Pansexual and Panromantic Awareness and Visibility Day is celebrated annually on 24th May. It is an opportunity for us to promote visibility for a lesser-known, but by no means rare, sexual orientation. It also allows us to show our support for pansexual and panromantic people.
Here, you can read about the event, including an explanation of what pansexual and panromantic mean and how pansexuality is different to bisexuality.
There will also be some links to content-rich resources to complement our writing.
Pansexual and Panromantic
Pansexual, sometimes shortened to ‘pan’, is a sexual orientation. The root word ‘pan’ comes from the Greek word for ‘all’. The term ‘pansexual’ denotes somebody that does not have a sex or gender preference when it comes to sexual attraction. This is different from being attracted to everybody else; although pan people may be attracted to all genders, they are likely to still have personal preferences that dictate who they are attracted to, just as a heterosexual woman is likely to have a personal preference, rather than being attracted to all men.
Panromantic is a romantic orientation. A romantic orientation is a person’s identity in relation to the gender(s) or sex(es) they are romantically interested in. This includes orientations such as homoromantic, heteroromantic, biromantic, panromantic and aromantic. A person’s romantic orientation is not necessarily the same as their sexual orientation.
Someone who does not have a sex or gender preference when it comes to their romantic interest may identify as panromantic. Someone might be panromantic but have a different sexual orientation.
An excellent tool to introduce your students to the topic of gender and sexuality is our Understanding Gender and Sexuality Lesson Pack, which includes information on lesser-known identities.
Is Pansexual the Same as Bisexual?
Some people confuse pansexuality and bisexuality. Although the two are similar, and some people identify as both, they are not the same thing. The term ‘bisexual’ denotes someone that is attracted to two or more sexes or genders. It exists on a spectrum, and someone who is bisexual might still have a sexual preference for a specific gender or sex over another.
Different people define pansexual and bisexual in different ways, and many incorrectly assume that pansexual is a more inclusive term that includes attraction to transgender and nonbinary people. However, bisexual does not just denote attraction to males and females, but to any two or more genders or sexes- it is not a term that excludes any genders.
In the LGBTQ+ acronym, some people include pansexual under the umbrella of bisexual, whereas others include it as the P in the longer acronym LGBTQIAP (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual, pansexual).
Pansexual and Panromantic Awareness Day
On the 24th May, we celebrate Pansexual and Panromantic Awareness and Visibility Day, sometimes called Pansexual Awareness Day or Pansexual Visibility Day. It gives us the opportunity to raise awareness and celebrate pansexual and panromantic identities.
One way to celebrate Pansexual Awareness Day, as well as a number of other LGBTQ+ inclusive events, is by using our Gender and Sexuality Display Pack to decorate your classroom or learning space.
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