With June, aka Pride Month, coming to a close (tear), I felt it only appropriate to put a common misconception to bed. Like I imagine many of you believe, there are a lot of confusing terms and concepts that "come out" every Pride Month each passing year. A seemingly confusing idea for many people, including some fellow members of the LGBTQIA+ community, is the difference between Pansexuality and Bisexuality.
Bisexuality is attraction to both male and female people. Pansexuality is the attraction to anyone, regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation.
Bisexual people only tend to be attracted to people who are a part of the gender binary. While they can accept that there are more gender identities that exist not included on the binary, they are just generally attracted to those who fall on said binary, i.e. male and female people.
Pansexual people generally find themselves attracted to people who fall on the gender binary as well as people who don't fit. These can include but are definitely not limited to people who are gender fluid, non-binary and or gender non conforming. We can be attracted to women, men, people who identify with both, or even people who don't identify with any gender. To Pansexual people, gender is irrelevant when being attracted to someone physically or emotionally.
While very similar and often confused with each other, Bisexuality and Pansexuality are not the same. Since there are two different terms for each, they find attraction to different kinds of people and in different ways. While they can both be attracted to male and female people, Pansexuals are the ones who don't really think about gender when finding someone physically or emotionally appealing.
Like a wise person once said, "hearts not parts".