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, 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’. Someone who experiences sexual attraction regardless of sex or gender may identify as pansexual or pan. Someone might be pansexual but have a different romantic orientation. This is different from being attracted to everybody; 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 any other person with any other orientation may have preferences.
Panromantic is a romantic orientation. A romantic orientation is how a person describes the sex(es) or gender(s) they are romantically attracted to. A person’s romantic orientation is not necessarily the same as their sexual orientation.
Someone who experiences romantic attraction regardless of sex or gender 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.
What Is the Pansexual Pride Flag?
The Pansexual Pride Flag was created in 2010 to make the distinction between pansexuality and bisexuality. The three colours are magenta (representing attraction to those who identify as female), yellow (representing non-binary attraction) and cyan (representing attraction to those who identify as male). For more information about Pride flags, have a look at our blog Different Pride Flags and their Meanings.
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.
Someone who is sexually attracted to two or more sexes or genders may identify as bisexual or bi. This term exists on a spectrum, so someone who is bisexual may be more sexually attracted to a specific sex or gender. Someone might be bisexual but have a different romantic orientation.
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 non-binary people. However, bisexual does not just mean 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/questioning, 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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