Here's What it Means to be Pansexual

Earlier this morning, Demi Lovato appeared on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast, revealing for the first time that she identifies an pansexual.

The 28-year-old told the host she still wanted to have children someday, but couldn’t see herself taking the “traditional” route: getting pregnant within a heterosexual relationship.

“I think if anything I want to adopt,” she said. “I was engaged to a man (Max Ehrich) last year. I totally thought I’d be married, maybe pregnant by now. And that’s not the case. I also don’t know if I’m going to end up with a guy, so I can’t really see myself maybe getting pregnant. I’m so fluid now — and a part of the reason why I am so fluid is because I was super closeted off.”

From there, Rogan decided to ask if she was sexually attracted to both men and women (sigh), to which Lovato responded she liked “anything, really.”

“What do they call that? Like pansexual or something like that?” Rogan asked.

“Yeah, pansexual …” Lovato said. “I heard someone call the LGBTQIA+ community the alphabet mafia. That’s it! That’s what I’m going with. I’m part of the alphabet mafia and proud.”

Lovato also addresses her sexuality and her former engagement in her new YouTube Original docuseries Dancing with the Devil; episode three, titled “Reclaiming Power,” premiered Tuesday afternoon.

If you’re still a little confused as to what that actually means, here’s a little explainer (which in no means binds anyone to these definitions).

What is pansexual?

In a basic definition, pansexuaity “means being attracted to all people regardless of gender identity or sex. The prefix pan is the Greek word for all. Pansexuality is a noun, and pansexual can be used as a noun or an adjective to describe a person who is pansexual,” as per Teen Vogue.

Pansexual vs. Bisexual

While pansexuality is part of the Bisexual umbrella, identifying as bisexual means you’re attracted to more than one gender, while identifying as pansexual means you’re attracted to people of more than one gender, or regardless of gender.

Confusing? Absolutely (members of the bisexual community even can’t make sense of it). But basically, what it means is also largely up to the person who identifies that way. As with any sexuality, whatever word feels best is best.

In an interview between queer activist and Younger star Nico Tortorella and Rolling Stone, when asked how he identified, he explained how much of a loaded that actually was.

“In the [queer] movement right now, we have a tendency of getting hung on specific words rather than the person,” the 29-year-old actor told Rolling Stone. “And in my fluidity, I’m really attracted to this idea that it doesn’t have to be one thing.”

Bisexuality and pansexuality (as well as identifying as sexually fluid, queer or just “not doing labels”) are just ways people identify to indicate that they are not exclusively attracted to either men or women. The term pansexual was birthed out of the confusion, and to create a definitive and more inclusive label.

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