[OPINION] Being pansexual is all about love – not pans
Looking at the comments that arise every time someone mentions being pansexual, I feel pretty lucky that all they can come up with are half-assed jokes about frying pans. It's hard to take someone seriously when that's the limited extent of their creativity.
Being pansexual, in some ways, is easier than being gay, or bi, or trans. Most people don't know what the word even means, or the years of history behind it. Most people can only come up with weak jokes about pans, rather than muster up the vitriol required to make me doubt myself. With a lesser known identity comes less understanding, and while that hurts in some ways, in others, it just means they don't even know how to hate me. I get the privilege of rolling my eyes because they don't even know what I am – like someone saying they hate cats while pointing to a fox.
Very recently, I've moved to a country where LGBTQ rights are leagues better than others. Canada has provided protection for the queer community for years, and clearly the country hasn't fallen apart, so I see the handwringing over Filipino queer rights as exactly what it is: Another in a long list of ways the Philippine government has failed its people, like our terrible transportation system or corruption in the government. I've seen what it looks like to give rights and protection to queer people, and it looks like a good life for everyone involved.
I've been pansexual for longer than I've been in Canada. I've been pansexual since I was a teenager. It's not some new suit I'm trying on; it's a reality I've lived with for years, and one I am happy to live with. It's a word and an identity I discovered looking for ways to quantify how I felt about others.
I love deeply and dearly. I'm so full of love that I don't know what to do with it. And over my years I've realized that that love isn't exclusive. I'm a sexual being, and my feelings both physical and emotional are not limited to one kind of person.
Pansexuality has helped me define the kind of love I feel: for a person, not a body. I have preferences like anyone, but I am not going to look at a cis woman or a cis man, a trans woman or trans man, or even those that identify as non-binary, and decide that a body or an identity will bar me from the love of my life. I'm terribly romantic, and that sort of attraction exists in my soul as much as my body. Neither my body nor my mind and soul discriminate when it comes to those who would love me in return. I do not have to fear falling in love, like others who see a body and feel real love and think they have to kill it.
And being pansexual? It's the version of me that exists without fear. It is the version of me that wasn't threatened into heterosexuality by a family, a society, or a religion. It's the version of me that knows I don't have to be afraid because a kinder world exists for people who love. It's the version of me that exists because I know people love and accept me, and I am capable of loving others as a result of that.
Being pansexual means I love. And in the face of that, a few bad jokes about pans seems tame in comparison. They don't even know what I am, or understand who I am, and they don't know what they've lost, growing up judged and afraid. Why would their jokes matter? – Rappler.com
Motzie Dapul is a writer/artist/animator from Quezon City currently pursuing a media career in Canada. She graduated from De La Salle-College of St Benilde in the Philippines and Sheridan College in Canada. She has independently published works such as the Pinoy Monster Boyfriend and Girlfriend Anthologies, and has animated on TV shows such as My Little Pony.