What does it mean to be pansexual?

What does it mean to be pansexual? As with any personal identity, the answer varies somewhat from one person to the next. But being pansexual generally means that a person experiences emotional, romantic and/or physical attraction to people of all gender identities and expressions. For some, this means they are attracted to persons regardless of gender; for others, there’s attraction to a spectrum of gender identities and expressions.

Some LGBTQ+ persons--young people in particular--are choosing pansexual to describe their sexuality because it feels more expansive than the term bisexual, which typically refers to someone who is attracted to persons of more than one gender. In fact, the prefix pan-, which comes from the Greek language, means “relating to the whole of the universe.”

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Learn more about what it means to be pansexual and why it’s a term that’s gaining in popularity in this TIME article.

What Does 'Pansexual' Mean? Behind the Rise of the Word


Steinmetz, Katy. (2020, January 7). What Does 'Pansexual' Mean? Behind the Rise of the Word. TIME. https://time.com/5760209/what-pansexual-means/

Gender Identity Gender identity icon Our core sense of who we are as a man, a woman, a mixture of both, or neither.

Gender Expression Gender expression icon How we show up in the world through choices like clothing, hair style, mannerisms or tone of voice.

Attraction attraction icon How we feel toward others sexually, romantically and/or emotionally.

Biological Sex Biological sex icon Physical attributes such as reproductive organs and genitalia, chromosomes, genes and hormone levels.

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