Stop Spreading the Idea That Bisexuality Is Transphobic

In the past few years, it has become more and more common for people to come out as pansexual. According to Marshall Cavendish’s book Sex and Society, “Pansexuality is an orientation that specifically rejects the notion of two genders and indeed of specific sexual orientations.” Since this term has only started to become more known recently, many people do not understand what the difference between bisexuality and pansexuality is, since in both cases the individuals are not attracted to only one gender, but instead to two or more of them.

In discussions about labels, I have witnessed people saying that bisexuality is a transphobic term because the prefix ‘bi’, which indicates ‘two’ as in “attracted to two genders”, fails to include the rest of the gender spectrum that contains nonbinary folks and other types of identities. This is not only false and ignorant but also gives a really bad name to a whole community.

The Bisexual Manifesto, published in 1990 in the Anything That Moves magazine, states that:

“Bisexuality is a whole, fluid identity. Do not assume that bisexuality is binary or duogamous in nature: that we have “two” sides or that we must be involved simultaneously with both genders to be fulfilled human beings. In fact, don’t assume that there are only two genders.”

The term ‘bisexual’ is believed to have been used for the first time in the nineteenth century, although the sexual orientation as a whole dates back to Ancient Greece as even Zeus, one of the most popular and powerful figures in Greek mythology, had a lover of his same gender — the hero Ganymede. Therefore, it is understandable that lots of people are more familiar with said term and feel comfortable using that one, which does not mean that they could not be attracted to someone who does not identify as a man or a woman.

The reality is that sexuality is fluid, and labels were created by our society for people to use whichever they feel the most comfortable with. Bisexuality and pansexuality are both real and valid and should be treated as such. Under my own point of view, the most important difference between those labels is that the person who chooses the prefix ‘pan’, which means ‘all’, is just stressing the fact that gender is not an important factor for them when being in a romantic or sexual relationship, which just makes it a more inclusive term. However, this does not mean that a bisexual person can only be attracted to people that identify with the gender binary.

At the end of the day, orientation is a complex and nuanced concept that cannot be so easily put into a box. It is important that people from the LGBTQ+ community get informed in these type of situations so as to not cause even more stigma than the already faced, and embrace new and different terms than theirs. After all, the real message that should be spread is the one about unity and acceptance at all times.

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Federico is a 16 year old student from Buenos Aires who loves watching TV shows and learning something new every day. He believes spreading information and educating is the only way to go forward as a society.

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