Defining one's sexual orientation is not easy, and choosing not to define yourself is also a choice. More and more people are choosing to define themselves as ‘pansexuals’ like Miley Cyrus for example. What does that mean exactly? What are the differences from bisexuality?
In an interview with Vanity Fair in October 2016, Miley Cyrus stated: ‘I have not understood my own gender, my own sexuality, all my life. I have always hated the word “bisexual” because it still locks me in a box. I do not see people as men or as women.’
The American star is married to actor Liam Hemsworth and identifies as pansexual.
The theoretical definition
Pansexual people are physically, sexually, and emotionally attracted to people without taking into account their sex or their gender. This sexual orientation places more emphasis on the personality than on the sex of the person.
Bisexual people are physically, sexually, and emotionally attracted to people of the same or the opposite gender.
In recent years, Miley Cyrus, Héloïse Letissier, aka Christine & The Queens and comedian Joe Lycett have openly declared themselves to be pansexuals.
Bisexual, pansexual? What is the difference?
First of all, let's go back to the etymological bases.
The prefix ‘bi’ means ‘two’ whereas the Greek prefix ‘pan’ means ‘everything.’
The term ‘bisexual’ can therefore be considered theoretically as reductive by some because it implies a binary term, the classic ‘man or woman.’ However all this is much more complicated. Moreover, many bisexual people do not find themselves in this definition either because it can be seen as sexist or even transphobic. The desire of one person for another does not need a definition.
On the other hand, the term ‘pansexual’ includes all genders and all sexes: man, woman, transgender, intersex... Moreover, you can also speak of ‘omnisexuality’ where you can find the Latin prefix ‘omni’ which means ‘everything.’
All these terms should be handled with kindness, openness and tolerance. The definitions of sexual orientation are numerous and the important thing is to find one that suits you or, on the contrary, to choose not to define oneself.
Take a look at the video above for more...