What does it mean to be pansexual?

Pansexual, to me, means that I love anyone unconditionally by personality alone. Some might say “hearts not parts” which I feel is a true statement. Then again, not many people understand what it means to be pansexual.

The difference between pansexual and bisexual.

Let me start by saying that pansexual is not the same as bisexual! It is a much harder concept to explain. Most people think it’s as basic as, “You’re attracted to other pans”. Which becomes annoying over time, but then I realize people thought of this as a “joke.” It was because people are uneducated when it comes to breaking down the barriers of their old ways of thinking. That there is only one real attraction and that is heterosexuality, which is not true whatsoever. People know more about the other sexualities, but if I went up to a stranger and said that I was pansexual, I doubt anyone would understand what I meant.

The American dream. Whatever that means.

I was told most of my life that I was supposed to live the American dream. Go to school, find a man, marry him and have children. Maybe that’s just the Southern mentality. I was also told that loving women was wrong, but I was always attracted to them no matter what I did. I would have moments where I would try to trick myself into being straight. I would do what other girls did. I would fawn over people. I liked a lot of people but I never really fell in love with any of them.

Staying in the closet.

Around my family, I would always pretend to love the way some guy’s body looked because I assumed that if I were to try hard at being straight no one would question me. And in the end, it worked, but I was unhappy with myself having to stay in the closet to keep myself safe.

I love my family, but I am afraid of what will happen when I do come out, still living in their house and being in college. It keeps getting worse and worse that I live as someone I am not. Yet I stay in the closet out of fear of what could happen.

Freedom through activism.

So, I found an outlet that would help me be myself in some parts of my life for the time being. I joined an LGBT community on my college campus where we do a lot of activities for people like me. For now, that’s all I have but it’s better than nothing. Soon I feel like I will be able to come out and speak and date freely without shame of being and thinking differently from my family.