The first real “coming out” moment I had was in 2016, during a gendered violence course I was taking over the summer. I sat in a room full of strangers, attempting to explain visibility and why it matters to someone who’d just made an incredibly hurtful comment. It just slipped out, “I’m pan.”
In the middle of my explanation I was so worked up I didn’t notice it. And then after speaking, after registering the confusion on some faces, new distance in others, and acceptance in a few, the anxiety sunk in.
I’d announced my identity to strangers. I’d never thought much about being harmed or verbally attacked for my orientation, mostly because only two people in my life knew about this part of me.
But I’d just thrown it out there to a room full of conflicted minds, most of whom didn’t know the meaning of pan, and some of whom might hate what I was.
It shook me.
Afterwards, though, when the anxiety wore off it confirmed me. It felt right to finally say it above a whisper in a secret place.
For so much of my life I had no idea that what I was even existed. Pansexuality did not enter my awareness until 2015. Having a word to describe what I felt was powerful. Saying it aloud was powerful. Posting it here, it’s powerful.
Maybe I’ll lose some people in my life over this.
I hope not. I hope the ones that matter to me, when they see this or when they hear it from me, I hope they stay.
While it might paint a broader picture of my life, my heart and soul, it in no way changes who I am. I hope people will see that.
For those of y’all unaware of what pansexuality is, go ahead and look that ish up, because your education is your personal responsibility and it is increasingly important in this world.
And to save anyone the trouble of asking and me from the trouble of answering later on...yeah, I’m still in a happily committed relationship. My orientation won’t change that.
Happy Pride Month, y’all.
Here’s to peace, love, and intersectional representation.
#panpride #pridemonth #lgbt #pansexual #out #pride #loveislove #realtalk #selfie #panfam #letmebeperfectlyqueer