Discussion in 'Sexual Orientation' started by HardToSay, Aug 20, 2018.
I know it sems like a silly question but what is the difference, really???
Hi! Not a silly question at all! The difference has to do with rejecting the idea that there are only two genders. Bisexual people are attracted to people who identify as male and to people who identify as female. But for some people, their gender identity falls somewhere in between or outside of society’s definition of male or female. Pansexual people are attracted to people who identify as male, people who identify as female, and people who identify as anything else!
Ok, it makes perfect sense!!
Actually, bisexuality has included non-binary genders since the very beginning of the terms usage, and despite the word “bi” has little to do with just being attracted to two genders. In the 1990 “bisexual manifesto” it is already mentioned that bisexuality does not imply there are two genders: rather, the binary implied by “bi” is seen to mean as being attracted to (1) your own gender and (2) other gender(s). while some bisexual people do use it to refer only to binary genders it is a misconception that the very word implies there are only two genders.
definitions of both bisexuality and pansexuality differ depending on the user, and many of these overlap. the most common differentiation i have seen between the two is that bisexuality means just being attracted to multiple genders, whereas pansexuality means being attracted to people regardless of their gender. So, in bisexuality a person’s gender plays a role in your attraction whereas pansexuality implies you don’t “see” gender when it comes to your attraction. these are definitely not the only definitions people use however so it greatly depends on how an individual defines their sexuality themselves.
My perception/understanding is that bisexuality means one is attracted to males and females. A pansexual doesn't see genders but only sees a person.
Something I'm kinda confused about is when people talk about other genders.
What are the other genders besides male and female?
In modern, western society, people are quick to divide people in just two categories, male and female. But for many people, these boxes just do not match their reality and they chose to identify as a non-binary gender. Gender is a socially constructed concept so it has always been context-dependent, and there are many societies where genders other than male and female have existed for a long time already; perhaps the most well-known example is that of two-spirited people in native american culture and hijra people in south asia. Many of these genders can go back many centuries. More recently, as notions of what 'gender' is changed (and more specifically, as the biological essentialist idea of gender = sex decreased in popularity), people have come to recognise other genders beyond the binary as well. It would be impossible to create an exhaustive list of identities because it is ever changing as attitudes towards gender change. But 'non-binary' or 'genderqueer' are generally used as umbrella terms and more detailed labels that you'll find include genderfluid and agender (but those are definitely not the only labels people use to express their experience). Approaches to gender vary greatly, too, and some people will discuss gender as a spectrum from male to female with all non-binary genders being in between the two, while yet other reject the binary and the idea of a spectrum altogether. Gender is complicated, and attitudes towards it vary greatly so it can't easily be summed up in a short post here, but I hope this helps a little! Make sure to check out the gender identity forum here if you want to read some expeirences from people who may not identify with one of the binary genders
To me? There is no difference. It's purely semantics. But not everyone will agree.
Thanks again for all the kind answers!!