Question: During a repeat airing of a “Dr. Phil” episode from October about the suicide of Rutgers student Tyler Clementi, high school students discussed being bullied because of their sexualities with “Ugly Betty” star Mark Indelicato. One sixteen-year-old student interviewed identified as “pansexual,” sending people across the nation a-Googling. So what is pansexuality?
Answer: Pansexuality, also known as omnisexuality, refers to attraction to people regardless of their gender identity or their biological sex. Unlike bisexuality, which refers to an attraction to both males and females, pansexuality encompasses other gender identities. Many people who identify as pansexual explain that they are gender-blind. Pansexuality encompasses not only all kinds of genders, but all kinds of sexual practices. It does not, however, imply that the person is not monogamous.
Claudia, the pansexual student from “Dr. Phil,” shared her experience being bullied because of her sexuality. “I think that they justify it in their minds or to other people by saying they’re asking for it because they appear this way, they act this way,” she told Indelicato.