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Bi vs. pan

Discussion in 'Sexual Orientation' started by Mariana, Jun 27, 2017.

  1. Mariana

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    Hi there!

    I've been happily calling myself bi for quite some time now but I'm wondering if that's the corret label. I guess I'm just not sure what the difference between bi and pan is (and frankly, whether or not it matters to me).

    I know the "traditional" definition of bi is romantic and/or sexual attraction to men and women. But as we know, there are more than two genders, not everyone identifies with only one or any gender etc. So I've been using bi as in "attraction to the same gender and other genders" to be more inclusive of non-binary people.
    That's where my confusion is, though. I've always thought, for me personally, that the difference between me and a pan person might be that I still kind of "care" about gender. I mean, attraction to women feels slightly different to me than attraction to men. I've never had feelings for a non-binary person (as far as I'm aware) but have been attracted to non-binary people and I'm pretty sure I can have feelings for people regardless of their gender.

    Does that make me pansexual/panromantic? Because when I like someone or when I'm attracted to someone I do notice their gender and it does play a role, somehow. But if someone asked me out I would never say no solely based on the person's gender.

    What do you think is the difference between bi and pan?
     
  2. Creativemind

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    I view pansexuality as inclusion of non-binary genders, but nothing else. I have actually seen some pansexuals say they prefer a certain gender before.

    Bisexuality is attraction to two genders- usually men and women (cis OR trans). But some make it all inclusive too.
     
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  3. WeDreamOfPeace

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    Pansexual here, have a preference for women and femininity myself. Pansexuality is simply bisexuality that also says to trans, non-binary and intersex people that dating them is no problem :slight_smile: Bisexuality is a label that usually suffices for most people.

    Always see bisexuality and pansexuality as terms that simply say that you're OK with the idea of dating someone of any gender. Doesn't mean you'll like everybody the same. I tend to like femininity more for it's traits rather thans just "it's a woman". The point is is that I wouldn't turn down a relationship with somebody because of their gender, and generally somebody's gender or body doesn't restrain whether I find them attractive (sexually or romantically) or not.

    In other words, if you would be OK dating a cis man, cis woman, trans, non-binary, or intersex person, then you're pan! Congrats :slight_smile:

    Just my two cents :slight_smile:

    Peace
     
  4. Hats

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    I’ve read on the Internet that there’s a bisexual organisation which defines bisexuality as attraction to two or more genders, but isn’t specific as to which genders that is. I have a bisexual friend who identifies as such because she isn’t attracted to [binary] trans people, and I know (via one of Ash Hardell’s videos) that there are some people who are technically pan but identify publicly as bi because pan isn’t such a well-known thing.

    For myself, I’m pansexual because I’ve been attracted to men, women, and non-binary people. Sometimes I wonder if part of that attraction to those specific non-binary people was based on the more binary aspects of their appearance, but in any event I’m still attracted to people regardless of their gender identity, so I’m still pan.
     
  5. Mariana

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    Thanks for the replies!

    I wouldn't say no to any of those people just based on their gender.
    So I guess technically I'm probably pan (?). I think I might just start using both labels because they kind of overlap and as Hats said, bi is better known and maybe easier to understand for people outside the LGBTQ+ community. It's ok to just use both labels, right?
     
  6. Blackbirdz

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    I don't think there is a difference. I think they refer to the same thing and that pansexual is an unnecessary label.
     
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  7. RMember1

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    I think pansexual is an unnecessary label, too. I also really despise hate the attitudes I've seen among pan people who claim that bi people are transphobic. I think it's really nasty to accuse a whole group of people of being transphobic; I'm bi and would absolutely date a trans person.
     
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  8. Lexa

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    I think it's an unnecessary label too. Bisexuality is considered an umbrella term, at least by associations in The Netherlands and Belgium. The quote most used is this one "Bisexuals are people who acknowledge in themselves the potential to be attracted – romantically and/or sexually – to people of more than one sex and/or gender, not necessarily at the same time, not necessarily in the same way, and not necessarily to the same degree.” (Quote Robyn Ochs)
     
  9. Humbly Me

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    As I have stated in other threads previously, my belief is that pansexuality describes attraction based on emotional connection without boundaries based on gender or gender identity and bisexuality describes an attraction to members of both sexes and not related to their gender identity, It is an attraction to body parts essentially.
     
  10. EverDeer

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    Bisexuality is actually a form of pansexuality or polysexuality, just more specific
    Bi = two
    Pan = all
    Poly - many

    I do agree with you though that I have noticed a lot of pan people differentiate themselves from bi people either on the basis that they prefer nonbinary genders, or that they're "gender blind" and believe gender doesn't matter or it doesn't affect their preference. Although I can be attracted to men, women, and nonbinary people, I am not genderblind and very much have a preference to masculinity in nonbinary people and men. Also, bisexual doesn't have to mean just men and women either. It could mean men and nonbinary people, nonbinary people and women, etc. in any regards, if you would like to identify with pansexual but are afraid others will assume you're gender blind, don't be afraid to have a preference. Or, just say you're bisexual but say you'd be open to dating nonbinary people too, just that you connect more with the label bisexual :slight_smile:
     
  11. Myles Kramer

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    yeah if you identify with the label Bisexual and you'd date two genders, congrats you're Bisexual. If you identify with the label Bisexual and you'd date all the genders or many genders, congrats you're Bisexual. For a really long time, bisexual was the only label for multi-gender attraction and since it was first used, it has been used to include trans and nbs (like me!) so if you know you are attracted to more than one gender and all you want to convey with your label is that you are down for dating a person more on a case-by-case, "lets figure it out together" sort of way, bisexual is recognized as a vague enough term in community to mean "I'm cool with anything in your pants, so let's move on and focus on who you are bc ur hot af." So no, you really don't have to have your sexuality pinned down to a hard definition to identify with bisexual.

    I can't speak for pansexual people but the pan people I've met are really sure of themselves that they know that they are capable of experiencing attraction to all genders (not that people don't have preferences.) And poly people seem to really understand that their attraction consists of multiple well defined genders but not all. Uh. Honestly I get how important the "all/ some genders" sort of thing is, figuring out my gender identity has made me a happier and more self-assured person, and I wouldn't want to date anyone who wasn't down in celebrating my fluid gender with them. So I see how vital a label explicitly including all genders is to defining someone's sexuality!

    The thing is tho, when referring to my own sexuality, I don't know if I'm attracted to all genders making me pan?! I don't know for sure if it's not all genders and just many genders so I don't identify with poly either??? I feel like bisexual is like the agnosticism of sexuality. ~down for it all until proven wrong~ I'm on the demi-ace and demi-aro spectrum so it's a bit harder for me just to look around and be like "ah look at all the hot people" like allo pan people do bc it would need to be in a room full of people I've known personally for upwards of 5-6 months to feel attraction on one or both spectrum to do that??? I wouldn't call myself confused, I know I am capable of attraction to many genders, and I know how I develop attraction and I love it. I don't need explicitly state all or not all because my answer is going to say "some" due to reasons other than how I relate to them via gender. So bisexual is good for me, it indicates multigender attraction and thats all I need a potential partner to know.