The Joy of Pan
It's, Pan Visibility Day, a day to celebrate... ME!
So what does that mean?
I'm pan in two ways: panromantic, meaning I can be in romantic relationships with a person regardless of their gender, and pansexual, meaning I can be sexually attracted to a person regardless of their gender. I'm also demisexual, meaning that intellectual and emotional connection is required for me to be sexually attracted.
The pieces for this sacrament of naming nestled into place over the last few years. For most of my life I thought I was heterosexual and assumed my nearly non-existent sex drive was simply the norm for females. I didn't understand that romantic attraction and sexual attraction were two different things, and my sexual experiences were a series of different kinds of train wrecks. While terms existed for my identity, I didn't have access to them. I'd been given a tiny dictionary of ways to be, and so slotted my reality into the few words it contained.
Words help distill thought. As a writer, this is a central tenet of my life. I write when I'm trying to figure something out. Getting to know queer people through the Where True Love Is movement gave my beloved and I terminology for the ways we've always experienced sexuality and gender. I've realized that I'm demisexual. My husband Declan embraced the reality that he's trans.
God burns with passion for all humanity, for every person of every gender and sexual orientation. Panromantic and pansexual people are a glorious reflection of that shining force of love and attraction. I touched on this in my Sex With God devotional, and believe it with every particle of my being. If I'd been aware of the sexual and gender identity spectrums when I was younger, I would have been spared a significant amount of heartache. That's why days of visibility and awareness are important. We can offer young people terminology and information so they can evaluate who they are, and that knowledge will help them engage in romantic and sexual relationships which are significantly healthier than the ones I experienced. Our God, who is love itself, must be gratified by people recognizing the fullness of their realities.
So happy Pan Visibility Day to you, and to all my pan siblings out there. Keep shining your light, and don't let anyone try to tell you you're anything other than gloriously and wonderfully made.