and omnisexual as “more transgender-inclusive terms” that are “not tied to the gender binary”, and criticizes the implication the terms have that an individual is attracted to “any and everyone” and that they are “all-sexual”.In Blessed Bi Spirit: Bisexual People of Faith edited by Debra R. Kolodny, 2000, Angel Threatt states “I have identified myself at different times as lesbian, as bisexual, as pansexual, as asexual, and all of these things have been true.” Ellen Terris Brenner discusses the inclusivity of a “polyamorous pansexual contingent” of a Seattle leather/kink community, “the pansexual subcommunity was especially fascinating to me as a bisexual person because of its diversity. Many of these people were happy to share BDSM ‘play’ with each other regardless of the gender or sexual orientations of the persons involved. This is not to say there weren’t problems and misunderstandings-no community is immune to those. Yet I could think of few other sectors of the queer community where that broad a range of sexualities and genders got along with that high a level of equanimity. I was impressed.”
An ad placed in the Bay Area Reporter in 2001 paid for by 30 queer/queer affirming organizations lists queer terms from A to Z, including omnisexual, pansexual, and polysexual, notes it’s not an exhaustive list, and states, “However you identify, we welcome you in the spirit of Stonewall, inclusion & celebration”.An author in The Advocate in 2001 criticizes the rise in people identifying as pansexual and labels other than lesbian, disregarding these labels as modern and implying older labels are passe; “Hey, c’mon, it’s modern. Anyways, unity was our theme! Still, as talk of trannies and pannies excited the crowd, I felt compelled to interject a warning against the fashionable labels that seem to imply our old ways of being are just passe.”Note: this is the oldest use of “pannie” I have come across.“Bisexuals and BDSM: Bisexual People in a Pansexual Community in the Journal of Bisexuality”, 2001, explores the acceptance of bisexuality in BDSM communities that are known as pansexual for being inclusive of all sexualities. His findings show that while people in BDSM were open to bisexuality and pansexuality, personal biases prevented the active use of those labels.Pansexual is defined as “lacking highly specific sexual orientations or preferences; open to a range of sexual activities” in Human Sexuality by Susan Bunting in 2001.Pansexual is defined as “a term used by some who self-identify that they are attracted to, and may form sexual and romantic relationships with, someone regardless of that person's gender-identity or genitalia” in NAADAC’s LGBTQ Terminology document in 2001.3% of the participants identify as pansexual in the “Los Angeles Transgender Health Study” of 2001.In Bisexual Resource Guide, 2001, the difficulties of identifying as pansexual are discussed: “for a while, I adopted the seventy-something-year-old term pansexual but I got tired of defining the word for people. There are already too many aspects of my life that appear cryptic to most people; why intentionally add another? I want a self-label that brings people closer to me, not one that sends them running for their dictionaries.”A story in The Village Voice in 2001 commends the “new breed of young people who prove that genderfucking can still be in-your-face” from the “I-don’t-identify-as-anything-but-me generation” who are “hell-bent on creating on their own labels”. Among the labels listed are genderqueers and pansexual girls and bois. This group is described as saying “Fuck Your Gender” and “mean fuck gender altogether”.Tristan Taormino describes herself as being “equal opportunity, I sleep with people of all genders” and says she “identifies with pansexual” in Salon in 2001.An article in Out in 2001 discussing why “we’re just like you” gay politics doesn’t help people who “blending into a community unobtrusively just isn’t option” interviews two trans people who identify as pansexual.In 2001, the Bay Guardian advertises an “overcoming homophobia meeting for youth” encouraging “lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, pansexual, queer, questioning, and straight youth” to attend daily conferences to address homophobia in schools.An author in Faster Pussycats, Live Girls: After Hours, 2001, refers to herself as having a “bi/pansexual nature”.A group listing in Bisexual Resource Guide by Robyn Ochs, 2001, includes “VisiBIlity” a “multi-gender group of bisexual, pansexual, omnisexual, multisexual, bi-affectional folks & their partners, friends, & allies.”A 2002 issue of the Bay Area Reporter has an article about a youth conference aiming to “help lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, pansexual, intersex, queer, questioning, and straight supportive youth foster safe schools and promote youth activism”.Addressing Homophobia and Heterosexism on College Campuses, 2002, defines omnisexual and pansexual as attraction to “all genders, or a variety of gender identities”.An ad for BiHealth in a 2002 issuse of Bi Women Quarterly states “BiHealth is the first and only program of its kind in Massachusetts, and one of the only of its kind in the country. BiHealth provides HIV/STD prevention and education and addresses health concerns in a holistic way, whether one identifies as bisexual, bi-curious, bi-questioning, pansexual, heterosexual, gay, lesbian, transgender, or no label at all.”Bisexual Women in the Twenty First Century, 2002, states “dissatisfaction with existing labels results in the development and exploration of the utility of alternative labels, for example, pansexual, polyamorous, and polysexual.”Bat Chain Puller: Rock & Roll in the Age of Celebrity, 2002, claims Ziggy Stardust “defined the glitter-rock moment of the early Seventies and took rock theatrics and pansexuality to a new peak.”In Bears on Bears: Interviews and Discussion, 2002, Drew describes his sexuality; “I lived for about 12 years in the dyke world, have had partners of many genders and orientations, now usually refer to myself as pansexual, for lack of a better term. Gender isn’t the first thing I use to determine attraction (or falling in love, for that matter).”A Guide to New York’s Fetish Underground from 2002 refers to the Leather Pride Night Auction, started in 1973 that all kinds of “sm/fetish/leather organizations” attend, as a “pansexual event”.Gendered Sexuality in the Age of AIDS from 2002 describes pansexual in the context of clubs, as being “more interested in some of the experiences and whatnot, it doesn’t make any difference the gender that it’s, you know the play is more important”.In 2002, Mental Health Issues in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Communities defines “pansexuality or polysexuality” as “representing the broader sense attraction to persons of diverse gender attributes”.Fantabulosa from 2002 describes a “pansexual event” as “welcoming people of all sexual orientations”.Counseling Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Substance Abusers, 2002, defines pansexual as “a person whose sexual feelings and behaviors are fluid”.Humjinsi: A Resource Book on Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Rights in India, 2002, suggests pansexual as an alternative to bisexual.An article in the Guardian in 2002 dives into the “pansexual revolution” where “today’s sexually liberated lovers are simply looking for love wherever they find it”. A psychotherapist sees pansexuality as an extension of the sexual explorations of the 60s and 70s: “What happened then was only the tip of the iceberg. Today’s generation in their twenties and thirties are much freer about their sexual adventures. Now it’s not just about getting pregnant and enjoying sex, it’s about self-discovery through sexual experimentation.” One person interviewed feels her “fluid sexual identity” was about “finding someone you really love”, in which “gender is the least of the problems”.Susan Pell offers polysexual and pansexual as potential alternatives to bisexual in 2002.The Counseling Psychologist publishes a paper in 2002 which states “sexual orientation identity includes but is not limited to heterosexual, straight, bicurious, bi/straight, heteroflexible, pansexual, questioning, bisexual, gay, lesbian, and queer, among others”.A 2002 GLBTQ entry titled “Bernhard, Sandra (b. 1955)” suggests Sandra Bernhard is “perhaps best described as pansexual”.A 2002 article about bears in The Village Voice states, “bears didn’t seem that relevant to my life as a pansexual, polyamorous, kinky girl.”The definition of pansexual given in 2002 on the “i am pansexual” LiveJournal states “pansexuals love people of all genders”, but unfortunately says bisexuality doesn’t include transgender or non-binary people.A glossary of sexuality and gender terms from 2003 defines pansexual as a “person who is fluid in sexual orientation.”Pansexual is listed as one of the terms that queer encompasses in The Daily Gazette in 2003.“Campus Climate for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender People: A National Perspective” from 2003 defines pansexual as “a person who is open to sexual activity of many kinds; pansexual people espouse their freedom of choice and imagination in sexual relations, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity”.A 2003 report on substance use in LGBT communities defines pansexual as “anyone romantically and sexually attracted to people of all genders.”
Out in 2003 describes Priyanka Mitra as a “self-described out pansexual woman” who “doesn’t believe in the limitations of gender”.Bisexuality and Transgenderism, 2003, defines pansexuality as “openness to all forms of sexuality” that bisexuality “cannot be equated with”, and discusses how “some people have begun to identify as pansexual, omnisexual, genderqueer, or simply queer in an effort to explain a sexuality that is not confined by either/or”. A pansexual talks about how their experience in the SM community affected their identities; “in the best parts of the SM world, people maintain an openness to new ways to express sex and gender, allowing one both the social space to try new personas, and the pragmatism to adopt whatever works. So I could finally find what worked for me: pansexual, Queer, transsexual, Leatherman.”The Ultimate Guide to Sex and Disability from 2003 states “being pansexual means that you identify as having a sexual orientation towards all people potentially.”Gayle: The Language of Kinks and Queens, 2003, defines pansexual as “a person interested in all kinds of sex.”Social Change, Mental Health, and the Evolution of Gay Male Identities from 2003 mentions pansexual men who “like sex and do not care whether their partners are men or women”.“Diverse identities often emerge from leather community ideals” by Zak Szymanski, 2003, describes the leather community’s part in growing visibility of nontraditional identities or relationship roles, “from the queer bois to those who orientations are pansexual to the daddy/girl couples”; “in many ways, people with such identities who can live comfortably in their own communities have the leather community to thank”. Dossie Easton states pansexual, “which recognizes the range of bodies of identities when it comes to attraction, was first used regularly to refer to certain leather play parties, and has now made it into more common vernacular and is used to describe desire regardless of one’s leather affiliation”.“Queering Domestic Violence to Straighten Out Criminal Law” from 2003 mentions pansexual in a list of sexualities transgender people can be.A 2003 paper, “Improving the Access and Quality of Public Health Services for Bisexuals”, notes some participants identify as pansexual.A paper, “Trans Health Project”, from 2003 conflates pansexual, polysexual, polyamorous, and polygamous; “Polysexual/Polyamorous: In the past, known as pansexual. An orientation that does not limit affection, romance or sexual attraction to any one gender or sex. Polysexuals are characteristically also polygamous.”“The Transgendered Patient: A Practitioner’s Guide”, 2003, claims ambisexual and pansexual are alternatives to bisexual that those in the transgender community prefer.In a 2003 forum thread about how to tell if your child is a goth “is a homosexual, bisexual, or pansexual” is on the list, and another member defines pansexual as “of diverse sexual expression”.An article from 2003 in Utne discusses bisexuality and sexual fluidity, and offers pansexual and polysexual as alternative labels.A 2003 article from Riverfront Times about drag kings offers “homosexual, heterosexual, bisexual, pansexual, autosexual” as labels for sexual orientation.A sexologist on a health site in 2003 responds to a question from someone questioning their sexuality and lists “pansexual, non-preferential, sexually fluid, ambisexual, or omnisexual” as alternative labels for bisexual.In 2003, the pansexual Wikipedia page was a bisexual redirect page.A 2004 issue of the Bay Area Reporter advertises a gathering for the leather community that says, “queer, lesbian, gay, fag, dyke, genderqueer, genderfuckers, genderbenders, trans, MTF, FTM, bisexual, pansexual, omnisexual, questioning, intersexed — anyone left out? Free.”An article in The Village Voice in 2004 describes a German sex club as pansexual because “anything goes”.Michael C. Hall describes his 1999 role as Emcee from Cabaret as a “pansexual party boy” in The Advocate in 2004.A 2004 thesis, “The Gay Games”, discusses “a much broader sexual liberation” which includes “the questioning of monolithic categories homosexual and heterosexual in favour of a more bi or pansexuality”.“Sexuality Education in Schools”, 2004, lists pansexual, non-preferential, sexually fluid, ambisexual, omnisexual as alternative labels to bisexual.The LGBT Resource Center at UC Riverside puts together a terminology sheet that defines pansexual as “a person who is sexually attracted to all or many gender expressions” in 2004.A 2004 GLBTQ entry titled “Butch-Femme” states in recent years, pansexual and polysexual have “joined bisexual as terms that indicate women’s attractions to more than one gender”.A 2004 GLBTQ entry titled “San Francisco” describes Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac as “pansexual literary figures.”“Transgender Identities, Intimate Relationships and Practices of Care” from 2004, surveys 30 people, one of whom identifies as “queer, pansexual.”An SFGATE article defines pansexual as “someone attracted to people of multiple genders” in 2004.A comment on a blog post about queer identity in 2004 states terms like pansexual and omnisexual “lack the ability to convey their non-gendered meaning a lot of the time because people are generally unfamiliar with them”.A 2004 Publishers Weekly book review of The Little White Car by Danuta de Rhodes describes the character Estelle as a “gorgeous, pansexual heartbreaker”.In the 2005 thesis, “Queering Polyamory: Configurations, Public Policy, and Lived Experiences”, pansexual and omnisexual are defined as “exhibiting or implying many forms of sexual expression.”In 2005, the Girl’s Best Friend Foundation & Advocates for Youth makes a toolkit on creating a safe space for GLBTQ youth that defines pansexual as “a term of choice for people who do not self-identify as bisexual, finding themselves attracted to people across a spectrum of genders”.In Bi America: Myths, Truths, and Struggles of an Invisible Community by William Burleson, 2005, an interviewee says they are “thrilled to death that I’m queer or bisexual or pansexual.”Methods & Theories of Art History, 2005, states “although there has been an increasing number of essays on lesbian and gay artists and images, there are still few full-length studies of these subjects, and work on transgender, intersex, gender-blending, bisexuality, pansexuality and other gender identities and sexualities has yet to emerge fully”.A 2005 issue of Angles about the generational divide in the LGBT community discusses how youth are more likely than adults to “eschew traditional, dichotomous understandings” of sexuality and “easily claim a bisexual or pansexual identity”, as well as view their sexuality as “more fluid” or a “spectrum”, have partner choices “defined not by the sex of the other individual but by gender-free qualities”, and have identities that are “flexible over time”.Pansexual’s use in kink communities is defined as “open to all genders and orientations” in a 2005 book by Jack Rinella.In the 2005 episode of Will & Grace, “The Fabulous Baker Boy”, Will and Karen find out they’re both sleeping with Karen’s pastry chef, who is pansexual; “I don’t believe in gay or straight. I refuse to limit pleasure. I like to think of myself as pansexual.”A 2005 Urban Dictionary definition of “humansexual” states it’s “identical” to pansexual, in that “another person’s gender is irrelevant in regards to having an affinity for them”.In 2005, pansexual gets its own “stub” Wikipedia page, which defines pansexual as “a sexual orientation, distinct from bisexuality and characterized by potential aesthetic attraction, romantic love and sexual desire for anybody, including those people who don’t fit into the gender binary of male/female implied by bisexual attraction.”In the 2005 anthology Getting Bi edited by Robyn Ochs, pansexual and omnisexual are mentioned multiple times throughout the book as an alternative mspec label. The introduction addresses the diverse labels and experiences within the bi community, stating “some identify as queer, pansexual, or omnisexual. Some publicly acknowledge attractions and/or relationships with people of more than one sex while simultaneously claiming the right to identify as heterosexual, lesbian or gay. Some deliberately use labels strategically, identifying differently in different social contexts. And some eschew labels altogether. We considered subtitling this book ‘Voices of Bisexuals and Other Folks Along the Sexuality Spectrum,’ recognizing the word bisexual cannot possibly encompass all whose identities challenge the binaries of gay and straight.”
Heath Ledger is described in Gainesville Sun as a “pansexual art-house heartthrob” in 2006.In 2006 in The Advocate, Tom and Mike of Dangerous Muse who “both avoid placing a definitive flag anywhere on the Kinsey scale of sexuality”, are described as being a “product of a growing pansexual New York City nightlife.”A 2006 article for New York Magazine examines the “cuddle puddle” of teenagers at Stuyvesant High School, who describe themselves as “polysexual, ambisexual, pansexual, pansensual, polyfide, bi-curious, bi-queer, fluid, meteroflexible, heteroflexible, heterosexual with lesbian tendencies or just sexual”, and notes the terms are “designed less to achieve specificity than to leave all options open”.In Routledge International Encyclopedia of Queer Culture, 2006, James Broughton is said to have “eschewed the labels homosexual, heterosexual and bisexual” and described himself as “a pansexual androgyne.” It also mentions the “panopoly of labels” that have been applied to David Beckham, such as “new man, gay, straight, narcissist, metrosexual, pansexual, family man, and more recently love-rat.”Greta Christina posts a comment on her blog post in 2006 saying, “I think sexual identity is about more than that. It’s emotional, it’s cultural, it’s political. Maybe in a perfect world it wouldn’t be, but it is. And I think that’s one of the reasons that everyone has different definitions of words like gay, straight, bi, lesbian, pansexual, etc.”A 2006 sexuality and gender guide defines pansexual as “someone attracted to people of any gender at all.”A teen in 2006 episode of True Life, “I Have Gay Parents” identifies as pansexual.In 2006, “it is sometimes described as the capacity to love a person romantically, irrespective of gender. Some pansexuals go so far as to claim that gender and sex are meaningless to them.” is added to the pansexual Wikipedia page. “Sometimes referred to as omnisexuality” is added by the end of the year.In 2006, users on the “i am pansexual” LiveJournal are asked how they’d explain pansexual to someone who had never heard the term before, and among the answers are; “gender is not an issue”, “being open to loving anybody, no matter what their gender or biological sex may be”, “attraction to a variety of genders and sexes”, and “I am a girl who loves people irrespective of their gender, perceived or otherwise”.MuscleHead Revolution in 2006 discusses how the “post-gay” generation have adopted and created new language for themselves that is “designed less to achieve specificity than to leave all options open”, and the examples given are “polysexual, ambisexual, pansexual, pansensual, polyfide, bi-curious, bi-queer, fluid, metroflexible, heteroflexible, heterosexual with lesbian tendencies-or just sexual.”The Sage Handbook for Research in Education in 2006 mentions how educators “often teach students who might not share the same category of sexual identity” and students may identify as “straight, lesbian. gay, bisexual, transgendered, queer, intersex, or pansexual” and defines pansexual as “those for whom gender is not the predominant factor that determines the possibility for intimate relations or partnerships”.Genderblind attraction is discussed in Sex from Plato to Paglia: A Philosophical Encyclopedia, 2006, and it’s questioned whether bisexual or pansexual is the appropriate term for it; “Some bisexuals are attracted to individuals independently of sex- and gender-linked attributes. Their sexual attractions are based on generally human traits. In genderblind attraction, the gender of one’s partner is irrelevant to sexual object choice ... People with a genderblind or pansexual orientation are open not only to relations with men and women as traditionally figured in our society but also to relations with individuals who identify themselves as some combination of man/woman or some alterntive gender entirely.”Understanding Human Sexuality, 2006, defines pansexual as being “attracted to people regardless of their gender.”An article titled “The Dangers of Labeling Sexual Identity” in a 2006 issue of The Lance mentions how some people use “alternative identities such as pansexual” which “refers to a person’s attraction to someone else that is not based on gender”.The 2006 paper, “Apparent Lesbian Performances, Heteroflexibility and Sexual Identity” states the women who participated identify as “heterosexual, bisexual, lesbian or used an alternative sexual identity like pansexual.”Bisexual Women: Friendship and Social Organization by Marlene Paz Galupo, 2006, lists “pan-, multi-, omnisexual” as alternatives to bisexual.The 2007 article “Gender Nonconformity, Homophobia, and Mental Distress in Latino Gay and Bisexual Men” notes pansexual is among the “other” sexualities of the participants.In 2007, the pansexual Wikipedia page is adjusted to “pansexuality (sometimes referred to as omnisexuality) is a sexual/affectional orientation characterized by a potential aesthetic attraction, romantic love and/or sexual desire for people of any sex or gender” then shortly changed to “the potential for aesthetic attraction, romantic love and/or sexual desire for people regardless of their gender identity or biological sex”.Whipping Girl in 2007 discusses “unconventional” or “nonconforming” gender and sexual expressions and identities; “the notion that certain gender identities and expressions are inherently ‘subversive’ or ‘transgressive’ can be seen throughout the queer/trans community, where drag and gender-bending are routinely celebrated, where binary-confounding identities such as boy-identified-dyke and pansexual trannyfag have become rather commonplace.”Dialogues on Difference: Studies on Diversity in the Therapeutic Relationship in 2007 states many contemporary sexual minorities make use of such terms as “queer, gender queer, pansexual, heteroflexible, homoflexible, fluid, polyamorous, intergender, agendered, and questioning-to name just a few.”The Gay and Lesbian Guide to College Life, 2007, defines omnisexual as “individual who is sexually, romantically, or emotionally attracted to an individual of any gender. Also referred to as pansexual.”Doing It Right, 2007, mentions lately teens are using more words than ever to define themselves, “some I’ve heard recently include heteroflexible, flexual, bicurious, questioning, pansexual, and genderqueer.”The author of Threesome Handbook, 2007, uses pansexual as an identifier alongside bisexual, trisexual, “pervert extraordinaire”, and queer. “Radical hipsters” are said to “flaunt pansexual identities”. Pansexual is described as being a “step beyond bisexual,” an “all-inclusive sexual orientation which includes people who don’t fit into the gender binary of male-female,” and “the ability to get the hots for someone regardless of gender”.Pansexual is explained as “open to partnering with all genders” in the 2007 paper “Encountering Stereotype Threat in the Workplace”.In the 2007 paper “Gender Variance and Mental Health”, pansexual is the most common word used amongst participants who selected “other” as their sexual orientation.Respondents involved in the 2007 paper “A Personal Construct Psychology Perspective on Sexual Identity” use a plethora of different labels, including bisexual-queer, bisexual lesbian, gay bisexual, bisexual-identified gay man, lesbian-identified bisexual, heterosexual-identified bisexual, pansexual, pansensual, polysexual, ambisexual, queer, omnivorous, unisexual, humansexual, bi-dyke, bi-lovable, multi-queer, normal, and sexual.S.E.X. by Heather Corinna, 2007, defines pansexual as “someone who is or can be attracted to any gender or sex, though not necessarily both at the same time.”Healing Sex by Staci Haines, 2007, defines pansexual as “having sexual desires, interests, and behavior with all genders, sexual orientations, and persuasions. Many people embrace this term in an attempt to broaden the categories of gay and straight, man and woman, S/M and vanilla.”A WordPress blog, A Feminist Theory Dictionary, posts about the term queer in 2007 and mentions how activists use it as an “inclusive word for gay/lesbian/transgender/pansexual/intersex/asexual/other non hetero-normative communities”.A 2007 article on Prince’s Super Bowl half-time show controversy quoted Stephen Colbert, who said “they knew that they were dealing with a lustful, pansexual rock ‘n’ roll deviant.”In a 2008 issue of Bi Women Quarterly, Ellyn Ruthstrom discusses labels in “Detroit Gathering a Good Place for Bi Bonding” stating, “In most of these meetings people choose identify in several different ways - bisexual, pansexual, queer, trans - and the issue of what to call our community popped up time and time again. I’ve always found bi people to be very uncomfortable with labels generally; we just hate boxes.”
An interviewee states in Sexual Fluidity by Lisa M. Diamond, 2008; “for me pansexual is looking past the two genders. I don’t know if it originated from the trans community, but that’s where I think a good portion of it is....I mean, if I’m trans and I’m dating someone, what does that make me? Or what if I’m dating someone who is trans and doesn’t identify as male or female? What is my sexual orientation? So I think it’s more about saying it doesn’t really make a difference what their gender is; it’s more about who you’re attracted to.”Faeries, Bears, and Leathermen by Peter Hennen, 2008, explains the use of pansexual in leather/BDSM communities, stating “it doesn’t make any difference the gender” and compares it to gay men’s clubs where men want to participate with other men, rather than “just another person”. It’s noted it’s an “emerging and very controversial sexual culture, even among some leathermen”.In 2008, a user on the “i am pansexual” LiveJournal says being pansexual means “gender and gender identity do not have any influence on your attraction to another person” and when someone points out gender can influence pansexual people’s attraction, they agree and correct themselves, saying gender “is not necessarily a deciding factor”.The article “1950-2008 Remembering Hanon Reznikov” in a 2008 issue of Fifth Estate mentions Hanan identified as pansexual.A participant in the 2008 study, “Suicidality and Self-Harm Among Sexual Minorities in Japan” identifies as pansexual and explains it as “open to different gender identities in her sexual partners.”In Beyond Masculinity, 2008, Elliot Long says “as a person outside of the male vs. female gender binary, I struggle to assert myself in a gay vs. straight world. I prefer fluid and inclusive sexuality labels like queer, pansexual, or omnisexual to describe myself and my sexuality in order to create space for bodies outside of the binary to be visible and desirable.”In a 2008 issue of The Lance, pansexual and omnisexual are described as “a label used by people who do not want to identify their sexual orientation as dualistic” and refer to “a person who is attracted to others not for their gender, but for the person they are inside”. It explains pan and omni refer to “many” and “all”, “indicating the fluidity and multiplicity of attraction and desire”, and says more people are using those identities to be “more inclusive, realizing that they are attracted to more than just the typical male and female genders”.One of the people interviewed for QuerVerbindungen by Victor Canning from 2008 identify as “pansexual genderqueer femme.”The 2008 book Opening Up: A Guide To Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships by Tristan Taormino defines pansexual, polysexual, and omnisexual as “attraction to, having sex with, loving, and forming relationships with people of all genders.”In the 2009 article “What’s in a Name: Call Me Bisexual or Call Me..”, Ellyn Ruthstrom discusses the labels people at a bisexual conference use, “95/5 girl, lesbian-identified bisexual, genderqueer, ambisexual, sexual, no label, AC/DC, pomosexual, trans, heterosexual, homoflexible, queer, pansexual, fembi, bisexual, tomboy, open, heteroflexible, trysexual, and omnisexual.” The author is hopeful that we can “keep our community strong and vibrant for many years to come” because “people expressed feeling a connection to each other, despite the different terms.”An article in a 2009 issue of Bi Women Quarterly, “Not Bisexual Enough?”, Tracy details her journey with labels, stating “So far, I have gone through the following: mostly lesbian, lesbian-identified bisexual (too wordy), queer, Kinsey 5, fluid, pansexual, and even unlabeled.”A respondent in a 2009 survey, “Estimating the size and composition of the lesbian, gay, and bisexual population in Britain”, describes their sexuality as pansexual, saying “I don’t think that gender expression can be confined to two genders and my attraction is not based on whether someone is male/female or anything else.”A user on the “i am pansexual” LiveJournal in 2009 says they explain being pansexual as “I like people regardless of their gender (or lack thereof).”Sex, Gender, and Sexuality: The New Basics Anthology, 2009, defines pansexual as “a person who has spiritual, emotional, and/or sexual relations with or a physical attraction to members of all sexes and genders”.Gender, Bullying, and Harassment, 2009, defines pansexual as “a person who is attracted to some genders of all sexes to varying degrees. The prefix pan, from the Greek for all, and indicates the belief that there are many sexes”.Encyclopedia of Contemporary LGBTQ Literature of the United States, 2009, mentions some people have opted for terms such as “multisexual, omnisexual, or pansexual to call attention to the limitless number of genders to which one can be emotionally, physically, sexually, or spiritually attracted”.LGBT-Dictionary on Blogspot in 2009 defines pansexuality “or omnisexuality” as “the potential for aesthetic attraction, romantic love, or sexual desire for people, regardless of their gender identity or biological sex.”GLSEN’s 2009 report “The Experiences of Transgender Youth in Our Nations Schools” shows 12% of transgender students identified their sexual orientation as “other (e.g. queer, questioning, pansexual)” and compared to non-transgender students, transgender students were “more likely to identify as something other than gay, lesbian, or bisexual (e.g., straight/heterosexual, pansexual)”.Mia Ocean, a contributor to the 2009 book, Bisexuality and Same-Sex Marriage, says, “I’m an out and proud bisexual/multisexual/pansexual wommin.”The 2010 article “Our Hearts Still Hold These Intimate Connections”, focuses on the spirituality and religion of “bisexual, pansexual, and polysexual” people.Sara de Souza states in a 2010 issue of Bi Women Quarterly, “I came to understand that my sexuality is more fluid and that I am more pansexual in terms of whom I find myself attracted to.”Robyn Ochs interviews Shiri Eisner in 2010 for Bi Women Quarterly. Shiri states, “I am a feminist, anarchist, vegan, polyamorous, bisexual/pansexual and a sex radical. I started (and currently organize) the second-ever and only currently active bisexual/pansexual organization in Israel, Panorama - a bi and pansexual feminist community. These days I identify as both bisexual and pansexual. I think pansexuality is a wonderful word which allows us the opportunity to speak about non-binary genders and sexes, and in some contexts, to emphasize our inclusiveness of them.”The pan flag is first posted on Tumblr in 2010 by Jasper. Of the meaning, Jasper says, “Pink and blue, because of their gendered traditions, and yellow, a generally non-gendered colour, to represent nonbinary folks etc.” and of the growth, “I didn’t expect it to take off. It proved popular on Tumblr, and for a few years the flag kept getting added to the Wikipedia pansexual page and then removed. Eventually it snowballed and ended up in use well beyond Tumblr. As I’ve got older I’ve realised a lot of people would be interested in knowing this part of modern queer history, and more about modern flag creation in general, and that it’s worth documenting. Not for credit so much as for posterity.”Queer Question, Clear Answers, 2010, states “some are opting for terms such as unlabeled, pansexual, queerboi, bi-lesbian, polysexual, and so on. Adopting different labels or descriptors serves various purposes for different groups. For some is it a rejection of terms that the individual feels have been pressed on them by a repressive society. Others believe that none of the existing terms quite capture who they are.”The 2010 research done by the Equality Network and LGBT Youth Scotland, “Transgender People's Experiences of Domestic Abuse in Scotland”, shows queer and pansexual are the most common sexual orientations among the participants.The 2010 “National Transgender Discrimination Survey Report on Health and Health Care” shows a nearly equal amount of respondents identify as bisexual, “gay, lesbian, same gender attracted”, and “queer/pansexual.”A 2010 survey on transgender people in Ontario shows queer, “bisexual or pansexual”, and straight/heterosexual were the most common sexual orientations among participants.
In 2011, Steven Lenius looks back on his 2001 paper about the acceptance of bisexuality in pansexual BDSM communities, and concludes the pansexual promoting BDSM community helped advance greater acceptance of alternative sexualities.In 2011, the definition on the pansexual Wikipedia page is adjusted again; “pansexuality (also referred to as omnisexuality) is a sexual orientation, characterized by the potential for aesthetic attraction, romantic love, or sexual desire towards people of all gender identities and biological sexes.”An article about bisexuality in the RedEye in 2011 states bisexual, queer, hetero-flexible, homo-flexible, pansexual, omnisexual, and bisensual “mean different things to different people” but “to bisexual activists, they’re all members of the bi family.”A 2011 research paper, “Pansexual Identification in Online Communities”, investigates the different aspects of pansexual self identifications within contemporary online communities.Shiri Eisner posts a bisexual umbrella image in 2011, including terms such as pansexual, omnisexual, polysexual, fluid, queer, bi-curious, homoflexible/lesbiflexible, and and heteroflexible. An “other bi+ identities” category also includes terms such as biromantic, panromantic, bisensual, pansensual, bidyke, byke, bisexual-lesbian, ambisextrous, anthrosexual, multisexual, genderblind, pomosexual, and “many more”.Shiri Eisner also posts in 2011 about the differences and similarities between bisexuality and pansexuality, and mentions how in her experience she has found that “bisexuality comes from a type of political thought based on sexual identity, pansexuality comes from a type of political thought based on gender identity: talk to a bi person about bisexuality, they’ll often talk about sexuality and desire, and focus on biphobia; talk to a pan person about pansexuality, they’ll often talk about transgender and genderqueer identities, and focus on transphobia.”A WordPress blog post from 2011 defines pansexual as “attraction spanning potentially everyone on the whole continuum of genders”.The r/pansexual group is created in 2011.In the 2011 survey, “The Lives of Transgender People”, the majority of the 567 (16%) respondents who mark their sexual orientation as “other” describe themselves as pansexual or queer.An Autostraddle article in 2011 titled “Franky Likes People: Skins UK Episode 507 is a Pansexual Ending to a Very Queer Week of TV” refers to Franky on Skins UK as pansexual after she is questioned if she’s a lesbian or bisexual and explains “I’m not anything. I’m into people.”A pansexual person explains their sexuality as “It means I’m attracted to people who are attractive, regardless of their gender. As long as I find them attractive, they are attractive.” in a 2011 article about drag queen Morgan McMichaels.The YouTube channel “Askapansexual” is created in 2011, as a collaboration of “pansexuals and panromantics aimed at educating people about lesser know sexualities and genders”.“Research into Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Equality in Adult Learning” from 2011 shows pansexual and queer are descriptions used “more frequently by those identifying as transgender”.15% of bisexual respondents from the 2011 study “Working Bi: Preliminary Findings from a Survey on Workplace Experiences of Bisexual People” also identify as pansexual.Roger from American Dad! says “Oh, my God! Another fey, pansexual, alcoholic nonhuman, I’ve been replaced!” in the 2011 episode “You Debt Your Life”.In 2011, the 30 Rock character Paul is described as a “gender dysmorphic bi-genitalia pansexual” in the episode, “Respawn”.Queerphc on WordPress posts about pansexuality in 2012, defining it, addressing myths/misconceptions, and touching on the overlap between pansexual and bisexual. The post defines pansexuality as “the potential attraction to people of all gender identities and expressions.”A 2012 LGBTQ survey defines pansexual as “a person who is attracted to others regardless of their gender identity or sex assigned at birth” and one participant says “I would describe myself as pansexual, meaning that gender identity doesn't determine whether or not I am attracted to someone”.A 2012 Dallas Voice article discusses Texas legislator Mary Gonzalez coming out as pansexual. She is referred to as “Texas’ only openly LGBT legislator” and “nation’s 1st out pansexual elected official” and she explains “gender identity isn’t the defining part of my attraction” and “during the campaign if I had identified as pansexual, I would have overwhelmed everyone, now that I’m out of the campaign, I’m completely much more able to define it.”A 2012 article titled “2012 a Historic Year for Bisexual and Transgender People in Politics” defines pansexuality as “attraction to people of all genders, or attraction regardless of gender.”In 2012, The Guardian posts an interview with rapper Angel Haze, who identifies as pansexual and says “Love is boundary-less. If you can make me feel, if you can make me laugh – and that’s hard – then I can be with you.”The Facebook group, Pansexuality Awareness Network (PAN), is created in 2012.“The Bisexuality Report” in 2012 defines pansexuality synonymously with omnisexual as “being attracted towards people of all genders.”A 2012 article by Lyla Cicero titled “Coming Out As Genderqueer At The Age Of 50” wonders if terms like genderqueer and pansexual had been part of the cultural dialogue years ago, would more people today be living more authentically, or would have figured themselves out and/or come out a lot earlier in life.An 2012 Everyday Feminism article about fluid sexuality mentions how “unfortunately, terms like queer, pansexual, or the outright rejection of labels haven’t quite caught on, even in the mainstream LGBTQIA+ movement” and those who “try to explain their sexuality using these terms (or lack thereof) may be seen as attention seeking or confused because they don’t fit into a popular category” but that “just because the language to describe sexuality is limited doesn’t mean that people don’t exist beyond those limits and self-label in a way that feels comfortable for them.”The 2012 study “Exploring the Diversity of Gender and Sexual Orientation Identities in an Online Sample of Transgender Individuals” shows “the two most common sexual orientation identities were pansexual and queer” and “non-normative identities, such as pansexual and queer, were common, along with changes in identity labels over time” and suggests “transgender individuals may be likely to represent their sexual orientation in non-binary ways, such as queer and pansexual, given their own experiences transgressing societal norms surrounding sex, gender, and sexual roles/behaviors. Sexual orientations such as pansexual, queer, and bisexual also do not assume the sex or gender of the individual claiming the orientation. These individuals may wish to represent their attractions in ways that do not specifically reference their own sex or gender, which may be in transition, fluid, or not fully captured by gay, lesbian, or heterosexual identity labels.”The 2012 study “Risk and Protective Factors for Bullying Victimization among Sexual Minority Youths” notes several changes were made to the survey based on feedback from a youth advisory panel, including “a response category was added for sexual identity (pansexual).”“Solidarity but not similarity? LGBT communities in the twenty-first century”, 2012, notes “participants raised concerns over (a potential) lack of awareness of identities not included within LGBT, such as pansexual and polysexual. For some LGBT practitioners, the current acronym identifying ‘four boxes’ did not ‘sit comfortably’. It was argued that this could: ‘...limit how you talk about stuff, and also how you identify.’”
In a chapter about transcending sexual oritenation in the 2012 book Bisexuality and Transgenderism: InterSEXions of the Others by Jonathan Alexander, Matthew Kailey states “bisexuality is confing in that the binary gender system is inherent in the term” and that while “some people have begun to identify as pansexual, omnisexual, genderqueer, or simply queer in an effort to explain a sexuality that is not confined by either/or” they’re all still labels that exist because the system requires it.The 2012 book Arrested Development and Philosophy: They’ve Made a Huge Mistake defines pansexual and omnisexual as “a person whose identity and sexual choices are not limited or determined by gender (the person may engage in sexual acts with all genders).”A list of events in a 2012 issue of Bi Women Quarterly includes a group for young people, Younger Bi Group, who identify “somewhere along the lines of bisexual/omni/pan/fluid (or are questioning in that direction)”.“Challenging the Binary: Sexual Identity That Is Not Duality”, 2013, discusses pansexual and pomosexuality. The author explains “pansexuality can be an identity claimed by individuals in LGBTQ communities, whereas, more often than not, pomosexuality is an umbrella term used to describe political resistance that encompasses identities and concepts that are unknown, unnamed, or otherwise completely transgressive” and attributes the ambiguity in the “application or definition of the terms themselves” to the ambiguity from “which the terms have sprung”, and concludes pansexuality and pomosexuality are both “attempts to challenge the multiple binary systems that oppress all people by way of the binary system that still rules the LGBT trinity.”LGBTQ Families: The Ultimate Teen Guide, 2013, states bisexual people might also refer to themselves as “bi, pansexual, omnisexual, or polysexual.”Shiri Eisner’s book Bi: Notes for a Bisexual Revolution, 2013, defines pansexual and omnisexual synonymously and states the only difference is Greek and Latin prefixes.Lady Geek Girl on WordPress in 2013 criticizes how pansexual characters are often promiscuous or hypersexual, in particular Deadpool.The Post-Modernist Slut on WordPress in 2013 posts about the “genderblind identity” which “lies somewhere between the notions of pansexuality, or panromanticism, and pomosexuality”, stating genderblind (“unaffected or disinterested by the gender of their potential partner”) is related to pansexuality (“allowing for sexual relationships with members of all gender identities and expressions”), but not interchangeable, as “one could be gender-blind without identifying with pansexuality or vice versa”.“Monosexism: Battling the Biases of Bi/Panphobia” from Everyday Feminism in 2013 discusses the myths and assumptions and misconceptions people have about bisexuality and pansexuality, and defines pansexual as attraction to “individuals regardless of their gender or sex”.An author via Thought Catalog in 2013 explains “I interchangeably call myself bi- or pansexual, which really just means that application is open to all”.“How to Be a Bi/Pansexual Ally”, 2013, defines pansexual as “anyone potentially attracted to people of all genders and sexes, or regardless of sex and gender, and who identifies as pansexual”.The first post for Pansexual Pride Day is in 2013, when a DeviantArt drawing is posted in celebration of “National Pansexual pride day”.“Pansexuality 101” from Everyday Feminism in 2014 defines pansexual as “someone who is attracted to all sexes and genders of people.” It notes Google Trends data indicates an internet presence for pansexuality and genderqueer began roughly around the same time. The “politics” of pansexuality are mentioned as well; “pansexuality is tightly entwined into the politics of genderqueer and non-binary activism, awareness, and progress since it cannot exist without these identities. This history, and the political implications that follow, are some of the most important parts of pansexuality and are what primarily sets it apart as its own identity. The creation of the pansexual identity, however, has allowed for further and more intentional analysis and discussion of the relationship between human sexuality and gender. Beyond being a useful and real label for people to identify with, pansexuality also has begun to create waves within activism and sexuality theory.”A 2014 post from Beyond the Talk explaining the definitions of bisexual, pansexual, and polysexual states “bisexuals like the same and other genders, polysexuals like multiple genders, and pansexuals like all genders. People can even identify as a blend of the three. It really all depends on you.”A San Francisco news site posts in 2014 about a “pansexual couple” being crowned as “homecoming princesses” in Santa Rosa, stating the couple identify as pansexual, defined as a “sexual or emotional attraction toward people of any sex or gender identity”.Nick Monaco talks to The Advocate in 2014, “I have my own ideas about my own sexuality, my pansexuality; I don’t really think about gender or sex when it comes to dating someone.”In 2014, OKCupid adds pansexual, among other sexualities and genders, to their options.“From Blues to Rainbows”, a 2014 report on the mental health and well-being of gender diverse and transgender young people in Australia, shows that 50% of young people identify as either pansexual or queer and notes pansexual has been popular in other Australian research when young people were given similar options.“Supporting and Caring for Bisexual Youth” from 2014 shows 7% of youth identify as pansexual.GLAAD’s Bi Week page for 2014 states “Bisexual people have always been a driving force in the LGBT community and are leaders within local, regional, and national organizations and issue-based campaigns. Some people who are attracted to people of any gender self-identify with words such as bisexual, pansexual, polysexual, omnisexual, fluid, queer, or other terminology.”“Solutions for Bisexual Mental Health Issues” by Harrie Farrow in Bi Women Quarterly from 2014 states “Create alliances across sexual labels, identities, and practices. Daily-fought mini-wars over definitions, which divide the non-monosexual community, further contribute to mental health issues. In the spirit of embracing and celebrating our diversity, bisexual/pansexual/omnisexual/etc. people need to form alliances to support one another across identities.”
The first post for Pansexual Visibility Day is from 2015; a Tumblr post was made by kaenith celebrating Pansexual/Panromantic Visibility Day. The same year PinkNews shares a list of “LGBT holidays” in which it’s referred to as Pansexual Awareness Day.In a 2015 post on GLAAD’s blog, Alexandra Bolles details a White House policy briefing, “I attended the White House Bisexual Community Policy Briefing yesterday as part of the second annual BiWeek—a campaign co-founded by GLAAD to accelerate acceptance for the bi community. It was my first time at the White House, and it was a powerful introduction. Bi, pansexual, queer, and fluid-identified advocacy leaders from around the country gathered in DC, representing a diverse range of ethnicities, races, gender identities, abilities, geographic backgrounds, and ages, all under the bi umbrella.”The 2015 25th anniversary edition of Bi Any Other Name: Bisexual Speak Out stresses “respecting one another and remaining flexible in the ever changing self-identity landscape” because “we have to hold a safe space for people to define their personal experience without judgment”. It says, “we bisexuals, queer people, polysexuals, fluid people, pansexuals, by every name we call ourselves - continue to subvert gender assumptions and explore naming ourselves - by every other identity, to no-identity-needed-or-wanted at all. What’s most important is respecting each person’s self-identity and being recognized and understood for who we are.”Jazz Jennings tells Cosmo in 2015 being pansexual “basically means to me that you are attracted to anyone, no matter their sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, everything. There’s no limits. I’ll date anyone.”Miley Cyrus talks about her sexuality in Paper in 2015; “I am literally open to every single thing that is consenting and doesn’t involve an animal and everyone is of age. Everything that’s legal, I’m down with. Yo, I’m down with any adult – anyone over the age of 18 who is down to love me. I don’t relate to being boy or girl, and I don’t have to have my partner relate to boy or girl” and mentions that she’s had meaningful relationships with girls over the years but people “never really looked at it” and she “never brought it into the spotlight”. The same year, she told Elle UK; “I’m very open about it – I’m pansexual.”A 2015 post from GLAAD defines pansexuality as “being attracted to all gender identities, or attracted to people regardless of gender”.An Everyday Feminism article from 2015 answering the question “aren’t bisexuality and pansexuality the same thing?” declares that what bisexual and pansexual mean depends on the person; some use them differently, some use them interchangeably, and we should “allow people to tell you how they identify and never label anyone as bisexual or pansexual without asking them first”.Another Everyday Feminism article from 2015 states polysexual is a term that includes “those who identify as bisexual, pansexual, omnisexual.”A non-binary trans person breaks down the bi vs pan debate in the 2015 article “Cis Privilege and Identity Policing in the Bi and Pan Community” and explains pansexual was a way to include non-binary people during a time when they were “even less widely recognized” and “much of the bi community defined itself as people who were attracted to men and women” but not all of the bi movement was using that definition and they too were actively challenging transphobia and exclusion, and concludes, “transphobia is an issue across the board” and suggests we be trans inclusive by being clear with the language we use, calling out transphobia to support trans people not to use trans people as a “political football” to devalue someone else’s orientation, and affirming identities instead of policing them.In a 2015 Collider interview with Ryan Reynolds and Tim Miller, they’re asked if the Deadpool movie is going to have a “very hypersexualized” Deadpool, and Tim Miller’s response is “Pansexual! I want that quoted. Pansexual Deadpool.”Dan Levy talks to Flare in 2015 about playing pansexual on Schitt’s Creek, saying pansexuality is just an “interesting fit” for his character and something he’d “definitely be about, and open to”, he doesn’t think his character has “ever turned down a sexual opportunity if it arose”, and he’s seen a rise in conversation about pansexuality.A 2015 article from The Mary Sue breaks down queerness on Sense8 and an actor from the show expressing his agreement with the creator thinking all the characters are pansexual, defined in the article as “attraction to people of all—or irrespective of—genders”. The article touches on what that interpretation means for the characters who have established sexualities (such as gay and lesbian) and the importance of having a sexually fluid cast of characters.At 2015 Comic Con, Rick and Morty animator states Rick is pansexual.A 2015 AOL article titled “Pansexual rises on National Coming Out Day” shares that a Vocativ analysis of 329,597 Twitter and Instagram posts on National Coming Out Day in shows more than 3,600 of them mention the word pansexual, more than that of lesbian or transgender combined. In posts that specifically include the words “I” or “I am”, the most common descriptors are gay, bisexual, and pansexual. The definition given for pansexual in the article is “someone whose experience of attraction is not limited by biological sex or gender identity”. The article also states pansexual is “one of the fastest growing queer identities used by youth online, especially among American teens and girls.”A Pride article in 2015 celebrates Miley Cyrus as MTV VMA’s first out pansexual host.In 2015, Andrew Garfield talks about Spider-Man’s sexuality to Mic, saying “I’m excited to get to the point where we don’t have to have this conversation, where we can have a pansexual Spider-Man.” which mirrors his questioning in 2013 of “why can’t Spiderman be into boys?”. He adds, “Love is love. Skin is skin. Flesh is flesh. We’re all wrapped in the same thing. I have no preference.”The 2015 “National School Climate Survey” shows 16% of students identify as pansexual and notes “overall, pansexual students appear to be faring worse than bisexual students and students of other sexual orientations in both safety/victimization and indicators of well-being. Our findings highlight the need to further explore the particular experiences of other sexual minority students, such as pansexual students.”The introduction of Recognize: The Voices of Bisexual Men by Robyn Ochs and H. Sharif Williams, 2015, lists “bisexual, pansexual, omnisexual, polysexual, panromantic, fluid, queer, questioning, heteroflexible, straight-with-a-twist, gayish, same-gender loving, MSM, and PSP” as being some of the “limitless” ways to describe “middle sexualities”, to which there is “no one singular or universalized experience.”The character Aitor describes himself, “I’m not gay. Not [bisexual], either. Pansexual. I like everything. I like to have a good time with whoever.” in the 2015 episode “Spanish Fever” of Club de Cuervos.Ferg says “I’m pansexual, to be precise” in the second episode of Stonemouth in 2015.Julie’s profile is shown in the second episode of The Expanse in 2015 and under “orientation” it states pan.David Rose explains his sexuality with a wine metaphor, stating he “likes the wine, and not the label”, and his father says, “my son is pansexual” in the 2015 Schitt’s Creek episode “Honeymoon”.Juliet Jacques describes in Trans: A Memoir, 2015, seeing Terre Thaemlitz play at a cafe, noting that Thaemlitz is pansexual and transgender and also often uses she/her pronouns.
In 2016, Bi Net USA posts about “Celebrate Bisexuality Day” or Bi Pride/Visibility Day, noting it’s “observed by: Bisexual, pansexual, queer, and fluid (bi+) community and their families, friends, allies and supporters.”The press release for the 2016 Bisexual Health Awareness Month states “Bisexual+ youth, who encompass a diverse spectrum of sexual identities (e.g. bisexual, fluid, no label, pansexual, queer), experience higher rates of suicidality, substance use, bullying, and sexual violence compared to their gay, lesbian, and straight peers.”Purple Prose: Bisexuality in Britain edited by Kate Harrad, 2016, has a glossary that includes bi-curious, omnisexual, pansexual, and polysexual.Seven Ways We Lie by Riley Redgate, 2016, has a pansexual main character who explains his pansexuality as “I could be attracted to someone of any gender.”The pansexual main character in Out on Good Behavior by Dahlia Adler, 2016 describes her attraction; “I don’t discriminate by gender or lack thereof” and explains, “pansexual felt like the best fit because I think it’s the most fluid. Lots of people think it just means I’m attracted to more than two genders-which I am-but plenty of bisexual people are too. For me, the difference is more about how gender plays into the attraction to someone, whether consciousness of it is actually a factor or those lines kinda blur”.On the Other Side by Carrie Hope Fletcher, 2016, has a pansexual character who explains her pansexuality with a chocolate bar comparison, saying when you eat a chocolate bar, the wrapper might be “pretty, full of bold colors and fancy details”, but you “ultimately care about what’s inside the wrapper” and for her, it’s the same with people; “For me, it doesn’t matter whether they’re a man or a woman. That’s only the wrapper they come in. What I really care about is the chocolate. It’s called being pansexual.”Camp Rewind by Meghan O’Brien, 2016, has a main character who says, “If I had to label myself, I would say I’m pansexual, which basically means that I’m potentially attracted to any human.”“Who Adopts Queer and Pansexual Sexual Identities?”, 2016, explains pansexuality as “often conceptualized as a label that denotes sexual or romantic attraction to people regardless of their gender expression, gender identity, or biological sex” and is “frequently distinguished” from bisexuality on the basis that it “explicitly rejects attractions based on binary notions of sex and gender”.Second Kiss by Chelsea M. Cameron, 2016, has a pansexual character whose sexuality is explained; “she’d dated girls before. And guys. And people who weren’t girls or guys. The gender (or lack thereof) of the other person didn't matter for her.”“What’s in a Name? Exploring Pansexuality Online”, 2016, explains pansexuality as attraction to all genders, attraction regardless of gender identity, and an identity that “denounces gender or sex as a defining feature of sexuality.” It mentions the suggestion pansexuality “actually embodies the stance of antilabeling” or is a label that “encompasses a wide variety of expressions limiting the need to fit into a single category or identity,” the “clear connection between pansexuality as an antilabel and the continued reclamation of the word queer,” and the speculation it’s “gaining acceptance and membership due to the broad and flexible definition allowing for the freedom of choice and self-identification regarding sexual expression.”The study “‘Regardless of Their Gender’: Descriptions of Sexual Identity among Bisexual, Pansexual, and Queer Identified Individuals” from 2016 investigates the way bisexual, pansexual, and queer people conceptualize their sexual identity to provide a more nuanced understanding of the experiences within the bisexual umbrella. Overall, there is a “great deal of similarity seen across participants’ personal definitions and understandings of sexual identity” as well as some differences; which were “consistently found between bisexual and pansexual participants,” however queer participants “sometimes aligned with bisexuals and sometimes aligned with pansexuals.” Using inclusion criteria, nonbinary language, and transcends gender/sex and body to describe sexual identity were more frequent among pansexual participants. Other differences included pansexual participants being younger, more likely to identify as transgender, and less likely to describe their sexual identity in terms of preferences, degree, and partner’s identity.“The ABC’s of LGBT+”, 2016, defines pansexual synonymously with omnisexual as “capable of being attracted to any or all gender(s).”“Eight Myths About Pansexuality, Debunked” from 2016 clears up some misconceptions about pansexuality, such as pansexual being a new term/created on Tumblr, pansexuals being attracted to everything and everyone because the prefix means “all”, bisexuality and pansexuality being completely independent concepts, and pansexuals being polyamorous and oversexed. The post defines pansexual as “potential sexual and romantic attraction to all genders.”Merriam-Webster’s trend watch in 2016 shows “lookups for pansexual spiked” after Miley Cyrus talked about being pansexual, “outdistancing almost all other words”.In 2016, People shares an article on Miley Cyrus being pansexual and defines it as “attracted to all genders and sexes” citing GLAAD.Christine and the Queens talks to BBC in 2016, explaining being pansexual as “I can fall in love with someone regardless of their gender, regardless of how they define themselves. I don’t really see that as an obstacle, as a definition.” and how she doesn’t want to “tick boxes”. When asked if identifying as pansexual is “creating a new box to tick”, she explains, “people still need words” to create understanding, and pansexual is the “best way for me not to choose”.A 2016 Flare article celebrating pansexuality and fluid sexuality in TV defines pansexual as “open to any sex or gender”.“An exploration into the world of Pansexuality”, 2016, states the first step to discussing pansexuality openly is understanding “exactly what it means to each individual person within the context of their lives, and what the word means as a sexual label” and a few people share their definitions and interpretations; “sexual attraction, romantic love, or emotional attraction toward people of any sex or gender”, “I never know who I’m going to be attracted to at any specific moment,” and “I really don’t know why I’m pansexual. I don’t need to justify it. I need to be confident in what my mind is telling me, this person is hugely attractive and I don’t need to know what their gender is.”John from Another Period says “I mean, if anything, I’m a pansexual.” in the 2016 episode “Joplin”.Joe Lycett discusses his sexuality in 2016; “I say bisexual because it’s easy for people to understand but I actually don’t quite think it’s that. Pansexual seems to be the closest thing at this point. In the sense that, what I’m attracted to changes depending on intangible things. It’s not entirely to do with gender – it’s to do with where you’re at, your upbringing and the kind of person you are. It’s really complicated, like life is.”Everyday Feminism in 2016 states “pansexuality refers to people who are attracted to people regardless of their gender identity or biological sex.”Greta Christina posts on Facebook in 2016 saying “I’m pansexual. It does not mean I have sex with bread, pans, or pan-flutes. It means I’m attracted to people of all genders.”Sadie is said to describe herself on Facebook as pansexual in the 2016 episode “Lovin the D” of Scream Queens.The 2017 paper “Bisexuality, pansexuality, queer identity, and kink identity”, examines the relationship between kink/BDSM and bisexual, pansexual, and queer identity, concluding “for some people, there is an intersection of kink and bisexual/pansexual orientation especially around the category or label queer; that kink behaviors and relationships allow for the exploration of sexual orientation and gender identity in some unique ways; and that kink communities and scenes can be important avenues for coming out around sexual orientation or gender identity, in terms of healing from isolation and shame.”GLAAD’s “Accelerating Acceptance” survey in 2017 shows 2% of young Americans are pansexual.
Pansexual/Panromantic Pride Week (Pan Week) is created in 2017 by posi-pan on Tumblr, to be celebrated the week of Pan Pride Day (December 8th).In 2017, CNN shares a “What it means to be pansexual” article stating pansexual is “not new, but new again”, “sometimes called omnisexual”, “about as broad as it gets when it comes to describing who you’re sexually attracted to, which is why it appeals to a younger generation that’s comfortable with gender and sexual fluidity and doesn’t care much for specific labels”, “has cultural resonance because it is so broad and allows for so much flexibility and choice”, and defined as “a person who has the capacity to form enduring physical, romantic and/or emotional attractions to those of any or all genders”.A 2017 Medium article titled “Bisexual and Pansexual and Polysexual, Oh My!” defines pansexual as “attraction regardless of gender.”Nola Darling in Spike Lee’s She’s Gotta Have It Netflix series describes herself on screen as a “sex-positive polyamorous pansexual” in the episode “LuvIzLuv (SEXUALITY IS FLUID)” in 2017.The pansexual main character in The Target by L.C. Mawson, 2017, says “I’m not exactly picky on matters of gender” when discussing her attraction.Affirmative Counseling with LGBTQI+ People, 2017, defines pansexual as “attracted to individuals regardless of sex or gender identity and expression; attracted to all genders and sexes.”An article from 2017 titled “Pansexuality is not the same as bisexuality” has a personal interpretation of pansexual; “To me, pansexual means that someone’s gender is not a factor in my attraction toward them. If I like you, I like you. Your gender identity doesn’t affect that.”In the 2017 book Who'd Have Thought by G. Benson, the pansexual main character explains her pansexuality; “I’m attracted to people without their gender really playing a role.”Even Bech Næsheim wears a pansexual pride pin in the 2017 episode of Skam “Takk for alt”.In 2017 Molly Bernard discusses her Younger character Lauren, describing her as a “fluid, pansexual female”, stating “she falls into the category of fluidity. I don’t think she’s necessarily going in between men and women, but I think she’s attracted to, basically, human. There’s no preference.”Bi Pride UK shares an article in 2017 about how bi and pan communities can work together instead of getting caught up in identity policing debates and defined both identities as “bi people have the potential to experience attraction to more than one gender. Pan people have the potential to experience attraction to people of all genders (or regardless, of gender).”Asia Kate Dillon discusses their sexuality in 2017, stating “from the time I came to understand sex and sexual orientation, and all of that, I’ve identified as pansexual and I’ve always felt like I had the spiritual, emotional, physical capability of being attracted to any gender.”GLSEN’s 2017 “National School Climate Survey” shows 20% of students identify as pansexual.Italy’s first survey on bisexual health, “Being Bi”, from 2017 includes pansexual people in the sample.Pansexuals are included in the 2017 statement for the Vancouver Dyke March.Janelle Monáe discussed her sexuality with Rolling Stone in 2018, “Being a queer black woman in America, someone who has been in relationships with both men and women – I consider myself to be a free-ass motherfucker.” The article states she initially identified as bisexual, “but then later I read about pansexuality and was like, ‘Oh, these are things that I identify with too.’ I’m open to learning more about who I am.”Following Janelle Monáe coming out, Merriam-Webster’s trend watch shows pansexual “was among our top lookups on April 26th, 2018” with a “11,000% rise”. That year, Merriam-Webster’s word of the year was justice, followed by nationalism and pansexual.Brendon Urie discusses his sexuality with Paper in 2018, stating “I’m married to a woman and I’m very much in love with her but I’m not opposed to a man because to me, I like a person. Yeah I guess you could qualify me as pansexual because I really don’t care. If a person is great, then a person is great. I just like good people, if your heart’s in the right place. I’m definitely attracted to men. It’s just people that I am attracted to.” and clarifying, “I guess this is me coming out as pansexual.”For Pan Pride Day in 2018, GLAAD shares an article where college students explain what pansexual means to them. One explains, “pansexuality is important to me to define and reclaim because it helps others understand the diversity in romantic and sexual orientation and, by proxy, the multitude of gender expressions that exist.” Another states, “Pansexuality is about assuming an identity that gives me the freedom to be attracted to whomever I’m attracted to without questioning myself or without feeling like that somehow threatens who I am. It’s about self-acceptance, and an excitement for self-discovery.” This description of freedom is mirrored by another, “Being pansexual to me represents a sense of freedom—validating the fluidity of attraction in that there are no boundaries or limitations.”The 2018 article “5 things you should know on Pansexual Pride Day” explains bisexual and pansexual are different, but not mutually exclusive, “Being bisexual means being attracted to more than one gender, while being pansexual means being attracted to people regardless of gender. Pansexuality and bisexuality are not in conflict. In fact, some bisexual people also identify as pansexual, and vice versa.”A them article from 2018 dives into “important” things to know about pansexuality. The definition given is “pansexuality is an identity that acknowledges one’s attraction to people regardless of gender or sexuality.” and the misconception that pansexual is a new term is cleared up, “the term pansexual has been around since at least the early 1900s as a psychological term that describes sex as a primary motivator for human beings. Its current definition has been around since at least the late 1960s.”In a 2018 New York Post article about pansexuality, a pansexual explains “Bisexual people are generally sexually attracted to two or more genders, whereas pansexual people don’t typically consider gender at all – it is the person that they are attracted to, regardless of identities. Some people also use the term pansexual to be explicitly inclusive of trans people, but that is not to suggest that bisexual people exclude trans people.”In 2018, pansexual people share things they want people to know with HuffPost, such as pansexual and bisexual people can coexist, you’re never too old to come out as pansexual, pansexual people respect gender, not acknowledging pansexuality makes it hard for people to live authentically, and pansexual people aren’t rigid in our definition of pansexuality.Pansexual is defined as “the capacity to be attracted to all genders and, or attracted to people regardless of gender” on Good Morning America in 2018.A 2018 Medium article defines pansexual as “attraction regardless of gender.”In 2018, when asked about the possible sexual fluidity of Lando Calrissian, if he’s pansexual, co-writer Jonathan Kasdan says “I would say yes. There’s a fluidity to Donald and Billy Dee’s [portrayal of Lando’s] sexuality. I mean, I would have loved to have gotten a more explicitly LGBT character into this movie. I think it’s time, certainly, for that, and I love the fluidity ― sort of the spectrum of sexuality that Donald appeals to and that droids are a part of. He doesn’t make any hard and fast rules. I think it’s fun, I don’t know where it will go.” and when Donald Glover is asked about it, he has a less serious response, “how can you not be pansexual in space?”
In 2018, a pansexual person writes about the “pangs of pansexuality” discussing how pansexual people deserve respect. They detail several instances of experienced panphobia and define pansexuality as “sexual, romantic or emotional attraction toward people regardless of their biological sex or gender identity.”A 2018 Billboard article titled “Everything You Need to Know About Pansexuality” defines pansexuality as “attracted to all genders/sexes, or regardless of gender/sex, and who identifies as pan”, mentions it’s part of the bisexual umbrella along with omnisexual and polysexual, and differentiates it from bisexual by stating bisexual is a more general term for attraction to more than one gender whereas pansexual is specifically any or all genders.Seventeen in 2018 defines pansexual as attraction to all genders.Author Talia Hibbert tweets about her sexuality in 2018, saying “I identify as pansexual rather than anything else because I do not like this, this, and this gender, or this gender and this gender, or these genders. I like [incoherent woobly noise] and that feels pansexual to me.”A 2018 article by a pansexual individual, titled “I am Pansexual. Why Is Saying It So Damn Hard?” touches on the stigma and prejudice pansexual people face, and states “I am a pansexual human being who loves other human beings, regardless of their gender identity.”An article in 2018 explains pansexuality as “when a person is attracted to others regardless of gender or sex. Generally, gender and sex are not determining factors in a pansexual person’s romantic attraction to others” and adds “people who identify with pansexuality may have different interpretations of what the term means to them and their identity.”In 2018, Courtney Act explains “the reason I identify as pansexual is not because I wander around the street looking at women thinking I wanna bang ‘em, it’s because I’ve had sexual and emotional experiences with women, and I don’t count that out as being a possibility.”In 2018 Gay Times interviews Lady Leshurr, one of the first pansexuals to be on the cover of Gay Times. She explains her pansexuality; “I realised gender has nothing to do with it. It’s more about the connection, the energy and the vibe that people bring around me – that’s what really draws me in. I’ve never been a person to look at somebody’s appearance and judge them on that. It’s always been about connection and that’s definitely why I identify as pansexual.”The pansexual main character of Final Draft by Riley Redgate, 2018, says she could “want anyone, any gender, any type.”Bisexuality: Theories, research, and recommendations for the invisible sexuality, 2018, explains pansexual identity is “conceptualized in a way that explicitly deconstructs not just the binary nature of gender/sex, but the reliance of defining sexual attraction upon gender/sex more generally” and “marks sexual desire in a way that gender/sex is not central to its definition and/or where the conceptualization of sexual desire transcends gender/sex. For pansexual individuals, then, sexual attraction is primarily based upon other (individually determined) factors.”In an interview with them in 2018 Chance Perdomo says, “Ambrose specifying he’s pansexual is important to his story arc. There’s not as much information out there regarding pansexuality as there is about other parts of the LGBTQ+ community. I think maybe that’s why they had to specify in the beginning for audiences that aren’t as necessarily aware.”The 2018 book Pretend Girlfriend by Lily Craig has a pansexual main character who says, “gender doesn’t really matter to me so much as the person.”The 2018 book Claiming the B in LGBT: Illuminating the Bisexual Narrative defines pansexual as “sexually attracted to all genders” and states pansexual and polysexual people “have access to the term bisexual if they so choose.” It’s noted “different people have different reasons for choosing different terms: two people may experience their attractions in the same way yet use two different terms; two people who use the same term way experience their attractions in very different ways.”Kat from Madam Secretary says she’s bisexual, but “you can also say pansexual, of fluid, or non-monosexual, but uh, yeah, I’m queer.” in the 2018 episode “Refuge”.The character Tam on Younger is described as “pansexual, homoromantic” and using they/them pronouns in the 2018 episode “Big Little Liza”.HRC’s 2018 “Youth Report” shows 14% of youth identify as pansexual.bigbunnyenergy on Twitter shares their experience with pansexual being adopted as a label, “I love that the bi community accounts for attraction to trans and nb ppl. But you know what my first experience with bi ppl was? Numerous forum posts and blogs either expressing disgust towards trans folks or fetishizing us. Back then, saying you were pan was a response to actual transphobia that was present in the bi community! Discomfort identifying with a community that ostracized you isn’t bigoted, and we need to stop pretending it’s not a nuanced discussion deeply rooted in personal experience.”A similar account is shared by Assistant2Snout on Twitter, “nb transwoman here that has identified as pan for 20+ years. the prevalence of pansexual was literally spearheaded by trans people because of their regular experiences of transphobia from bisexual peers during a time where being out even slightly was terrifying and dangerous. you may not understand it now with how much transphobia in the bisexual community has been called out and amended at this point, but calling pan transphobic is both ahistorical and an affront to trans people everywhere that had to deal with some very hard and dark times...please do not create more hate about a label you obviously don’t understand the history of at the expense of other trans people. to say a label trans and nb people picked up and helped spread, to have something that feels clearer and safer for them, is transphobic only serves to rekindle a lot of fears again.”Healthline in 2019 plainly breaks down the distinction between bisexual and pansexual; “bisexual means attracted to multiple genders, and pansexual means attracted to all genders. These are different because multiple isn’t the same thing as all.”In 2019, Julie Plec speaks to TV Insider about Legacies saying, “the beauty of being pansexual, which is what we’re exploring in this show, is that the door is open for anybody you find love with.”Amita Kuttner discusses her sexuality in 2019 and said “gender is not a determining factor when it comes to who I am attracted to.”Shape in 2019 speaks to a pansexual “sex educator who specializes in sexuality and gender” who explains “sometimes pansexuality is defined as the attraction to someone regardless of their gender identity or sex, other times it’s defined as the attraction to all gender identities or sexes.”The Guardian interviews two pansexuals in 2019, who explain, “I always describe my sexuality as: ‘If you’ve got nice hair and pretty eyes, I’m down for it’. It’s not that gender doesn’t matter, because it can be important, but it’s a bit of an afterthought. It’s just like: ‘Oh, hello.’ It took me a while to figure it out. Torchwood was about the only thing I’d heard of. I was talking about maybe being pansexual and someone said: ‘Oh, like Captain Jack in Torchwood.’” and “I just find characteristics generally about people attractive. Pan is simply easier to understand, and much closer to the truth for me. It’s not specific to any gender.”Tess Holliday discusses her sexuality with Nylon in 2019, saying “I think the word pansexual speaks to me more than bi does.”
Izzy from You Me Her says “I just happen to be pansexual” in the 2019 episode “The Saddest Clown Show Ever”.“The Bi+ Institute at CC 2019” by Belle Haggett Silverman in Bi Women Quarterly in 2019 states “We must commit, as bi, pan, omni, and other multisexual identities, to come together and build community where none is found.”Karen from Will & Grace calls herself a “pansexual superstar” in the 2019 episode “Eat, Pray, Love, Phone, Sex”.“The Invisi_les: Biphobia, Bisexual Erasure and Their Impact on Mental Health” from 2019 states “before the meaning of bisexuality became more inclusive towards people of non-binary genders, other communities were created in an attempt to fashion new terms and definitions that could represent the attraction to multiple genders. Thus, terms such as pansexual, omnisexual, polysexual, and others, spread, and by the time bisexuality was accepted as inclusive of potentially all genders, these communities were already fully formed and did not want to throw away their established terms.”In 2019, Kevin from What/If clarifies he’s pansexual in the second episode. The actor states, “Kevin wasn’t the typical gay character, because he’s not gay, he’s pansexual.”“Expanding the Rainbow: Exploring the Relationships of Bi+, Polyamorous, Kinky, Ace, Intersex, and Trans People”, 2020, finds a “prevalent theme” among the pansexual people interviewed of a connection between identifying as pansexual and either also identifying as transgender or non-binary or dating someone who does; “all but one individual either identified with a gender that did not match the sex they were assigned at birth or had engaged in romantic or sexual relationships with individuals who identified as transgender.” Moreover, “the participants stated that their own gender identities or relationships with transgender individuals impacted their understanding of pansexual as label that allowed them to account for the experience.”Layla Moran comes out as pansexual in 2020, saying “when I’ve looked at the definitions of what I’m comfortable with – pan is more about the person, and less the gender. That, if I was going to force myself to have a label, that would be how I would identify.”In 2020, HRC honors Pansexual Visibility Day by having some staff members share what pan visibility means to them; “each time the media celebrates a pansexual coming out story, a young closeted kid breathes a sigh of relief knowing there are people like them out there in the world. These stories provide a wave of hope and inspiration to help others live their authentic lives. Pansexual visibility is power. Pansexual visibility saves lives.”Cara Delevigne discusses her sexuality in 2020, saying “I always will remain, I think, pansexual. However one defines themselves, whether it’s they or he or she, I fall in love with the person — and that’s that. I’m attracted to the person.”Lottie Moss discusses her sexuality in 2020, saying “I’m pansexual so I don’t really mind... any gender. It kinda changes every day as well. It depends on who I meet.”In a 2020 Billboard interview titled “Mike Taveira Wants His ‘Curious’ Music Video To Help Explain Pansexuality” the singer who started identifying as pansexual “about two years ago” discusses his pansexuality and hopes for his music; “the reason why I’m even doing this is because I never had a pansexual person to look up to. So I’m doing this for the people who need someone to look up to. Because seeing Janelle live her truth has been so inspiring, and I want to do the same for others.”Mike Taveira discusses his “Curious” music video with The Queer Review in 2020, saying “it highlights pansexuality and celebrates sensual connection between people of all genders” and “is a reflection of when I was discovering my pansexuality.”In 2020, singer Dalton Harris comes out as pansexual, posting a pansexual flag on Twitter and shortly after, “SO the term pansexual was googled a record amount of times in Jamaica. Always gd to help educate & spread awareness & acceptance. I am overwhelmed by the love. For those that experience similar challenges and reached out. Hang in there. It all leads back to LOVE.”RainbowStarbird on Twitter mirrors previous accounts of pansexual’s adoption as an identity label; “Pansexuality as a term was largely created by nonbinary people. There’s nothing wrong with bisexuality. But just like any other community, it has a history of transphobia. But some of the people in the bisexual community are trans. Some of those are nonbinary. And we wanted to make it clear that our sexuality included our own gender ID. We wanted a term that put nonbinary-ness (and yes, general trans acceptance) FRONT AND CENTER. That conceptually, linguistically, and in practice prioritized our existence outside the binary. That’s where pansexuality came from. It was BUILT on a rejection of the limitations of the gender binary. None of that implies that the bisexual community is inherently transphobic, or beyond saving, or w/e. But there was an important reason to create pansexuality, and I don’t think that reason has disappeared.”GScene shares an article during Pan Week 2020, on Pan Pride Day, saying “December 8 is Pansexual Pride Day 2020; an event dedicated to celebrating the pansexual community as part of Pan Week.” and highlighting pansexual celebrities.Yungblud, who previously described himself as “more straight” but “very fluid about it”, comes out as pansexual and polyamorous in 2020. When asked if he considers himself part of the LGBTQ community, he shares with Attitude, “I know it’s such a massive statement to me, but probably, yeah, I think I would. I haven’t said that yet because I don’t want some mad article everywhere going: ‘Yungblud comes out as fucking pan!’ I wasn’t into that idea – like, my sexuality is mine and I’m proud of it. But, as I say, I probably would say that, yeah, because I fucking don’t know, I love everyone, I’m attracted to everyone.” In a following interview with Channel 4 News, he says “meeting my fanbase, I came out as pansexual the other day, and they gave me that insight to be able to do that.”Wentworth Miller tweets about Pan Week 2020, sharing a gif of his character Leonard Snart.Fashion designer Michelle Smith comes out as pansexual in 2020.Chris from Blood & Water is described as “preferring pansexual” in 2020 episode “The Interview”.Emma from Doctors says “If I had to give myself a label, I’d say I was pansexual.” in the 2020 episode “Castles in the Air”.Harry from the 2020 romcom The Thing About Harry describes his pansexuality as being “not having a preferences in terms of gender” and notes he used to identify as bi, but pan is “honestly just more....me”. He also talks about pan people being stereotyped as promiscuous and how he felt he was playing into it, but that he’s “just looking for Mr., Mrs., Person Right.”Ola from Sex Education discovers she’s pansexual in the fifth episode of the second season in 2020, stating “I’m pansexual, apparently.”Racing driver Charlie Martin discusses her pansexuality and the importance of pan visibility in 2020, “My experience is that so many of the people that I’ve said pan to, just reply with ‘what? What’s that?’ The more people that understand it just from a general standpoint, the easier it then will be for people to say they’re pan without having to fully articulate it and describe every element of what pan means. Having more pan role models will mean more awareness and that will make it easier to define yourself that way, and it’ll help other people who aren’t pan too.”Pansexual musician Adeem the Artist releases a song called “Cast Iron Pansexual” in 2020.In 2020 on Instagram, “bihistory” posts “It’s #PanWeek, and tomorrow is #PansexualPrideDay! Since 2017 December 6th-12th has been celebrated as #PanWeek.”
Mass Effect writer Brian Kindregan reveals in 2021 the character Jack was intended to be pansexual, but was changed due to Fox News criticism: “She was essentially pansexual for most of the development of that romance. [..] The development team of Mass Effect 2 was a pretty progressive, open-minded team, but I think there was a concern at pretty high levels that if [the first] Mass Effect had drawn fire, that Mass Effect 2 had to be a little bit careful. [..] I would say that there were a lot of seeds planted in her conversations that certainly implied that she was pansexual. That was explicitly to start sending the message that yes, this is a character who is pansexual. Maybe someday Jack will be portrayed as pan.” Voice actress Courtenay Taylor adds, “It’s funny to me because my understanding was always that she was pansexual. My sense was always that she was [pansexual] and it just didn’t get followed through.”Bryce Xavier comes out as pansexual in 2021, saying “the more i came to term with my pansexuality the more i found myself” on his Instagram.YouTuber and film critic Chris Stuckmann comes out as pansexual in 2021, saying “I probably would’ve realized this about myself a lot younger if the Jehovah’s Witnesses weren’t so restrictive about sexuality and if they’re weren’t fucking homophobic. As I got older I began to realize that there were other things I liked as well. I love my wife very much. And you might think, ‘Well, you’re married to a woman...’, it doesn’t matter, it doesn’t fucking matter. I am pansexual. If you don’t know what pansexuality is, essentially you are attracted to all genders. And that’s me, that’s how I feel.”Professional wrestler Mr. Grim comes out as pansexual in 2021, tweeting “For years, I’ve struggled with my identity. Too worried about how others would feel or think about me. I’ve finally gained the courage to openly express that I’m Pansexual.”Wrestler Max the Impaler shares on Twitter in 2021 they are nonbinary and pansexual.In 2021, Nevada politician Sarah Peters comes out as pansexual on the floor of the Assembly, making her the first out pansexual Nevada lawmaker, and third nationwide. “Today, as a pansexual, cisgender woman, I stand out for equity and remind us to be inclusive in our LGBT+ community as we work to make Nevada a more equitable place.”Wrestler Austin Connelly tweets in 2021 “hello I am pansexual”.Bisexuality in Europe, 2021, discusses pansexuality throughout, stating “the boundary between bisexuality and pansexuality was random and fluid. The use of the terms depended on the context in which people talked about their identity and desire. The definitions of bisexuality and pansexuality overlap. Studies conducted in other countries have also shown that people may refer to their sexual identity as queer, pansexual and bisexual at the same time. Identities are seen as transcendent and as entailing potential to change.”In Continuum, 2021, author Chella Man discusses being pansexual, or “open to any and all genders.”In Allies edited by Shakirah Bourne and Dana Alison Levy, 2021, Cam Montgomery describes learning about pansexuality, “Pansexual. Hearing it was one thing. Understanding it was like coming home. My world opened up its mouth wide, swallowed me whole. Everything clicked. Everything, all of it.” and “The very definition of the term pansexual is what then helped me realize all the ridiculousness of the gender binary. That same day, when I grabbed Pansexual as a label and said ‘this is mine now’ was the same day I discovered non-binary as an option for me, too.”In At What Age Does My Body Belong to Me?, 2021, Amanda Tayte-Tait states, “I never came out. Never had a big reckoning moment, I just was who I was and I held no shame for it. I was and I am pansexual. I never thought I owed it to anyone because it wasn’t something I thought I needed to explain.”“It’s Like Bisexuality, but It Isn’t: Pansexual and Panromantic People’s Understandings of Their Identities and Experiences of Becoming Educated about Gender and Sexuality” by Nikki Hayfield and Karolína Křížová, 2021, discusses various topics related to pansexuality, such as the bi umbrella risking “homogenizing experiences and erasing identities” and being forced on people “without their consent”; pan people having “multiple and complex ways of conceptualizing and constructing pan identity”; pan people learning about queerness through learning about pansexuality and vice versa, framed as “an almost academic endeavor”; the importance of online spaces in the journey of queer education and adoption of pan and finding community; the boundaries between pan and bi being “clearly distinct” at times and “blurry” at others.Demi Lovato discusses their sexuality multiple times in 2021, saying they’re fluid and part of the “alphabet mafia” and agreeing when asked if they meant pansexual; expressing dislike for being asked if they like pans; sharing they sometimes identify as bisexual and other times pansexual but overall are very fluid; stating “I identify as pansexual.”In 2021, JoJo Siwa discusses her sexuality, “I always just say gay because it just kind of covers it or queer because I think the keyword is cool. I like queer. Technically I would say that I am pansexual because that’s how I have always been my whole life is just like, my human is my human. But you know, I still really don’t have a final answer on that and I don’t know if I ever will. You know, it’s something that just kind of floats around and I’m living my life. It is what it is.”Mae Whitman in 2021 comes out as pansexual, saying she can “fall in love with people of all genders.”The Who’s Pete Townshend mentions in 2021 there was a time in his life when he was “ready to fall into bed with anybody that would have me” and “probably pansexual.”In 2021, athlete Makayla Gerken-Schofield disccusses originally assuming she was bisexual but it “didn’t feel like that was me” and eventually discovering her pansexuality; “I came across pansexual, and it just felt right. I swear I was smiling at my laptop because I finally knew what I was!”In 2021, YouTuber Gigi Gorgeous comes out as pansexual, “I just want to let everyone know that I am pansexual. I had heard that term before. It never really stuck with me, I never really got it. I understood it for them, but I could never see myself as pansexual. When I finally clicked with it, and felt it, and truly was like, ‘wow this is me, I finally identify as this’, it was definitely like a lightbulb moment. I was like, ‘I am pansexual’. But alongside with that I also want this to be my last time coming out. I feel like just me, being pansexual, coming out as this, I just feel like Gigi. I really feel like this is the last time I’m gonna be coming out. And I feel like this was always who I was, this was always deep down inside, I feel like she was always there. It just took me a while to get here.”
Madalene discusses realizing she’s pansexual at age 37 while in a straight-passing relationship in 2021.In 2021, Self speaks to a pansexual who looks back on embracing the pansexual label, “I can imagine there was a great deal of freedom and limitlessness that I linked with pansexuality. It was a simple way to describe what I had been absolutely unable to articulate as a teenager. None of the boxes I could tick felt right at the time, and my discovery of pansexuality almost feels like the lack of a box entirely. I think I liked that a lot.”In 2021, LGBTQNation shares an article about Cameron Bess who “became the first out pansexual person to go into space today as the perfect way to put a cap on Pansexual Pride Week.”In 2021, in conversation with The New Indian Express, pansexual drag artist Patruni Chidananda Sastry calls out panphobia within the queer community.A pansexual shares their journey with discovering and embracing their pansexuality in a 2021 opinion piece in The Medium.In 2021, OKCupid’s CMO speaks out against bigots tearing down their “every single person” ad that promotes inclusivity and love (one poster torn down reads “every single pansexual”) for being “disgusting propaganda”, stating “these reactions only serve to make it even more clear that we must continue to champion people who are historically underrepresented.”In 2021, Buzzfeed highlights 25 celebrities who have come out as pansexual.A member of Daði og Gagnamagnið, Iceland’s entrant for Eurovision 2021, waves a pansexual flag during the second semi-final broadcast.Two pansexuals discuss discovering pansexuality, what it means, and how to be an ally to pansexual people for Pansexual Awareness Day 2021.In 2021 Kirra, who came out to her school as pansexual at age 14, looks back on that day and speaks of the bullying that led her to change schools, but the pride of embracing who she is and becoming a person others can turn to for advice and comfort.Marie Claire shares a “guide” to pansexuality in 2021, interviewing activists Philip Baldwin and Robyn Ochs, the latter saying pansexuality evolved alongside bisexuality.In 2021, rapper All Day Trey discusses being queer in hip hop; “There’s not a lot of queer representation in hip-hop. I’m actually pansexual, so that’s also a concept that not a lot of people are familiar with. But I was pretty low-key about it pretty much up until last year. I was always afraid if I was more open about that, it would hurt my chances at making it as a rapper.”Media personality Somizi Mhlongo states, “I hate always explaining myself. I am not gay, I am a pansexual, I am attracted to whoever I’m attracted to at the time” in 2021.Wrestler Donnie Janela comes out as pansexual in 2021, “I’m Pansexual. People who know me this isnt gonna suprise, but finally being able to say it outloud is a weird weight that’s removed from my chest.”An article in Telangana Today details Hyderabad’s Bi/Pansexual Fest in 2021. Sastry states, “It is hard to find a support system even within the queer community for people who identify as Pansexual/Bisexual and these people face stigmatisation even within the community. They are not given any validation and events like this help create awareness about the multiple-sexuality spectrum within the community.”SheThePeople challenges myths about pansexuality in 2021.Seer from Apex Legends is confirmed as pansexual in 2021.Alli Dore, from Below Deck Sailing Yacht discusses her sexuality in 2021, stating, “I don’t feel like I’ve ever needed to make a big announcement about my sexuality, but I guess if you wanted to put a label on it I would be pansexual. I’m quite a comfortable person with my sexuality. When I feel a sexual attraction with someone, it doesn’t matter who they are, what they are, they they identify as. It’s just something that is energetically there for me.”In 2021, actress Monica Dogra discusses her sexuality when asked if she’s bisexual, saying she “generally hates labels” but pansexual “feels more honest.”Jess Sabine explains in 2021 what “battleaxe bisexuals” are and how they’re damaging to pansexuals (and other mspec people) and the community in general.LGBTQNation details some of the panphobia from the leaders of bisexual organization BiDotOrg in 2021, including erasing canon pansexual characters, blocking all criticism of that, and the egregious accusation of “pansexuality gave us conversion therapy.”Ex on the Beach star David Barta comes out in an Instagram post in 2022, “Call it Pansexual, call it Bisexual, call it Sexually Fluid (my preference), or all of the above. It’s me. Above all these titles, I’m just David. I’m still the same exact person, just a little more honest and open to what life has in store for me. At the end of the day, I know that being open and honest with myself is leading me down a path to find the love of my life, my forever partner. So here’s to you wherever you are, partner.”A 2022 article debunks five misconceptions about pansexuality.The Advocate’s 2022 article on how to be an ally to pansexual youth details the pansexual data from the Trevor Project’s research showing the higher rates of poor mental health than other LGBTQ youth and states, “we consistently see in our research that LGBTQ youth who feel supported and affirmed by the people in their lives report better mental health outcomes and lower rates of suicide risk. We encourage everyone to consider how they can best support the pan youth in their lives, not only on Pansexual Awareness Day or during Pride Month but all year long. Just a little acceptance and affirmation can have a profound impact on the life of a young person.”Grant Morrison mentions in 2022 that he wanted to “suggest that a boho Lothario like Hal Jordan with a whole universe of worlds at his disposal would tend towards a pansexual persuasion.”On Pan Visibility Day in 2022, wrestler Max Zero comes out as pansexual.In 2022, Archie Comics announces a new bi-racial pansexual character, Eliza Han.Olivia Frazer from Married at First Sight is asked about her sexuality in 2022 and said while she doesn’t speak publicly about it, she identifies as pansexual.Model Olivia Ponton says she’s pansexual and proud in 2022.In 2022, Pyra states she’s queer and pansexual.In 2022, NYC Dyke March shares “A reminder as we lead up to Dyke March that Dykes are fat, skinny, short, tall, neurodivergent, pregnant, nonbinary, asexual, trans, bisexual, lesbian, pansexual, gay. Dykes have high voices, low voices, short hair, long hair, facial hair, armpit hair, girlfriends, boyfriends, children, lovers, wheelchairs, hearing aids, walkers, canes. Anyone who identifies as a Dyke is celebrated and welcome at the Dyke March. Never police another Dyke’s identity.”Voice actress Ashly Burch tweets “Hi! So, I'm queer. One of those old fashioned pansexuals you may have heard of. Probably not a shocker -- like half the characters I play are members of the rainbow fam.” in 2022.In 2022, singer and actress Dove Cameron speaks to the LA Times about being a queer artist; “Every song of mine is a queer song because I’m a queer artist. Does that mean that every song is ‘I am G-A-Y’? No. I think there’s gonna be a lot of room in my artistry to talk about things other than that I love women. And ‘I eat boys like you for breakfast’ does not translate into ‘I hate men and I only date women.’ It means this one guy is a d— and I can take him in a fight. I’m a pansexual artist, so I’m attracted to and in love with who I’m attracted to and in love with.”
bi community accepting alternative mspec labels
The bi community has a long history of supporting, including, and embracing alternative ways of labeling attraction to multiple genders and considering bi a term all mspec people can come together under. The “bi umbrella” was not created and forced by pan people to invade bi spaces. We have always been here.
View from Another Closet: Exploring Bisexuality in Women by Janet Bode, 1976: Patricia, as well as the other women interviewed, did not race out to convince friends that bisexuality was the only and best game in town. She believed this sexual orientation was preferable for her. Approximately 20 precent said they disliked all labels. They were willing to be interviewed because they met the “requirements”. Maria said, “If I must have a label call me pansexual, ambisexual, antisexual, androgynous, neutral, undecided...just don’t make me into something I’m not!”“Bi-Laws”, Bi Women Quarterly, 1983: The purpose of the association is to bring together women in order to: (1) provide a safe environment which will enable all women to explore new sexual options without feeling pressured to commit themselves to a particular sexual orientation or lifestyle.“Bisexuality: A Decade Ago”, Bi Women Quarterly, 1984: Most people think that a person gets a fixed sexual orientation early in life and keeps it forever, like a birthmark. The truth is that sexual identity can be amazingly flexible. A woman may have male and female lovers, at the same time or in sequence, and not consider herself bisexual. She may have no homosexual experiences, but fantasizes about them or thinks she should have them. She may consider herself straight, but enjoy sex with other women. She may consider herself gay, but take male lovers. Sexual identity, therefore, doesn’t rest exclusively on sexual behavior. What people say they are may be entirely different from what they do.“Study Group”, Bi Women Quarterly, 1984: We didn’t reach any conclusions, but had fun realizing that being bisexuals, we are dealing with a whole realm of experiences that can be classified in any number of different ways.“Hartford Conference on Bisexuality” by Betty A., 1984: Some felt that labels were restrictive, that they lived a bisexual lifestyle but did not refer to themselves as bisexuals. It was brought up that the label “bisexual” focuses too much on the sexual aspect rather than the emotional component of the lifestyle, unlike “gay” or “lesbian”. People also talked some about the positive aspect of labels. Labels seem to acknowledge the presence of a lifestyle and help us feel less alone. Labels can help create a community - a place to find others with similar feelings - a place to fit in.“Bisexual Women”, Bi Women Quarterly, 1985: It seems negative to pressure people to label themselves according to a pre-set collection of definitions that may have little or nothing to do with their life experiences.“Reflections on Love & Language”, Bi Women Quarterly, 1985: There was a great deal of discussion about and discontent with the “bisexual.” Alternative labels were proposed, none of them satisfactory: Humanist, Androgynous, Gender-blind, and Ambisexual were the ones I heard. What I realized in the discussion of language was that both positions are valid - we need labels and we don’t want them. We need to know ourselves and each other, to speak and write about our lives, our sexuality; but we do not want to be boxed or categorized, especially since our lives have been about freeing ourselves from the categories Lesbian, Straight, etc. By synthesizing the two positions, we can live the most powerful kind of existence. We can live with labels when we need them, and at the same time acknowledge that they are inadequate, that the only words will describe our lives, are the words of our own personal herstories and histories.“Breaking the Mold” by David Smith, Bi Women Quarterly, 1986: In investigating the complexities of choosing a label to describe one’s sexuality, it was found that actual sexual activity doesn’t necessarily bear any relation to the labels chosen. These seem to be randomly rejected, accepted or imposed for a wide variety of different reasons. And the relative importance of sexual attraction, sexual experiences, love and affection differed enormously from person to person.“How common is bisexuality?”, Bi Women Quarterly, 1986: If you count as bisexual only those people whose actual sexual activity is with partners of both sexes over a period of some years, then only 10 percent to 15 percent of the U.S. population can be labeled “bisexual.” However, some of those individuals would reject the bisexual label because they do not identify themselves in that way.“Are You Suffering from the BLA’S?” by Lucy Friedland, Bi Women Quarterly, 1989: But mainly, what I heard was a long litany of reasons why people didn’t want to call themselves bisexual. A number of self-defined “pansexuals” were sitting there, but out of the 45 people, very few felt comfortable with a bisexual label, and many felt they had nothing in common with people they know who call themselves bisexual.“The First National NZ Bisexual Conference Report”, 1990: Many agreed that finding the right words and language to describe ourselves could be a positive experience. Words like gynandrous, gender-bender, polymorphously perverse and pansexual were suggested as possible alternatives to bisexual. / Wanting to ensure the bisexual community stays non-exclusive. We don’t want to make our community exclusive.“Why Biphobia?”, Bi Women Quarterly, 1990: It doesn’t help matters that some bisexual people also make generalizations or insist that their definition is the one “true” one. So you have the “bisexuals by definition aren’t monogamous” thing, and the “bisexuality means that gender is irrelevant to attraction” vs. “my feelings for women are different from my feelings for men, but both are important to me” thing, etc. etc. It may be that we need more labels, but we also need to stop categorizing people so neatly based on their labels.Bisexuality: a reader and sourcebook by Thomas Geller, 1990: Personally, I believe first and foremost in the right to claim one’s own identity and be recognized in terms of that identity: the right of each creature to name itself. And so below are a few of the more common terms of self-definition. Also listed are some newer and more unusual ways of describing oneself in a few words. Bisensual, Bigenderist, Bisexual, Bisexual Lesbian, Bi-Lesbian Feminist, Byke, Cousin, Family, Equal Opportunity Lover, Equal Opportunity Rejector, Gay Bisexual, Holly, Pansensual, Pansexual“About Our Name/Bisexual Manifesto”, Anything That Moves, 1991: Do not expect each magazine to be representative of all bisexuals, for our diversity is too vast. Do not expect a clear-cut definition of bisexuality to jump out from the pages. We bisexuals tend to define bisexuality in ways that are unique to our own individuality. There are as many definitions of bisexuality as there are bisexuals. Many of us choose not to label ourselves anything at all, and find the word ‘bisexual’ to be inadequate and too limiting. Do not assume that the opinions expressed are shared by all bisexuals, by those actively involved in the Bisexual Movement, by the ATM staff, or the BABN Board of Directors. What you can expect is a magazine that, through its inclusive and diverse nature, creates movement away from external and internal limitations.“Labels” by Barbara Stratton, Bi Women Quarterly, 1991: If there were a better word to describe my sexuality I would certainly use it. The word bisexual in itself is sterile, technical, and includes a reference to sex unlike the more friendly sounding lesbian or gay. Also present is the inherent problem of relying on a single word to describe or represent the complex nature of any individual’s intimate relationships with others. Perhaps instead I could be known as a recovering heterosexual prone to relapses, or more simply ... a heterodyke.“The 1990 National Bisexual Conference” by Ingrid Sell, Bi Women Quarterly, 1991: Returning to the original feminist tenet that the “personal is political”, one of the new Bisexual movement’s intentions is to return the basic right of people to define themselves. “We’re creating a space of safety for all people to be able to choose the label that fits” said Brenda Blasingame, a Jewish, African-American activist from Berkeley about the movement.“Bi Politics, CNN-Style” by Loraine Hutchins, Bi Women Quarterly, 1992: Back at the studio, every time the questioning seemed to verge on the personal we turned it back to the political — and Sonya welcomed it! Points made: there are many ways of being bisexual, people label themselves.
Closer to Home: Bisexuality & Feminism, 1992: Jane doesn’t often use the word “bisexual” to describe herself. “I’d really rather just say ‘I’m sexual,’” she says. Others, like Katy, prefer “bi-affectionate.” / Rather than try to define each other out of existence, we need to accept that we aren’t all the same. / Pansexual, meaning “all-sexual,” could convey the unfortunate impression that we are obsessed with sex or that we sleep with anything that moves, but should be understood to mean that we open ourselves up to all sexual possibilities. / [Pansensual] allows us to claim a wider range of our own emotional and physical capacity. I think I could get used to calling myself a “pansensual.” Already, I prefer it to the dualistic implication of the word “bisexual,” a word I have never felt comfortable with at all.“Closer To Home” by Elizabeth Reba Weise, Anything That Moves, 1992: The women in Closer to Home give themselves many names. Bi-dyke, bi-lesbian, lesbian-identified bisexual, bi-affectional, lesbian, and formally-lesbian bisexual. Anything but straight. As Margaret Mihee Chloe points out in her essay, “identity is that which makes one recognizable to self and other.” The plurality of names, and the combinations used, are all attempts in our clumsy and woman-wordless language, to create this identity, to make ourselves recognizable.“Tear Down The Bi Walls” by Mykel Board, Anything That Moves, 1992: I prefer pansexual.Bisexual Centrist Newsletter, 1992: Other pansexual bi activists, even though they themselves don’t belong to additional sexual minorities, are proponents of pansexual organizing for a practical reason. If the bi movement accepts every other sexual minority under the umbrella label of “bisexual” and forms an enormous sexual minority community, it will grow so rapidly as to overwhelm all opposition to its agenda. Or, at least, it will grow much more rapidly than a bi-specific group. / Bisexual activists who have adopted a les-bi-gay philosophy also want bisexuals to be part of a larger sexual minority community, but their chosen subculture is more narrowly defined than that of the pansexual activists.“A Bisexual Feminist Perspective” by Liz Highleyman, 1993: The most interesting connection between queerness and anarchy is the breakdown of categories and hierarchies. The whole notion of breaking people into two distinctly defined groups, whether on the basis of gender, race, sexual orientation, etc., seems to lead inexorably to hierarchy and all the problems of authoritarianism that come with it. When I think of queer anarchism, I think of breaking down the strict boundaries constructed between the categories of sexuality. So, I guess I think of bisexuality, omnisexuality, pansexuality as being more “anarchist” that strict homosexuality or heterosexuality.“Reactionary Queers? Queers React” by Liz Highleyman, 1993: I’m personally happy I’m bisexual/pansexual because I don’t like to discriminate on the basis of gender (though I do discriminate on the basis of other characteristic).Talk Dirty to Me: An Intimate Philosophy of Sex, 1994: Carol likes to call both gays and straights “monosexuals,” but she isn’t particularly fond of any of the new terms being promoted by an increasingly visible bisexual movement - words like pansexual and omnisexual.The Very Inside: An Anthology of Writings by Asian & Pacific Islander Lesbian and Bisexual Women edited by Sharon Lim-Hing, 1994: Solitary Bravo by Darlena Bird Jimenes: In all of my work there is a gay-affirmative energy; a space that is multi-sexual, ambigendered. A place to explore the pansexual, the intrasexual. I become the gender transcender. Within all of this, I have begun to actualize the marriage of my artistic voice and my awakening political voice. Where do I go from here?“Bisexual Liberation” by Liz Highleyman, 1994: Others prefer newer labels with less baggage, such as pansexual, polysexual, or omnisexual.Bisexual Politics: Theories, Queries, and Visions by Naomi S. Tucker, 1995: We each craft our own self-identity and choose words to describe ourselves according to our cultural and personal histories. The bisexual community should be a safe haven that honors the fluidity of sexual identity. A place where people can choose the labels that fit them best—or choose no labels at all—without fear of losing the community they call home. / Many people who are sexual with both men and women, yet not bi-identified, do not seem to be plagued with internalized biphobia or an unsupportive environment.Bisexuals have not restricted the project of deconstructing identity-based categories to academicians. Rather, bisexual both within and outside the organized bi movement have made this project an integral part of how we make sense of the world and live our lives as bisexual, pansexual, omnisexual, multisexual, ‘just sexual,’ androgynous, genderfucked, bi-gendered, non-gendered, gender-indifferent, or ‘don’t label me’ human beings seeking to create communities with those with whom we find common cause, even (or maybe especially!) if our labels don’t happen to coincide.Currently, voices within our movement are breaking down borders once again. We are no longer simply bisexuals. We are also autonosexuals, omnisexuals, pansexuals, polysexuals, ambisexuals, trisexuals (because we’ll try anything!). While the real meaning of these terms is presently implied, exotic, vague, and opaque, their very existence is promising. What all these new terms and sexual identities suggest is an expanding consciousness vis-a-vis sexuality. They are saying: “The limitations of language, the existing terms, do not encompass the enormity and explosiveness of my sexuality.”“Are You Bisexual Enough? Bisexual Identity, Behavior and Monogamy” by Stephanie Berger and Claire Hemmings, Bi Women Quarterly, 1995: There may be people who have sexual, emotional, personal relationships with people of more than one sex/gender who do not identify as bisexual (e.g. lesbians who sleep with men, or married straight men who have casual or anonymous sex with other men, etc.).“Editorial Thoughts”, Anything That Moves, 1995: Our liberation struggle, in a community that comprises a vast breadth of people and issues - transgender, bi/pan-sexual, lesbian and gay - is deeply linked to other liberation struggles, which are all struggles to respect each person as a whole person, to not allow anyone to be used as a tool against their will. Our difference are our riches, and our similarities make community.“Fluid Desire, a manifesto”, Anything That Moves, 1995: There are many people out there who have sex with all genders, in varying relational configurations, but who do not necessarily identify with sexual identity politics.“Call For Submissions”, Anything That Moves, 1996: ATM is particularly interested in work by bi/pan/or-similar-sexuals.“Es Ahora (the hour is now): From the only out bisexual in Argentina” by Alejandra Sadra, Anything That Moves, 1997: I would still feel more comfortable calling myself pansexual. The problem with being pansexual was the loneliness. If I wanted to connect with others who felt as I do, I had to speak a common language. Connecting with other bisexuals was of key importance to me, so I started calling myself bisexual.“International confab draws 900 bisexuals” by Liz Highleyman, Bay Area Reporter, 1998: Continuing the themes of diversity and fluidity, keynote speaker Farajajé-Jones asserted that “When we say unity, we don’t mean uniformity...to acknowledge our differences is not fragmentation or divisiveness.” Activist Tim Turner noted that many young people with attractions to both men and women reject the bisexual label as too confining, and instead prefer labels such as “pansexual” — or no labels at all.“Transman Matt Rice on the New Queer Identity” by Marshall Miller, Anything That Moves, 1998: Marshall: What are the advantages and disadvantages to the term pansexual? Could it ever gain widespread acceptance? Matt: I don’t know. Ask a linguist. It has this very hippie flavor that I don’t necessarily identify with, though the concept is certainly something that works for me. The advantages are that pansexuals don’t require that there be two and only two genders and that all trannie must proceed directly from one to the other with no dallying — and certainly not remaining in-between. The disadvantages might include that no one without access to this magazine or queer culture would have any idea what you’re talking about.
“Engendering Femme” by Rachel Lanzerotti, Anything That Moves, 1998: “Ttransgendered” could be to gender what “queer” is to sexuality. In other words, lesbians, gays, dykes, fags, bisexuals, pansexuals — even some sadomasochists and sex workers — can band together to call ourselves a big, powerful bunch of queers.“Where Are the Boys: On Bisexual Men and (In)Visibility” by Mark Silver, Anything That Moves, 1998: I know there are many men out there who live a bisexual life but might not identify as bi-, pan- or omni-sexual.“PoMoSexuals reviewed by Kevin McCulloch”, Anything That Moves, 1998: More literary anthology than theory, PoMoSexuals collects the works of fifteen authors exploring challenges to traditional identities through mono-, bi-, trans-, pan-, and omnisexual eyes.“Bleeding Colors” by Raven Kaldera, Anything That Moves, 1999: I don’t know what I am. Pansexual, maybe. Of course, you say that word and people ask jokingly if that means you have sex with Pan, the goat-like Greek God of lust. I look them in the eye and tell them no, I have sex as Pan. Get over it.“Labelous Statements” by Anne Killpack, Anything That Moves, 1999: Whether you call yourself bisexual, polysexual, multisexual, pansexual, me-sexual or refuse to be labeled altogether, if you are like me and find people attractive regardless of their sex or gender, then we need you. And why, for heaven’s sake, should we poly-perverse people limit ourselves to one label anyway? Be a polysexual bisexual. Be a bi-dyke or a bi-gay or a bi-androgyne or a bi-anything-that-moves-you.Bisexuality: A Critical Reader edited by Merl Storr, 1999: The binarism implied by the ‘bi’ in bisexuality has itself been cause for concern for some authors, especially those whose epistemological perspectives are broadly opposed to the prevalence of binary division in conceptual thought. This has led some writers and activists to reject the term ‘bisexuality’ altogether in favour of what they feel to be less loaded terms, such as ‘pansexual’ or ‘pansensual’.Bisexual Resource Guide edited by Robyn Ochs, 1999: Bisexual Network of Vermont: Network of individuals throughout Vermont who are bisexual, multisexual, two-spirited, or trans identified.“Time for a Pansexual Flag” by Patrick Brown, Anything That Moves, 2000: Don’t pansexuality and polyamory tend to imply multi-complicity, interdependence, universality? Should Pan and Polly propose a rainbow variant which would be more inclusive?“The Bride Wore Black Leather reviewed by Anne Killpack”, Anything That Moves, 2000: How do you handle ‘fag-dyke sex’ and its frequent community backlash? What’s with all the lesbian potlucks? What’s the difference between intersexed and transsexual? Between pansexual and omnisexual?Anything That Moves, 2000: Planning on being in the Bay Area for Pride 2000? This year, not only is Anything That Moves hosting a booth, we’re also organizing a parade contingent — and we’d love to have you march with us! Our contingent is open to members and supports of the bisexual, transsexual, pansexual, queer and questioning community (and that means you!).Blessed Bi Spirit: Bisexual People of Faith edited by Debra R. Kolodny, 2000: I have identified myself at different times as lesbian, as bisexual, as pansexual, as asexual, and all of these things have been true. But I believe that we must be careful not to allow the labels we adopt to separate us one from another even within the GLBT community. / Seattle had developed an especially thriving leather/kink community, including a sizable polyamorous pansexual contingent. The pansexual subcommunity was especially fascinating to me as a bisexual person because of its diversity. Within it were individuals who identified as straight and as gay or lesbian as well as numerous bisexuals. A number of these folks also happened to be transgendered persons. Further, many of these people were happy to share BDSM “play” with each other regardless of the gender or sexual orientations of the persons involved. I could think of few other sectors of the queer community where that broad a range of sexualities and genders got along with that high a level of equanimity. I was impressed.Bisexual Resource Guide by Robyn Ochs, 2001: VisiBIlity: Ann Arbor based, multi-gender group of bisexual, pansexual, omnisexual, multisexual, bi-affectional folks & their partners, friends, & allies.Getting Bi: Voices of Bisexuals Around the World edited by Robyn Ochs, 2005: People are becoming not only increasingly willing to embrace identities that cross lines, but also immensely creative and playful in their use of terms and labels. Some identify as queer, pansexual, or omnisexual. Some publicly acknowledge attractions and/or relationships with people of more than one sex while simultaneously claiming the right to identify as heterosexual, lesbian or gay. Some deliberately use labels strategically, identifying differently in different social contexts. And some eschew labels altogether.Perhaps I could use pansexual, omnisexual or allsexual. / For a while, I adopted the seventy-something-year-old term “pansexual” but I got tired of defining the word for people. / Others prefer pansexual, homoflexible, queer. / As for which words we choose to name ourselves, that’s up to each of us. / I leave it to others to define themselves (or not) in whatever way they see fit. / Sexual orientations (e.g., homosexual, bisexual, heterosexual and pansexual) are ambiguous. / So what does this make me? Pansexual? I end up, since I’ve been part of the bisexual movement for so long now, identifying as “bi-/pansexual.”Bi America: Myths, Truths, and Struggles of an Invisible Community by William Burleson, 2005: So I’m just thrilled to death that I’m queer or bisexual or pansexual, or, I’m not a slut, I’m a sexual opportunity technician; whatever I am, I’m just glad that I am.Bi Men: Coming Out Every Which Way edited by Ron Jackson Suresha and Pete Chvany, 2005: Bisexuality itself has infinite flavors-omnisexual, polyamorous, queer, pansexual, bi-curious, asexual, trisexual (“I’ll try anything!”), bi-friendly, ambisexual, heteroflexible, transgendered, intersex, metasexual, and multisexual. / And nobody would talk to you or sleep with you because it was 1971 and who knew from bisexual? Gay rights barely existed, let alone any notion of pansexuality or polyamory or sex and romance that was not based on gender essentialism.“Detroit Gathering a Good Place for Bi Bonding” by Ellyn Ruthstrom, Bi Women Quarterly, 2008: In most of these meetings people choose identify in several different ways - bisexual, pansexual, queer, trans - and the issue of what to call our community popped up time and time again. I’ve always found bi people to be very uncomfortable with labels generally; we just hate boxes.“Not Bisexual Enough?” by Tracy, Bi Women Quarterly, 2009: So far, I have gone through the following: mostly lesbian, lesbian-identified bisexual (too wordy), queer, Kinsey 5, fluid, pansexual, and even “unlabeled.” The following people, while one could technically label them as “bisexual,” have vastly diverse experiences that need to be acknowledged: “lesbians” who have sex with them, “straight women” who are turned on by girl-on-girl porn, people who are mostly attracted to the same sex, people who are mostly attracted to the opposite sex, those who are attracted to people “regardless of gender,” and so many more. Clearly, there is a demand for many more labels, but what do we do until then?“What’s in a Name: Call Me Bisexual or Call Me..” by Ellyn Ruthstrom, Bi Women Quarterly, 2009: As the current President of an organization that identifies itself with the b-word, the Bisexual Resource Center, I took the opportunity to ask a whole bunch of people who went to a conference with bisexual in the title more about how they identify and see if we can all work together even if we call ourselves different things.I kicked off the workshop by having the 30 or so people there shout out the various words they use to describe their sexuality; 95/5 girl, lesbian-identified bisexual, genderqueer, ambisexual, sexual, no label, AC/DC, pomosexual, trans, heterosexual, homoflexible, queer, pansexual, fembi, bisexual, tomboy, open, heteroflexible, trysexual, omnisexual. / Whether we call ourselves bisexual or queer or omnisexual or any other word, we hope to keep our community strong and vibrant for many years to come. I was very cheered by the discussion in the workshop and the way that people expressed feeling a connection to each other, despite the different terms.
Bisexuality and Same-Sex Marriage by M. Paz Galupo, 2009: So what does a grrl have to do to get some street cred with this LGBT crew? I have lost family. I have protested. I remain politically aware and active. I support LGBT owned and LGBT friendly companies. I’m an out and proud bisexual/multisexual/pansexual wommin...ah yes, that does complicate things a bit.“Bis Around the World: Shiri Eisner, Israel” by Robyn Ochs, Bi Women Quarterly, 2010: I am a 27-year-old female gender queer. I am a feminist, anarchist, vegan, polyamorous, bisexual/pansexual and a sex radical. I do a lot of stuff in general, such as grassroots organizing, academics, journalists writing, and art. I started (and currently organize) the second-ever and only currently active bisexual/pansexual organization in Israel, Panorama - a bi and pansexual feminist community. These days I identify as both bisexual and pansexual. I think pansexuality is a wonderful word which allows us the opportunity to speak about non-binary genders and sexes, and in some contexts, to emphasize our inclusiveness of them.“The Road Less Travelled” by Sara de Souza, Bi Women Quarterly, 2010: I came to understand that my sexuality is more fluid and that I am more pansexual in terms of whom I find myself attracted to.“Meeting in the Borderlands: Transcending Boundaries 2009” by Amanda Morgan, Bi Women Quarterly, 2010: I had the pleasure of attending the Transcending Boundaries Conference (TBC) for the first time this past November. To quote TBC’s official website, the conference is for “bisexual/pansexual, trans/genderqueer, intersex and polyamorous people and our allies. TBC is for and about those who do not fit into simple categories.” For me, TBC was about the rare experience of feeling at home. The bi presence was also in full force and I wasn’t even able to attend all the bi specific workshops. I made it to “Bisexuality: Are We Still Invisible?” and “Getting Bi: Voices from Bisexuals Around the World.” The former consisted of a panel that brought together bisexual and pansexual people as well as monogamous and non. Each story was interesting and each panelist has struggled with making themselves visible and feeling included in the larger LGBT movement and community.“Bi Times” by Georgia Garvey, 2011: Dictionaries often define the word “bisexual” as someone who has the potential to be attracted to more than one gender. That word, as well as terms like “queer,” “hetero-flexible,” “homo-flexible,” “pansexual,” “omnisexual,” and “bisensual” mean different things to different people. But to bisexual activists, they’re all members of the bi family. Using the word “bisexual” is important, they say, because educating the community requires a common language. “It’s PR 101. If you want to do a project or a campaign, you have to drive home the terminology,” said Adrienne Williams, 45, of Rogers Park.“Working Bi: Preliminary Findings from a Survey on Workplace Experiences of Bisexual People” by Heidi Bruins Green, 2011: Three fourths of the 822 respondents (74.5%) used the term bisexual as a self-definition. Forty-three percent used that term and no other, whereas 31% used bisexual plus one or more additional terms. More than one fourth (28%) used the term queer as part or all of their self-definition. One fifth (21%) of respondents used the term fluid or sexually fluid. Fifteen percent used pansexual. Another 15% used the word gay whereas 11% used lesbian. The self-definition terms question utilized several options common in the African American community ‘men who have sex with men and women’ (MSMW) and ‘women who have sex with men and women’ (WSMW). Alternative terms that were volunteered by respondents included ‘heteroflexible’ and ‘homoflexible,’ ‘bisituational,’ ‘dual citizen,’ ‘day-walker,’ and ‘hot-sexual.’The Bisexual Umbrella, Shiri Eisner, 2011“BiCon” by Shiri Eisner, Bi Women Quarterly, 2011: BiCon was absolutely awesome. I had never witnessed a well-based bisexual community, have never been to a bisexual event that I didn’t organize myself. Being able to experience a space dedicated to the bisexual community, full of bisexual, pansexual and queer people was deeply heartening for me, and gave me hope for my local community.“Beyond the Conference” By Ellyn Ruthstrom, Bi Women Quarterly, 2011: Steph Miserlis and I facilitated another workshop exploring the variety of identifiers that the bi community uses to name ourselves. From bi, fluid, pansexual, omnisexual, pomosexual and more, the group discussed their reasoning for each and whether we can work together politically if our word choices are different.“News Briefs” By Katrina Chaves, Bi Women Quarterly, 2011: November also brought us the “I Am Visible” PSA Campaign! Founded by Adrienne Williams, it is a positive space for all bi and pansexual people who have felt “misrepresented, miscounted and ignored.” While many celebrities have gotten involved in the It Gets Better campaign, and gay & lesbian bullying has become an issue discussed in mainstream media as of late, we are still finding bisexual, pansexual, and transgendered folks left out of public discourse. Gender role non-conformity, bisexuality, intersexuality, and pansexuality are left out of most discussions.“Creating Change 2011” by Robyn Ochs, Bi Women Quarterly, 2011: Faith Cheltenham and Becky Saltzman were the prime organizers of the day-long Bisexual/Pansexual/Fluid Organizing Institute on Thursday.“Next in Bi Women”, Bi Women Quarterly, 2011: The theme for the Winter ‘12 issue: When I Knew. When did you know you were bisexual (or queer, or pansexual, or fluid, or just definitely not straight)? Did you have an “aha!” moment? Was there a pivotal event or conversation after which it all made sense? Or was yours a slow process of discovery? Do you feel that it’s all clear in your head now, or are you resting (or grappling) with the question? Tell us about your experience. You can use prose, images, cartoons, poetry, or a combination of these. Send in something very short, or as long as 1000 words (or a page of images).“Marriage for All” By Jennifer Rokakis, Bi Women Quarterly, 2011: Jennifer identifies as pansexual.“Next in Bi Women”, Bi Women Quarterly, 2012: The theme for the Spring ‘12 issue: Voice of Youth. If you are 25 or under, here’s a chance to share your story. What is it like to be you? How did you come to identify as bi, pansexual or fluid? Where did you learn about bisexuality? Was there a Gay/Straight Alliance in your high school? Are your friends accepting of your identity? What about your family? Do you have any role models? Are you a role model? Where do you get support? Are you an activist? What advice would you give to other young people who think they might be bi, pansexual or fluid?“Bi Women Around the World: The Poser (Singapore)” by Mel, Bi Women Quarterly, 2012: The futility of my search for an innate gayness and gender expression was also hardly surprising or relevant to expressing my gender and sexuality as, say, an androgynous-lesbian, or butch-pansexual, or simply queer (they vary, and I do not mind). It was entirely possible for me to be comfortable with my identity without feeling that I had to justify it.“Growing Up Bi in Texas” By Mel McConachie, Bi Women Quarterly, 2012: When I was 18, I got a bi-pride flag star tattoo on my hip. Now that I understand more, I say I’m pansexual, but I identify as bisexual.Bisexuality and Transgenderism: InterSEXions of the Others by Jonathan Alexander, 2012: Even “bisexuality” is confining in that the binary gender system is inherent in the term. Indeed, some people have begun to identify as pansexual, omnisexual, genderqueer, or simply queer in an effort to explain a sexuality that is not confined by either/or. But even these are labels, and although they fall outside of the system, they have been created because the system requires it.Calendar, Bi Women Quarterly, 2012: Younger Bi Group. If you are between the ages of 20-29 (or thereabouts) and identify somewhere along the lines of bisexual/omni/pan/fluid (or are questioning in that direction), please join us once a month for discussion and support.
“New Boston-Area Groups & Opportunities”, Bi Women Quarterly, 2012: New Bi Group in Boston for Younger Bi/Pan/Fluid Folks. Let’s face it: our twenties can be terrifying and exciting. There’s something unique about the issues faced by this twentysomething generation, and who better to create more support and community than our contemporaries? If you’re somewhere in the vicinity of 20-29 identify as bi/pan/fluid or questioning in that direction, BRC’s Younger Bi Support and Social Group welcomes you.“Creating Change 2012”, Bi Women Quarterly, 2012: We also had the most visible bi presence to date. The conference program included a statement on Bisexual/Pansexual/Fluid Etiquette. We had a full-day Bi/Pan/Fluid Organizing Institute that drew 46 activists from 17 states, the District of Columbia and Canada. In addition to the institute, we had a Bi/Pan/Fluid hospitality suite that was open throughout the conference and served as safe space for all who identify outside the confines of cis-, hetero- and homo-normativity.Bi: Notes for a Bisexual Revolution by Shiri Eisner, 2013: Recently the word bisexual has been assigned a new use with increasing popularity: that of an umbrella term for multiple bi-spectrum identities, those that involve attraction to people of more than one sex and/or gender. Some bisexual identities are: Bisexual, pansexual/omnisexual, polysexual, queer, fluid, homoflexible/lesbiflexible, heteroflexible, bi-curious, biromantic, panromantic, bisensual, pansensual, bidyke, byke, bisexual-lesbian, ambisextrous, anthrosexual, multisexual, gender-blind, pomosexual, AC/DC, nonmonosexual, switch hitter, msm, wsw, trisexual, hasbian, bi-furious, versatile, humansexual, anthrosexual, down low, yestergay, ambisexturous. Where appropriate, it might also include questioning and unlabeled.“Solutions for Bisexual Mental Health Issues” by Harrie Farrow, Bi Women Quarterly, 2014: Create alliances across sexual labels, identities, and practices. Daily-fought mini-wars over definitions, which divide the non-monosexual community, further contribute to mental health issues. In the spirit of embracing and celebrating our diversity, bisexual/pansexual/omnisexual/etc. people need to form alliances to support one another across identities.Bi Any Other Name: Bisexual People Speak Out, 25th Anniversary Edition by Loraine Hutchins and Lani Ka’ahumanu, 2015: Pansexual people have been actively involved in the bisexual community since the 1970s. / “Bisexual or Pansexual?” can be considered equivalent to internal community conversations many gay and lesbian people have regarding personal approaches. Don’t “identity police” but DO spend time acknowledging the diversity that exists within the “B in LGBT”. / Today the new debate, especially in certain sectors of the internet and in academia, is whether to call people who are attracted to more than one gender bi, queer, pan, fluid, or ____? And are there differences between these terms which are important?The point is to respect one another and remain flexible in the ever-changing self-identity landscape. We have to hold a safe space for people to define their personal experience without judgment. Living both inside and outside the sexual and social (gender) paradigms, we bisexuals, queer people, polysexuals, fluid people, pansexuals, by every name we call ourselves - continue to subvert gender assumptions and explore naming ourselves - by every other identity, to no-identity-needed-or-wanted at all. What’s most important is respecting each person’s self-identity and being recognized and understood for who we are.“Bi Women Around the World: LUIGIA SASSO, Verona, Italy” By Robyn Ochs, Bi Women Quarterly, 2015: Luigia Sasso is the bisexual chairwoman of Lieviti, the only Bisexual, Pansexual and Queer association in Italy, so far. / Bisessuale = Bisexual; Pansessuale = Pansexual; Queer and Bi have the same form in both languages. The meaning of all these words is also identical. / In Siena there is a self-defined pansexual group, and in Milan there is an association that has a lot of bisexuals; then there is obviously our group here in Verona, but we don’t know anyone else.“Too Young Know To Know” by Jess McGowan, Bi Women Quarterly, 2015: I am 16, and I am in sixth form. When I tell people that I identify as a pansexual – besides the inevitable “what is that?” or pan-related joke – they will quite often dismiss my feelings as nothing more than attention seeking. Returning to the point about the inevitable question about what pansexuality is, the entire issue of age could possibly be solved with a little more education.So, yes, I am often dismissed as a teenage phase because of how old I am. But people cannot form opinions on things they do not truly understand. This is understandable when you consider that in the UK – depending on what survey you believe, if any – that only about 3-6% of the population identify as anything but straight. But no matter what the statistics say, no one has the right to tell anyone who they have feelings for. No one has the right to tell you that you are something you are not.Recognize: The Voices of Bisexual Men by Robyn Ochs and H. Sharif Williams, 2015: There has been an explosion of labels, monikers, handles, representations and identities for people who identify with non-binary, non-monosexual or middle sexualities: bisexual, pansexual, omnisexual, polysexual, panromantic, fluid, queer, questioning, heteroflexible, straight-with-a-twist, gayish, same-gender loving, MSM or PSP, and so on. The possible ways to describe the middle sexualities are as limitless as our imaginations. / It is clear to us that there is no one singular or universalized experience of being bi/pan/poly/fluid, and therefore it is important for us to reflect that in our work.Purple Prose: Bisexuality in Britain edited by Kate Harrad, 2016: Glossary: bi-curious, omnisexual, pansexual, polysexual. Two people may experience their attractions in the same way yet use two different terms; two people who use the same term may experience their attraction in very different ways.“Learning to Love Labels” by Iyanna James Stephenson, Bi Women Quarterly, 2016: I adopted the wholly encompassing label of pansexuality when expressing how I identify sexually. This label says that anyone I am attracted to, no matter their age, gender or race, is fair game. But I reserve this label for use with certain individuals. When someone identifies as queer, I feel more comfortable expressing the fact that I am pan, because I think they will understand it and it will not need to be further explained. / When I hear someone say “I’m pansexual,” I am instantly at ease. I feel happy to be in the presence of someone who is like me. I feel comfortable with discussions of sexuality and expression. I feel, emotionally, at home. And it is that safe space feeling that can make labels worthwhile.Claiming the B in LGBT: Illuminating the Bisexual Narrative edited by Kate Harrad, 2018: Some people use “pansexual” as a way of controlling the dialogues they have about their sexuality, finding the lesser-known term a boon. / Typically, bisexuality is presented as an umbrella term which encompasses other multi-gender attractions. Pansexuality and polysexuality fall within this umbrella, meaning all pansexual and polysexual people also have access to the term “bisexual”—if they so choose. Different people have different reasons for choosing different terms: two people may experience their attractions in the same way yet use two different terms; two people who use the same term way experience their attractions in very different ways.The Bi-ble: New Testimonials edited by Lauren Nickodemus and Ellen Desmond, 2019: Our books are not just for bisexuals, though we hope they will unite and inspire those of us who identify as such. Its writers identify as many things that fall under the bi+ umbrella.“The Bi+ Institute at CC 2019” by Belle Haggett Silverman, Bi Women Quarterly, 2019: We must commit, as bi, pan, omni, and other multisexual identities, to come together and build community where none is found.Bisexuality in Europe: Sexual Citizenship, Romantic Relationships, and Bi+ Identities, 2021: The boundary between bisexuality and pansexuality was random and fluid. The use of the terms depended on the context in which people talked about their identity and desire. The definitions of bisexuality and pansexuality overlap. Studies conducted in other countries have also shown that people may refer to their sexual identity as queer, pansexual and bisexual at the same time. Identities are seen as transcendent and as entailing potential to change. / In more recent years, research has indicated that pansexual people may also find that their identities are invisible in similar ways to bisexual people.
frequently asked questions
How are mspec labels defined?Mspec is an umbrella term describing people who experience attraction to more than one gender, regardless of labels or lack thereof. Bi is attraction to two or more genders/more than one gender, or attraction to genders similar and different to your own. Pan is attraction to people of all genders, or more specifically, attraction regardless of gender. Ply is attraction to multiple but not all genders. Omni is attraction to all genders.What’s the difference between “attraction to all genders” and “attraction regardless of gender”?Attraction to all genders indicates being (or having the potential to be) attracted people of any and all gender identities/lack thereof. Attraction regardless of gender indicates that gender identity/lack thereof doesn’t determine, affect, or play a role in the attraction. Attraction regardless of gender is a more specific version of attraction to all genders. Attraction to all genders can be “regardless of gender”, but it isn’t always. Some people might not see or care about that difference or think it’s being pedantic, but everyone is different and the specificity and nuance and personal connotations are things some people like, want to express, and find important. And that’s okay.How are mspec labels different?Generally speaking, the easiest way to understand the difference is that bi can mean anything from two to all, ply means multiple but not all, and pan and omni only ever mean all. It’s important to remember that these are just basic definitions, and by no means are meant to draw lines between each identity. They very much overlap, and each individual who uses them has their own way of understanding and defining and relating to them. The best way to understand mspec labels is to listen to what the labels mean to those who use them, instead of relying on one single person or group to define them for everyone.Further reading: 1.) Pan and bi definition and explanation psa. 2.) Explaining the differences between pan and bi, as well as the different ways one can identify with and reasons why one might use the terms. 3.) Why framing identifying as pan or bi as simply a matter of choosing one term over the other is harmful and inaccurate. 4.) Why saying “pan and bi are the same, it just depends on which term someone prefers” is not actually supportive or respectful of pan and bi people and our identities.Can people identify as more than one mspec label?Of course! These labels are similar and overlap with one another, so many mspec people use more than one label.Can pan people have preferences?Of course! While some people are drawn to the pan label because to them it indicates a lack of preference, that’s not the case for all pan people. Being attracted to all genders doesn’t mean being attracted to them all equally, and gender not being what determines your attracttion doesn’t mean it can’t affect your attraction.Further reading: 1.) “Regardless of gender” doesn’t mean “no preferences”.Are “hearts not parts” and “gender-blind” harmful?Yes. What they mean to convey is fine (attraction being independent from or not determined by gender), but what they actually convey isn’t fine (conflation of gender and sex, ableism, arophobia, implications about non-pan people, etc.). Whether the people using those phrases are aware of those things isn’t really the point. The point is pan and non-pan people alike have been criticizing those phrases for a long time now. It’s best to leave them in the past.Further reading: 1.) Explaining what’s wrong with “hearts not parts” and “gender-blind”.Is pan a new label? Or was it created on Tumblr or LiveJournal?No. Pansexual has been used as sexual identity in the context of human sexuality since at least the 1960s. (Also: we are constantly discovering new and different aspects of ourselves that we feel the need to label, and labels all have to start somewhere. Where and when that happens to be does not determine the importance of it.)Furth reading: 1.) This sourced timeline of the pan label. 2.) Sourced post about pansexual existing before Tumblr and since at least the 1960s. 3.) Sourced post of how pansexual has been defined from the 1960s to 2019.Is pansexuality biphobic or transphobic?No. Pansexuality has historically been included in the bisexual community, and many people identify as both bi and pan. Pansexuality has been defined by individuals in transphobic ways, but the identity itself is not transphobic. Many pan people are also trans and/or non-binary.Further reading: 1.) This sourced timeline of the pan label. 2.) Specifically the sourced page on the history of the bisexual community accepting mspec labels.Did pansexuality originate in biphobia or transphobia?No. Trans and non-binary people have shared their stories of how pan gained popularity decades ago amongst some people in response to transphobia, as way to be explicitly trans inclusive. And before that, pansexual was an alternative mspec label included in the bisexual community.Further reading: 1.) This sourced timeline of the pan label. 2.) Specifically the sourced page on the history of the bisexual community accepting mspec labels. 3.) Explaining that neither pan nor bi are bad or bigoted identities with bad or bigoted histories. 4.) Sources for pan gaining ground in response to transphobia.Is bisexual an umbrella term?Simply put, it can be. The “bisexual umbrella” has been used for almost a decade, and before then all ways of being mspec were considered part of the bisexual community. Organizations, general and bi specific, consider bisexual an umbrella term, and often use “bi+” to express that.Some mspec people don’t support the use of bi as an umbrella term due to feeling the identities that are supposed to be included are often further shadowed, or they don’t want to be categorized in a way they haven’t chosen or doesn’t match how they feel about and express their own identity. There are also people who feel it leads to bi people no longer having their own specific spaces.On the other hand, there are mspec people who do conceptualize their identity that way, and who maybe need or want it to be umbrella term. Some might not be able to find resources and community and groups etc. for their identity, so having the bi community open to them if they so choose is important, and it can aid in coming together as one community on the basis of our shared experience despite (or maybe because of) our different labels.Further reading: 1.) Sourced page on the history of the bisexual community accepting mspec labels.Does the Bisexual Manifesto invalidate pansexuality?Absolutely not. There isn’t a single thing in it that supports any argument against pansexuality. In fact, the Bisexual Manifesto, Anything That Moves (the magazine it was published in), and The Bay Area Bi+ & Pan Network (the group who published it) are explicitly inclusive of all mspec identities.Further reading: 1.) Breaking down the complete Bisexual Manifesto. 2.) Quotes from Anything That Moves that support all mspec labels. 3.) Archived issues of Anything That Moves.Is it ableist to use “panphobia” to mean pan-hate?No. Panphobia is not a medical diagnosis. It’s one of many outdated terms for generalized anxiety disorder and panic disorder.Further reading: 1.) Sourced debunking of the claim that it’s ableist for pan people to use “panphobia”.What does Freud have to do with pansexuality?Nothing. His theory about human behavior being driven by sexual instincts, which was called “pansexualism” is not related to pansexuality, the human sexuality we use today. They are fundamentally different things. It’s inherently queerphobic to insist that an outdated (and heavily criticized even in its time) theory for treating mental disorders is in any way related to a very real, very natural human sexuality. Bringing up Freud in relation to pansexuality at this point is just not done in good faith.Further reading: 1.) This sourced timeline of the pan label. 2.) Shutting down the claim that pansexual is a bad term because of Freud, among other things.Is the pan flag’s meaning transphobic? Was the pan flag stolen from an Indian kingdom? Is the creator of the pan flag queerphobic or problematic in some way?No, no, and no. The pan flag meanings are very simple, pink and blue for their gendered traditions and yellow, which is typically non-gendered, for non-binary folks. Any claims of the stripes othering trans men and women are not true. The pan flag was not stolen. That’s a baseless claim spread by panphobes. The creator of the pan flag, Jasper, is not queerphobic or problematic. That’s another baseless claim spread by exclusionists.Further reading: 1.) Jasper on making the flag and what it means. 2.) Jasper on the accusations/attempts to replace the flag. 3.) Detailing the accusations against the flag/Jasper. 4.) Specifically on the theft accusation. 5.) Specifically on supporting kink at pride.When was “pannie” coined and is it related to the T slur?The earliest use of “pannie” in reference to pan people that has been found was from 2001, and it was used derogatorily alongside the T slur. Claims that it was coined in recent years completely independent from the T slur are simply not true. (Not to mention the very clear mimicking of the T slur and all the trans people who have expressed discomfort with it.)Further reading: 1.) Source for the earliest known use of “pannie”. 2.) Breaking down earliest use of “pannie”.When are pan pride/visibility dates?Pan Visibility Day is May 24th.
Pan Pride Day is December 8th.
Pan Week is December 6-12th.
Pansexual Pride Day during Pride Month is June 5th.
Panromantic Pride Day during Pride Month is June 29th.Further reading: 1.) Pan Week information.