Bisexual vs. pansexual

Updated: Mar 29

Bisexuality and pansexuality are two identities that I repeatedly see counsellors getting confused about when I meet groups of counsellors at my LGBTQ training workshops.

So what do these words mean?

Are they same?

Why does it matter?

Bisexuality and pansexuality why is there so much confusion?

Most people I train have heard the term 'bisexual' and have picked up inaccurate definitions and myths along the way.

Many have also heard of 'pansexual' and either have no idea what it means or think it’s the same as bisexual.

This continues to create a lot of confusion, and my guess is this has happened because there are so many inaccurate definitions flying across the Web. I have also sadly witnessed some of these things being said by other LGBTQ trainers :(

Some of the MYTHS I’ve heard about bisexuality and pansexuality are:

  • MYTH >>> 'Bi' means 2 so bisexual means attraction to 2 sexes

  • MYTH >>> Bisexual and pansexual are the same thing

  • MYTH >>> All bisexual people are attracted 50/50 to men and women

  • MYTH >>> Bisexual people are only attracted to cis people

  • MYTH >>> Bisexuality is not inclusive of trans people

  • MYTH >>> Bisexuals are only attracted to men and women, not non-binary people

  • MYTH >>> Pansexual is a more trans friendly term, as it means you are also attracted to trans people

  • MYTH >>> Pansexual means you are not attracted by gender, therefore are attracted to animals, not humans

  • MYTH >>> Pansexual means you have no preference and are attracted to everyone

I wanted to write this blog to help clarify what these words mean and help fellow counsellors and their clients.