The terms “bisexual” and “pansexual” are often used interchangeably, but there are some important distinctions between the two.
- Bisexual: The prefix “bi” means “two,” so bisexuality is typically defined as an attraction to two or more genders. However, some bisexual people may feel that their attraction is not limited to two genders, and they may use the term “pansexual” instead.
- Pansexual: The prefix “pan” means “all,” so pansexuality is defined as an attraction to people of all genders. This includes cisgender people (those whose gender identity matches the sex they were assigned at birth), transgender people (those whose gender identity does not match the sex they were assigned at birth), and non-binary people (those who do not identify as exclusively male or female).
Some people use the terms “bisexual” and “pansexual” interchangeably because they feel that the distinction is not important. Others prefer to use one term over the other because they feel that it more accurately reflects their experience of attraction. Ultimately, the best way to determine which term is right for you is to explore your own identity and see which one feels most comfortable.
Here is a table that summarizes the key differences between bisexuality and pansexuality:
|Genders attracted to
|Two or more
|Gender as a factor in attraction
|May or may not be
|Not a factor
|Both terms describe people who are attracted to people of more than one gender.
|Bisexual people may or may not be attracted to all genders, while pansexual people are attracted to people of all genders regardless of their gender identity.
It is important to note that these are just general definitions, and there is a lot of variation within both bisexual and pansexual communities. Ultimately, the best way to understand the difference between these two terms is to talk to people who identify as bisexual or pansexual and hear their own experiences.
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