• Emma Buryd

Understanding Pansexuality With The Help Of Jojo Siwa And Demi Lovato

In the last couple of years, various celebrities have come out as pansexuals, such as Miley Cyrus and Cara Delavingne. Well, in just the last few weeks, two celebrities have used pansexuality to describe their orientation, which are YouTube star JoJo Siwa and Demi Lovato.

Earlier this year, young celebrity JoJo Siwa opened up about her sexuality for the first time, revealing that she is part of the LGBTQ+ community and even that she has a girlfriend. Only three months later she made an impact on the world again in an interview for People where she admitted that she is “technically pansexual.”

Just a few days earlier, during an interview on Joe Rogan's podcast, Demi Lovato spoke about her fluency and she described herself as pansexual as well.

Pansexuality has been a very popular and highly used term, yet many people still don't understand what it means. It has even been the subject of ridicule, “oh so you’re into pans” and other terrible jokes that I am not proud to have made. You will be surprised to learn that the creator of the term is the father of psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud, but pansexuality has a different meaning today.

What is pansexuality?

First of all: no, being pansexual is not being sexually attracted to pans. Or if you speak Spanish, it is not being into bread.

The most basic definition of pansexual is a person who is capable of maintaining a physical, romantic, or emotional relationship with people of any gender.

That means that a pansexual person (like JoJo Siwa and Demi Lovato) can be attracted to anyone, although that does not mean that they are attracted to EVERYONE.

Some find it difficult to understand this concept, first because they think that it is the same as being bisexual and because they don’t understand concepts such as non-binary genders. Although that is a long and complicated subject, the short story is that someone pansexual can have relationships with transgender, intersex or genderqueer people, although not limited to those genders.

They basically feel drawn towards people's identities, not their gender identities. It's like you like all pizzas, regardless of whether they are Hawaiian, vegetarian, or pepperoni.

That's a TERRIBLE way to explain it, Emma, oh my God I can’t believe it!

Isn't that bisexuality with extra words?

Why don't Demi Lovato or JoJo Siwa just describe themselves as bisexual? They like girls and boys right?

Although pansexuals share behavior with bisexuals, care must be taken when comparing the two terms.

The big difference between being bisexual and pansexual is that pansexuality is not limited to labeling people as male or female, man or woman. Bisexuality means being attracted to more than one gender, pansexuality is being attracted to any of all genders.

Taking the concept further, people who describe themselves as a pansexual claim that they do not view others based on their gender identities. It's not that they like males, females, or trans, they just like people.

If you are attracted to people because of their gender identities as male and female, the term bisexual is most likely the best term for you.

If you are attracted to people beyond their gender identities, you can ask for an invitation to the pansexual club. Every Tuesday they have homemade cookies and a cheese table.

Making pansexuality more visible

The fact that people with huge platforms like Miley Cyrus, Demi Lovato, or JoJo Siwa talk about pansexuality is very important since the term is still very new. Due to ignorance, many people have suffered harassment and ridicule for identifying as pansexual.

Dismissing this sexual orientation and comparing it with bisexuality is still very common, many even claim that it is not a real orientation and only works to get attention.

Visibility and awareness of pansexuality are very important since the effects of these types of attacks on mental health can be very harmful. The LGBTQ+ community has always been prone to need professional support and assistance to enjoy mental well-being because the challenges of living as a non-heterosexual are many and complicated. Although today we can say that we are better than before, there is still a long way to go so that no person should feel attacked or misunderstood because of the sexual orientation that best describes their identity.

If you feel like you need advice and support in dealing with mental health challenges related to your sexual identity, contact a charity specializing in the LGBTQ+ community. Its members are trained and ready to help you.

That is why they are very grateful when their favorite YouTubers, singers, actors, or influencers use their platforms to talk about these topics. So the next time you run into someone who goes off the hook as a pansexual, be a better person than I was and avoid stupid jokes and try to learn and understand them.


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