I identify as a pansexual cis male. So what does that mean to me?
Well, the cis bit is pretty straightforward; I identify as the gender that I was assigned at birth. It’s something that I have never questioned and one of the few things that I have been certain of my whole life. It’s probably fairer to say that it’s something I have never questioned. I have thought that I was gay and straight at various times over the years but never anything other than male. I have occasionally wondered what life as a woman is like, as the experience is, I am sure, very different, but that’s as far as it has gone.
When I had my “moment of clarity” regarding my orientation my initial reaction was that I was bisexual. It was a term that I understood and could relate to. I enjoy looking at a well built male as much as a curvaceous woman so that’s the term right? Well, not entirely as it turns out.
The thing that got me thinking was The Rocky Horror Picture Show. One of my favourite films and a show I have been to see at the theater several times, one of the most fun evenings you can spend, I heartily recommend it to everyone! The central character is (in the film version) Tim Curry’s Dr Frank N Furter. Frank describes himself as a “Sweet Transvestite” in the song of the same name, which is one of the most famous from the show. I fell in love with Frank immediately. The swagger, the voice, the self-confidence, everything about Frank just oozes sex. He is clearly as interested in Brad as he is in Janet so I understood that he was bisexual (Again with Frank I think that Pansexual is more accurate, but more on that in a bit) especially once the Rocky story line comes in. I remember finding his appearance and behaviour confusing initially. I was about sixteen and pretty confused generally as are a lot of sixteen year olds! I was asking myself – Is he a man wanting to be a women? Is he a man pretending to be a woman? Is “He” actually a woman? Is he a man who just likes fishnets? Bear in mind that this was before the internet and information on sexuality/orientation/alternative lifestyles was rare or impossible to see deliberately or accidentally as a sixteen year old.
The conclusion I came to should have allowed me to self-identify there and then but you know what it’s like being a teenager; everything is wrong, nothing makes sense, you doubt yourself in every way and the world hates you…..
My conclusion was that I didn’t care! I found Frank intensely attractive and that was that.
To me, that is the essence of identifying as pansexual rather than bisexual. The term bisexual includes the term “bi-” coming from the Latin for “doubly” or “having two” and as such only really allows for a binary view of orientation and identification. Fair enough I find men and women attractive and could happily have a loving relationship with either, but that is also true of someone whose gender identity is fluid or androgynous. Essentially it is the PERSON that I am attracted to regardless of any extraneous details like how their body is built and out of what parts. I have settled down with a lovely, beautiful girl who I intend to be with till I die, but there is no reason why that couldn’t have been a man or indeed a genderfluid or androgynous person.
That’s not to say that I don’t care what someone looks like or that I fancy the pants off everyone. Of course I have my own preferences but gender is not one of them, I think that’s probably the simplest way to put it. Gender just isn’t part of the equation. I have a feeling that Frank would understand and probably feel the same.
In many ways it’s a great place to be. I feel unhindered and free to accept my feelings about anyone without any worries about falling in any particular box. It’s also particularly easy to stay “in the closet” in public since I can truthfully join in with the ogling of my fellow males. That’s a subject that I am agonising over at the moment. Part of me really wants to be “out” and honest with everyone, but I can’t bring myself to do it just yet.
As always, please let me know any thoughts. Do you recognise anything I have mentioned? Any questions? Anything you want me to talk about?