Reaching from B to P

Pansexuality, pan, pansexuals: I’ve seen the flags and ran into more people, particularly younger people, who call themselves pansexual rather than bisexual.

I’ve also read the annoying articles stating bi people are all into gender binaries and not loving people of many genders or regardless or gender.

I welcome more media coverage and expression about sexualities other than gay or straight even if I disagree with some of the messages. I reply: call yourself what you like; I encourage people to explore personal language and expression but don’t try to tell me what my bisexuality is. I also note that some people’s bisexuality may well be “fancy men, fancy women, fancy both” as we used to advertise.
What I don’t see so much are pansexual resources: books, events, groups, newsletters, meetups and the like.

I say the bi community should welcome pansexuals and I think bi gatherings or writings are likely to fit pan people well. I’m thinking of how we might market bi things to make more contact with pansexuals.

A simple start would be for me to clone my leaflet about local and national bi things but put an explanatory paragraph about inclusive bisexuality definitions, a pansexual flag and “Pansexual” in big friendly letters (nodding to Douglas Adams) on the front. We could rebrand a pride stall to show both bi and pan words and symbols, or have two stalls, or three with a “no labels” stall though what we’d have on that one might be a challenge; maybe some paints and modelling clay.

Seriously, I would like more non-verbal experiencing and expression of what we might call bisexuality.

We could also do a bit of market research: what are pansexual lives like and what are their fears and desires? I’m assuming they will be similar to life under a gender inclusive bi umbrella but I could be wrong. Perhaps also some folks want to feel they are creating their own personalised and new culture and being attached to any words with history would skew or limit them. Being part of bi community isn’t compulsory even if that would be an interesting premise for a dystopian novel. I still think an invitation to our communities should be more visible to people who don’t use the B word.

Grant Denkinson