Throughout this series, we are asking our community to help make us smarter. All questions provided by you and for you.
Pansexual: I'm Jimmy and I'm pansexual.
What is the difference between pansexual and bisexual?
Pansexual: I think bisexual and pansexual are both valid and interchangeable terms. I think pansexual differs in the sense that it recognises that orientation and gender are fluid and it doesn't subscribe to a dichotomy or binary idea of gender and sexual orientation.
How did you know you are pansexual?
Pansexual: Like a lot of people, I grew up in a time and place where it wasn't socially acceptable or safe to be queer. So for most of my life, I thought I was straight. Then one day after a Grindr hookup, I probably realised that wasn't the case. I felt unsure whether I fitted into the world in terms of my sexuality. When I heard about the concept of pansexuality, I felt that that's what fitted my expression of sexuality.
What's important for you when choosing a partner?
Pansexual: I think when I'm choosing a sexual partner, the most important thing is that our kinks and our desires and feelings and thoughts about exploration align. But when I'm choosing a romantic partner, it's about those things, but also feeling some magic as well.
Would you say you are gender blind?
Pansexual: I personally don't understand how anyone could be blind to other people's innate characteristics. I see gender, but that doesn't dictate who I feel sexual attraction to.
Do you find it difficult expressing your attractions in case of causing upset/conflict within already established relationships?
Pansexual: I think it can be really hard to articulate your pansexual tendencies within a monogamous heterosexual relationship. My experience was, when I realised I was pansexual, I also realised I wanted to explore kink and I disbanded my vanilla hetero relationship because of that. But now I'm very happy in a hetero relationship and it's certainly not a barrier. It's a thing that is celebrated.
Can you be pansexual and monogamous at the same time?
Pansexual: Absolutely. Being pansexual isn't a barrier to any of those doors. You can exist in monogamy. You can exist in queer culture. You can exist in straight culture. It opens doors. It doesn't close them.
Did you have a 'coming out' to family and friends?
Pansexual: I'm very fortunate that because I exist within hetero relationships, I have hetero passing privilege. Because of that, I've been able to come out to family and friends in times and in ways that suit me. And that's been person by person but I've always had a really positive response.
How important is this aspect of your life? Is this a significant part of your personality?
Pansexual: I think it's a significant part of who I am, just like the rest of my sexual identity is. It's something that I really love about myself and brings me and my partner great happiness.
What hurtful stereotypes do you think the pansexual community faces?
Pansexual: I think a lot of us hold our own internalised prejudices, but I think outwardly, there were often feelings within society that pansexual people are greedy or noncommittal, or don't quite fit into a particular aspect of the community, but none of that's true. We fit in very well.