Today is Pansexual pride day. I just happened to notice it on social media, it warmed my pandemic heart.
Happy Pan Pride!!!
It took me a long time to embrace my sexuality and find a term that fit for me and my internal experience of my sexuality. I was 30 when I first heard the term pansexual. A definition lifted from the interwebs is “not limited in sexual choice with regard to biological sex, gender, or gender identity”. That’s a good technical description for the way I’ve always felt. How I’ve often described it to others is I fall in love with a human, not genitals.
I fall in love with a human, not genitals.
I started dating my husband when I was 22. I didn’t find words for my queer identity until I was 30. I’m in the continual process of embracing that identity. Im now married to my amazing husband, a choice I’d make again and again, yet the invisibility of my identity can hurt. I’m assumed heterosexual, which is often a privilege, but my queerness is also invisible. I suspect that there are many of us in heterosexual appearing relationships with identities that are more expansive.
The middle is well populated yet unseen.
Several years ago I was listening to the podcast Savage Love, the podcaster said something to the effect of bisexual people need to come out more often to normalize the sexual spectrum. Pansexuality can feel like a preverbal no mans land, not gay enough to be queer and not hetero enough to be straight. As I’ve quietly come out to colleagues, friends and clients I’ve had so many people come out to me as identifying somewhere in the middle of the sexual spectrum. I’ve realized that middle is well populated yet often unseen.
Coming Out Still Isn’t Easy
Why am I sharing all this? Because I hope someone else reads this narrative and relates and maybe feels less alone. No one wants to feel like they are weird or the only one. We are connecting creatures by nature.
We are who we authentically say we are. I don’t have to prove my sexual identity, just like I don’t have to defend the fact that I’m a cis-female. Just like you don’t have to prove your gender identity, sexuality, gender presentation or even your crappy music taste.
Being seen is very important!
What has started to reduce my feelings of invisibility is asking my partner accurately understand, honor and name my sexuality. I’ve come out to more people more often. I’ve had conversations with more people about feelings of invisibility. I’ve occupied more queer spaces and been clear about my identity. I’ve engaged in more activism within the LGBT community. I feel slightly more seen and acknowledged, it’s a good feeling.
Come out, come out, wherever you are!
I don’t have a super profound point to all this. I just want to be seen and want to invite others to allow themselves to be seen. The biggest gift we can give ourselves be to be wholly and authentically ourselves. I am truly honored by those who let me see themselves and I am honored for all who have given me space to be seen.
With all that said….Happy Panpride Day!