Pansexuality isn't widely understood.
Sexuality has become much more than the black and white concept it used to be. It's a lot more complicated than heterosexual, homosexual, and even bisexual. Sexual identity has become a lot more fluid, especially with the increase in celebrities who have come out or identified as a certain type of sexual orientation.
But, what exactly does that term mean? We may not be familiar with pansexuality, even though it's a word that's been popping up more and more lately in the media. People who identify as pansexual are attracted to all sexes and gender identities.
To better understand the concept of identifying as pansexual, 18 people reveal what it really feels like to live as a pansexual person.
1. It feels amazing for pansexual people to finally have a term to identify with.
"I just figured out I'm Pansexual. I'm actually so excited to have a label I can claim as my own."
2. People try to say it's not real.
"What I hate the most about being pansexual is being told that I'm not valid. That it's a phase, and that I'm just confused."
3. It can be so terrifying that you feel that you need to hide who you really are.
"I identify as pansexual but only date males because I am afraid of what other people will say."
4. There can be a guilt factor ...
"Lately I've been feeling guilty about being pansexual, but I can't change that. I kinda just hate the fact there's many people with great personalities ..."
5. You're concerned about what the people you love think about you.
"I'm open about being pansexual with my friends but i'm not sure if they think I'm serious or not because I've never been with anyone but a guy."
6. You can feel so confused inside.
"I'm actually ashamed of being pansexual and I don't know why."
7. Or you don't understand how other people are confused by it.
"I love being pansexual but I don't get how some people don't understand it."
8. People assume things about you just because of your sexual identity.
"I got called "greedy" for being pansexual. That's not how it works."
9. It can cause family conflict and confusion.
"I wish my mom was okay with me being pansexual instead of telling me to pick a side."
10. People think you can't be in a relationship if you're pansexual.
"I am pansexual and I have a boyfriend whom is amazingly sweet. But people doubt me because of my boyfriend."
11. You're not sure how to explain it to your family.
"I'm pansexual but I just tell my family I'm questioning because it's easier."
12. You wish people were more familiar with it.
"It's so hard being pansexual because I have to constantly explain what it means."
13. Coming out to family can be the scariest part.
"I'm pansexual, I came out to my friends but I'm afraid to come out to my homophobic parents."
14. You absolutely LOVE being pansexual.
"Being pansexual is the greatest because you literally have the widest selection of people to fall for."
15. It's your life—it's not a statement.
"Being pansexual sucks because everyone thinks I'm trying to make a statement. I didn't choose this, it doesn't help that I'm genderfluid."
16. Your family jumps to the wrong conclusions.
"I'm pansexual and my dad told me I made it up for attention."
17. Telling people you're pansexual can be more trouble than it's worth.
"Being pansexual leads to people asking a ton of questions and/or telling me my sexuality doesn't exist."
18. There is no better feeling in the world than being able to accept and love yourself for exactly who you are.
"I am fully and completely accepting of my being pansexual. I tell you, nothing is more lovely. I enjoy being me."