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BI sexual or pan sexual? or does it really matter?

Discussion in 'Sexual Orientation' started by Bernice, Jun 19, 2019.

  1. Bernice

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    So I've got to the stage where I'm ready to come out on Facebook, and therefore to many more people in my life about my sexuality. I was going to come out as bi sexual. But I made a new friend recently who identifies as Pan and after talking to her about it I ended up confused as to how I identify. I would say I'm more confortable with pan sexual.
    Basically I can find myself attracted to anyone although I find myself leaning more towards women or feminine men.
    Coming out on FB as Bi seems to a simpler option, its more well known and unlikely to provoke a load of questions and jokes. On the other hand it feels like I'm taking an easy route and denying part of myself.

    Ultimately I don't really care about a label. I just need to come out as not straight so I can start being myself more.

    So does it really matter which label I use to come out? And which one should I use? Thoughts and comments welcome please.
     
  2. DecentOne

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    I won’t tell you which label is best. I will tell you my preferences and you can think of your own response:
    1. Which flag colors do you like best? For me, I really like the purple stripe and wear purple a lot. So, that’s bisexual flag.
    (This is to say, in my opinion once you figure out you have an attraction to more than one sex or gender, flipping a coin or picking a color is fine for narrowing down the term.)
    2. How much time is it going to take to explain, and will that be fun for me? In my age group, and in the circles I’m in, the “B” of LGBTQ is already understood. Lots of folks I run into don’t know “P”. I don’t need to spend lots of time explaining, so Bisexual works for me. The fact that I know I can be attracted to more than one is more important to convey than the actual label to me, or how many genders I’m attracted to (especially since I’m not acting on it).
    3. Labels don’t matter, except they do for claiming pride. A friend of mine said I had to stop saying “not straight” — to just come on and use “bisexual” (as my friend does). So it meant something to my friend. It turned out a person at work came out to me privately after I was out as bisexual, and claimed that label too. Again, in my circles this was more likely than if I had used pansexual as a label, so the ripple effect is better with bisexual (for me).

    Congrats at coming to this stage! Best wishes for a great FaceBook reveal, no matter what you choose.
     
    LostJedi, Chiroptera and Bernice like this.
  3. Bernice

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    I really have two circles. One who'd know what Pan was but they already know me anyway and support me. The other side would probably understand Bi but not pan. So I'd probably be asked numerous times to explain it. This side also contains some, shall we say, less then enlightened individuals (including family) so its gonna be awkward enough without clouding the issue.
    Thanks for the great response. It did help clear things up. And yeah I think the Bi sexual flag just pips it for me.
     
  4. Chiroptera

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    To put it in a simple way, my attractions aren't restricted to gender barriers. However, I prefer the label bisexual, instead of pan.

    To me, labels should be used to facilitate self-identification in the community (the feeling of belonging) and also communication with other people (in and outside the community). However, many people don't know what pansexual means. If I have to explain the label I'm using each time I say it... Then it kinda defeats the purpose of using it to facilitate communication.

    In my opinion, labels should be used like that: To make things simple, not to complicate things. They are general words used to give a vague idea of our attractions. Each one of us is different and unique, and if we create a new label for each tiny variation in human sexuality, we will end up with a different label for each person on the planet.

    I use bisexual, and if someone asks me about the details, I'll explain them (if I'm comfortable with that). If someone wants to call me pan, that's fine too, but I think using bi makes things easier.

    You don't need to label yourself and, of course, you are free to disagree with me and choose any label you want. But these are my two cents about it.
     
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  5. kiwigirl94

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    I've always differentiated the two like this:
    Bisexual - attracted to cis-males and cis-females
    Pansexual - attracted to cis- and trans- males and females, non-binary people, etc. (people otherwise outside of the cis-gendered binaries)