“I’ve decided to accept the label of pansexual”

After many years of trying to ‘I just don’t feel I have to label my sexuality’ I’ve decided to accept the label of pansexual. When I had expressed interest in females to a friend who defined as bisexual she had asked me if I would mind if she pursued the females I liked, when I answered ‘No’ she replied with ‘But you’re not even gay’. Not even gay. Not even straight. And to the general public that’s what pansexuality is. To most people when I said ‘I wouldn’t say I was straight or gay’ and rejected the label of bisexual I was deemed someone who couldn’t make their mind up. The long standing myth that someone who doesn’t actively seek out a label ‘can’t make up their mind’ is a problem in general and (with lessening prominence) in the LGBT+ community. To take a leadership role and come out to important people around me I have embraced the label of ‘pansexual’. I always felt another person’s gender identity should enhance why I like them, not dictate it. But I have never said this word, this word that applies to my identity in conversation without one of these responses; 1. Bemused look 2. Knowing nod or something to the effect of ‘one of those new pansexuals’ 3. A joke about pans. I don’t really know how to affect change in my own LGBT+ society, when bi-phobia is discussed I have to actively encourage and fight to get people to acknowledge pan-phobia. I often get the reply ‘Well, it all comes under that umbrella’. But I don’t feel it does, language plays a huge part in acceptance and education. I’ve learned to accept and acknowledge the fact that I am pansexual. All I have to fight for now is for my fellow activists to allow the language of my liberation to be included within our general struggle and within their own consciousness.


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