Beyond the Pan
We have now had six articles discussing pansexuality, everything from what it is, through to the positives of opening your heart to self-expression. Whilst more can be written, it is timely with Cairns Tropical Pride celebrating all the LGBTIQ+ ‘rainbow’ to take a look at some other sexuality and gender identities. I’ll start with expanding on a term I mentioned in the last column as I have had a few people question what non-binary is and how it relates to sexuality.
Non-binary, sometimes referred to as genderqueer, is an overall collective of gender identities which are not directly aligned with the distinct notion of masculine and feminine. This does not mean that non-binary individuals identify as androgynous (simultaneously feminine and masculine) as they can fit anywhere along the male to female biological spectrum. With what we have learned about Pansexuality, it is not surprising therefore that many pansexuals (sexuality) also identify as non-binary (gender) in one form or another.
As one of my psychology colleagues states “Gender is a social construct. Society [not biology] has determined what is masculine and what is feminine, and determined that females must be feminine and males must be masculine. If we had no societal rules regarding gender, there wouldn’t be such a thing as gender dysphoria. We could all dress, act and be however we want and there wouldn’t be an issue” This also holds true for love, sex and romance.
This can be taken even further when an individual identifies as more than one gender at the same time (eg. bigender, trigender, etc), moves between genders (genderfluid) or relates to being part of a cultural ‘third gender’ which some may have experienced locally with the ‘Two Spirited’ people. It does not tend to cover transgender people who have very specific views of their own gender identity and tend not to move (emotionally) along the gender spectrum.
It quickly becomes apparent that the matter of gender can be quite complex given how an individual may feel about themselves against the backdrop of mainstream views of gender binary.
It is important to note that none of this makes the views of gender binary wrong, it does highlight the importance of accepting that there are other identities however and we shall continue to explore these in further articles to follow.
Until then, stay safe, be happy and celebrate your sexuality.