A form of bisexuality, pansexual “describes someone who has the potential for emotional, romantic or sexual attraction to people of any gender though not necessarily simultaneously, in the same way or to the same degree,” according to the Human Rights Campaign.1
A similar term is omnisexual, “the attraction to anyone despite their gender, meaning they could also date a man, a woman, someone identifying as non-binary or anyone else, while noticing their gender but not caring how they identify.”2
“Some people who have the capacity to be attracted to people of any gender choose other words to describe their sexual orientation, such as bisexual, pansexual, polysexual, omnisexual, fluid, or queer,” according to the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.3
The sourced articles below should provide you more information on pansexuality and people who don’t base their romantic and sexual relations on gender.
Footnotes: 1. hrc.org, accessed on 5/26/2018; 2. “What Is the Difference Between Pansexuality And Omnisexuality?” affinitymagazine.us, 4/10/2020; 3. “What is bisexuality?” glaad.org, accessed 5/26/2018
- Pansexual, Omnisexual
“One whose primary attraction is to a person, regardless of their gender. Because the labels heterosexual and homosexual imply the gender of both the person and the object of their attraction, it is often difficult or irrelevant to identify with these labels when a person’s gender is non-binary. For this reason many people opt for the label pansexual or omnisexual.”
Online Resource, diversitystyleguide.com, accessed on 5/26/2018
- What Does It Mean To Be Pansexual?
“Pansexuality falls under the bisexuality umbrella, but goes beyond being attracted to both men and women. According to sexologist Dr. Carlen Costa, pansexuality ‘is the sexual, romantic, emotional, physical or spiritual attraction to people, regardless of their specific gender identity or sexual expression.’ She continues, ‘Pansexuality is about recognizing that as a people, we have evolved, thus the language of love and relationships has also had to evolve and become increasingly inclusive.'”
Julia Pugachevsky, cosmopolitan.com, 5/21/2018
- My Journey To Finding My Pansexuality
“But it wasn’t just men… it was women, non-binary folks, trans folks, gender non-conforming folks, and agender folks. After my transition, genitals and gender began to seem arbitrary. I realized through my transition that gender and sexuality are complicated, and I feel best when I’m not limiting myself to a significant other with a certain gender or experience. I know I have the capacity to be attracted to all types of genders and experiences. Humanity is so beautiful and I can find something to admire in every person.”
Shane Henise, glaad.org, 5/10/2018 (Broken link removed 7/2023)
- ‘Pansexual’ Is The Most Searched Term On Merriam-Webster After Janelle Monae’s Announcement
“According to Merriam-Webster, pansexuality is sexual desire or attraction that is not limited to people of a particular gender identity or sexual orientation. This can include those who identify as transgender, non-binary, intersex and more. Monae had said that she first identified as bisexual, but has since evolved to pansexual once she became familiar with the definition.”
Paula Rogo, essence.com, 4/27/2018
- Pansexuality And Being Pansexual: Everything You Need To Know
“Sometimes, pansexuality is used as a synonym for bisexuality or polysexuality, but this is not the case. According to Glaad, being bisexual means you’re attracted to more than one gender, while identifying as pansexual means you’re attracted to people regardless of sex or gender.”
Vera Papisova, teenvogue.com, 4/27/2018
- What Does It Mean To Be Pansexual? We Asked An Expert & Here’s What They Said
“Although being pansexual has existed as long as the human race has, it’s only been recently that the word has become more mainstream, most recently when Janelle Monae came out as pansexual. Miley Cyrus also notably said she was pansexual in a few interviews over the last fews years. But even before that, OkCupid had made the move to include pansexual as a sexual option, along with many other gender and sexual options from which to choose and identify. But what does it mean to be pansexual?”
Amanda Chatel, bustle.com, 4/27/2018
- What’s The Difference Between Pansexual And Bisexual?
“Many people use ‘queer’ as an umbrella term for anyone attracted to their same gender and all other genders. The term ‘bisexual’ is commonly misinterpreted to mean that the person is attracted to ‘men and women.’ In reality, ‘bisexual’ is defined as being attracted to more than one gender. ‘Pansexual’ is under GLAAD’s bisexual umbrella and means that a person is attracted to all genders. If you’re not sure what to call yourself, don’t stress! We’d recommend reading up on the definitions and personal stories from places like GLAAD and taking your own time to decide what feels best for you.”
Megan Lasher, seventeen.com, 4/27/2018
- What Does It Mean To Be Pansexual?
“For some people, pansexual is a way to accept a sexual descriptor while leaving lots of room for interpretation. ‘[Pansexual] is the most inclusive type of sexuality and is not limited to attraction to men or women,’ Alicia Sinclair, a sex coach and founder of B-Vibe, tells Glamour. ‘They may find their sexual attraction is much broader than the traditional identifications and labels.’ Even so, it’s important to remember that labels are entirely self-regulated and are no one’s business but your own.”
Gigi Engle, glamour.com, 11/20/2017
- What Everyone Should Know About Pansexuality
“This is unfortunate, because pansexuality is a real thing with repercussions and importance among millennial youth who are searching for identities that adequately reflect where they are with their internal sexual and romantic compass. Pansexuality offers teenagers an opportunity not to rule out anyone solely because of their sex or gender (Papisova (link is external)). It explodes traditional categorical identities, such as straight, bisexual, and gay.”
Ritch C Savin-Williams, PhD, psychologytoday.com, 11/6/2017
- What It Means To Be Pansexual
“The concept of pansexuality has been around since the days of Sigmund Freud, but it took a shout-out from Miley Cyrus to bring it back into vogue for the 21st century. The word has been among Google’s top search terms since the pop star declared herself pansexual in an interview with Paper magazine in July. As she put it, ‘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.'”
Emanuella Grinberg, cnn.com, 8/1/2017
- What Is The Difference Between Pansexuality And Omnisexuality?
“The key difference being the fact that pansexuality is the attraction to people regardless of gender, meaning that they could date a man, a woman, someone identifying as non-binary or anyone else without said person’s gender playing a part in whether they date them or have the capacity to love them. Whereas omnisexual is the attraction to anyone despite their gender, meaning they could also date a man, a woman, someone identifying as non-binary or anyone else, while noticing their gender but not caring how they identify.”
Pippa Lacey, affinitymagazine.us, 7/11/2017
- What Is A Pansexual Or Pansexuality?
“Pansexual people may refer to themselves as gender-blind, asserting that gender and sex are not determining factors in their romantic or sexual attraction to others. Pansexuality may be considered a sexual orientation in its own right or a branch of bisexuality, to indicate an alternative sexual identity. Because pansexual people are open to relationships with people who do not identify as strictly men or women. So rejects the gender binary and often considered a more inclusive term than bisexual.”
Shannon Cabeen, women.com, 5/5/2017
- What Is Pansexuality? 4 Pan Celebs Explain In Their Own Words
“So what does it mean to identify as pansexual? While pan folks have long been around, not everyone is familiar with the term, as the pan identity doesn’t get much media coverage or representation. While being bisexual means being attracted to more than one gender, being pansexual means being attracted to all gender identities, or attracted to people regardless of gender.”
Daniel Evans, glaad.org, 9/23/2015