Difference between Bisexuality and Pansexuality
How are bisexuality and pansexuality different? Aren’t they the same thing?
The dictionary states the definition of bisexual as: “sexually attracted to both men and women”. Meanwhile, the definition of pansexual is: “not limited or inhibited in sexual choice with regard to gender or activity.” While it can be easy to say that both definitions mean the same, exact thing, the key difference between bisexuality and pansexuality rests on the focus on gender identity.
Bisexuality implies that there are only two genders, that being male and female. Pansexuality, on the other hand, implies that there are more than two genders. Pansexual have no problem dating or sleeping with a transgender person, for example. This also includes people who fall out of the gender binary and consider themselves genderqueer (people who do not identify as just man or woman).
Bisexuality or pansexuality? For some, both identities essentially hold the same definition; for others, they are worlds apart. While both identities indicate an attraction to more than one gender, bisexuality is frequently generalized as attraction to two binary genders, whereas pansexuality is defined as attraction regardless of gender. The reality, however, is more complex and nuanced, and depends on each person’s individual definition of the terms, as well as on societal perception.
The most important thing to remember is that nobody should ever be prescribed a label: even if you feel like you fit the description for “bisexual,” if the term doesn’t feel right for you, that’s okay. Maybe we should focus more on ourselves instead of trying to live up to a textbook definition. That way there is more room for growth and happiness in our lives.