Written by Beth, staff member, Captain William Spry Public Library
December 8 is Pansexual Pride day! Let’s start off by getting a few things straight (see what I did there?). Pansexuality and bisexuality often get lumped together or confused for one another. However, they are two different sexualities and identities, even if they have similarities. Pansexual means a person is attracted (sexually, romantically, or emotionally) to people of all genders, without gender playing a role in that attraction. Bisexualilty is another non-monosexual identity (attracted to more than one gender) where gender does, or can, play a role.
One of the most popular pansexual characters currently in pop culture is the ever-hilarious David Rose of Schitt’s Creek, as played by Dan Levy. When trying to understand David’s sexuality through metaphor, his friend Stevie says to him, “Yeah, so, you’re just really open to all wines.” He responds, “I like the wine, not the label. Does that make sense?” What he means to say is that to him, his attraction or interest isn’t affected by someone’s gender—their gender, or “label,” doesn’t matter to him. Stevie, on the other hand, “only drink[s] red wine.”
However, even with a pansexual main character in such a popular show, representation can still be hard to come by! When it comes to books, more open and experimental genres tend to be first when it comes to inclusion—for example, science fiction and fantasy, as well as most genres of young adult literature. Some genres, however, are slower on the uptake. Although there is lots of room for growth, there are still some great books out there with pansexual representation!