Pansexual Vs. Bisexual: What Are The Differences

In today's world, people identify themselves in a plethora of ways. Some people define themselves based on their gender and others define themselves based on their sexuality. Then, there are those who believe gender and sexuality are fluid and do not exist on a distinctive spectrum. One thing to note is that many people in the LGBTQ+ community believe that gender and sexuality are not synonymous with each other (via CBS News). Additionally, they believe that both are things an individual is born knowing. For instance, someone can be assigned one gender at birth, but identify as another gender or even be gender fluid. Sexuality is also something that can be changing. 

For both gender and sexuality, there are different terms and identifications used in the LGBTQ+ community that many people who are not part of the community can often be confused by. To understand an individual's specific lifestyle and identity, it's important to do your research so you can be more informed and avoid insulting anyone. You never want to come off in a way that can be seen as offensive and hurtful.

What's the difference between bisexuality and pansexuality?

In regards to the different terminology used to identify oneself, many are confused with the distinction between "bisexual" and "pansexual" as they refer to individuals who are attracted to more than one gender. While heterosexual individuals are attracted to the opposite gender and homosexuals are attracted to the same gender, bisexual and pansexual open the door for multiple genders. 

Bisexuality means that an individual is attracted to two genders. Due to the prefix "bi," meaning two, it often means that an individual is attracted to both males and females (via Medical News Today). Some people, however, believe that bisexuality can be exclusionary. As "Younger" star Nico Tortorella explains, "There's the argument to be had that people use all the time, that bi is exclusionary. It feeds into the binary of gender" and that there are only two genders one can have (via The Advocate). 

Pansexuality differs from bisexuality in that individuals who identify as pansexual are attracted to all genders. This means anyone who is cisgender, transgender, or does not have any gender identity at all. These individuals mostly identify themselves as "pan" because it is the Greek root for "all." Those who identify as pansexual claim to be attracted to any person based on who they are and not their gender identity. Most pansexuals say they look at a person for their personality, rather than their gender (via Rolling Stone).