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Pansexual is a term that emerged in recent years as a descriptor of sexual orientation. The word pansexual is derived from the Greek prefix “pan”, meaning “all”, and encompasses all who feel that they are sexually, emotionally, or spiritually capable of having relations with all genders and sexual identities. Pansexual individuals have the capability of attraction to others regardless of their gender identity or biological sex, which can involve someone who is male, female, transgender, intersex, and/or nonbinary and identifies with any possible sexual orientation. However, this does not mean that pansexuals automatically like everyone or have no physical preferences. The identity of pansexual is commonly used to express the openness and fluidity of sexuality. Similarly, “panromantic” refers to someone who is asexual, but can feel romantic attraction to all sexes and genders of people.

Pansexuality recognizes that there are more than two genders; some people opt to use this term instead of “bisexuality” in order to be more inclusive of people whose genders do not fit into the binary of male/man or female/woman. sums it up very simply: “Each pansexual person might describe their identity in a unique way, but one thing remains consistent: the constant possibility of being attracted to any person of any gender and sex.”

Resources on Stanford Campus

Alongside Stanford’s CAPS Vaden Health Center, the Queer Student Resources Center located in the Fire Truck House provides a warm and welcoming space for the extremely diverse population of students celebrating, questioning, investigating and struggling with sexual orientation and/or gender identity.

Additional Resources