Pansexuality, or omnisexuality, is sexual attraction, sexual desire, romantic love, or emotional attraction toward persons of all gender identities and biological sexes. Self-identified pansexuals may consider pansexuality a sexual orientation, and refer to themselves as gender-blind, asserting that gender and sex are insignificant or irrelevant in determining whether they will be sexually attracted to others. The Oxford English Dictionary defines pansexuality as, "not limited or inhibited in sexual choice with regard to gender or activity".
The concept of pansexuality deliberately rejects the gender binary, the "notion of two genders and indeed of specific sexual orientations", as pansexual people are open to relationships with people who do not identify as strictly men or women.
The prefix pan- comes from an Ancient Greek term meaning "all" or "every". Omni- comes from a Latin term meaning "all". "Pansexual" is derived from the word "pansexualism," dated back to 1917, which is the view "that the sex instinct plays the primary part in all human activity, mental and physical". Credited to Sigmund Freud, it is a term of reproach leveled at early psychology, and is also defined as "the pervasion of all conduct and experience with sexual emotions".
The conceptualization of "pansexuality" as distinct from "pansexualism" contrasts with predominant prefixes attached to the -sexual and -gender roots. Traditional thought employs the prefixes hetero- (opposite), homo- (same), bi- (two) and trans- ('across'). A transgender identity opens up a gender continuum rather than a gender binary rubric, but does not discard or disregard the idea of gender altogether.
Compared with bisexuality and other sexual identities 
A literal dictionary definition of bisexuality, due to the prefix bi-, is sexual or romantic attraction to two sexes (males and females), or to two genders (men and women). Pansexuality, however, composed with the prefix pan-, is the sexual attraction to people of all sexes or genders. Using these definitions, pansexuality is different in that it includes people who are intersex and/or fall outside the gender binary. Go Ask Alice! states that pansexuals can be attracted to cismen, ciswomen (meaning cisgender), "transmen, transwomen, intersex people, androgynous people, and everything else. It is generally considered a more inclusive term than bisexual". Volume 2 of Cavendish's Sex and Society, however, clarifies that "[a]lthough the term's literal meaning can be interpreted as 'attracted to everything,' people who identify as pansexual do not include paraphilias, such as bestiality, pedophilia, and necrophilia, in their definition" and that they "stress that the term pansexuality describes only consensual adult sexual behaviors".
The definition of pansexuality encourages the belief that it is the only category that covers individuals who do not cleanly fit into the categories of male/man or female/woman. However, bisexual-identified people may object to the notion that bisexuality means sexual attraction to only two genders, arguing that since bisexual is not simply about attraction to two sexes and encompasses gender as well, it can include attraction to more than two genders. Gender is considered more complex, as it includes genetic, hormonal, social, and environmental factors, and there are gender identities that are wholly similar to each other. The term pansexuality is used interchangeably with bisexuality, and, similarly, people who identify as bisexual may "feel that gender, biological sex, and sexual orientation should not be a focal point in potential [romantic/sexual] relationships". In one study analyzing sexual identities, described as alternative terms for bisexual or bi-self labels, "[h]alf of all bisexual and bisexual-identified respondents also chose alternative self-labels such as queer, pansexual, polyfidelitous, ambisexual, polysexual, or personalized identities such as 'byke' or 'biphilic'".
Polysexuality is similar to pansexuality in definition, meaning "encompassing more than one sexuality," but not necessarily encompassing all sexualities. This is distinct from polyamory, which means more than one sexual relationship at the same time.
In the media 
- In the American Dad episode "You Debt Your Life", the Smith family's live-in alien, Roger, describes himself as a "fey pansexual alcoholic non-human" in a similar vein to comedian Andy Dick.
- The character Kelly Chambers from the video game franchise Mass Effect describes her sexual feelings by saying "character is what matters, not race or gender".
- Writer Russell T Davies introduced Captain Jack Harkness, of British series Doctor Who and Torchwood, with the intention of properly introducing bisexuality to the British public. However, the term "omnisexual" is also frequently used by cast and crew to describe the character; its use is intended to highlight that Jack does not discriminate between humans and aliens. Actor John Barrowman explains that in Torchwood's usage, it is an "in-universe" term; Jack represents in real-world terms the representative portrayal of a bisexual man in a lead role on television. "[He]'s bisexual, but in the realm of the show, we call him omnisexual, because on the show, [the characters] also have sex with aliens who take human form, and sex with male-male, women-women, all sorts of combinations."
- As of March 7, 2013, an event scheduled to take place in Orlando, Florida on March 16, 2013 is named the "Pansexuality Fetish Party". The event, produced by yknotevents.com is a celebration of camaraderie for Pansexuals, Gay, Lesbian, Bi-sexual, Transgender, Asexual, Intersex and Straight people. The event is garnering National and International interest due to the planned protests by Terry Jones, the Quran burning Pastor from Gainesville, Florida. His group, "Dove World Outreach Center" and "Stand Up America" are organizing demonstrations on March 9 and March 16 in downtown Orlando. yknotevents.com states that, "We totally support the thought that Everyone should have equal rights and be able to have fun regardless of gender or orientation.
See also 
- Gender neutrality
- Human sexuality
- Transcending Boundaries Conference
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