The 24th May marks Pansexual and Panromantic awareness and visibility day. These are two terms that not everyone might be conscious of so an awareness and visibility day such as this is really important. So what do these two terms mean?

Pansexual people – people who are attracted to others regardless of their gender identity or biological sex.

Panromantic people – people who are romantically (not necessarily sexually) attracted to others regardless of their gender identity or biological sex.

So is pansexual the same as bisexual? Not exactly – bisexual (bi) and pansexual (pan) are similar but there is a difference. Bisexual means to be attracted to your own gender and other genders (some people think it means to be attracted to both men and women, but this isn’t always the case and can include non-binary people). Pansexual means to be attracted to all genders so someone’s gender doesn’t factor into attraction when someone is pan.

Why does any of this matter? Well, imagine if there’s a part of who you are and it doesn’t have a name, or people assume that this means something else or that you mean something different. This can lead to feeling really ostracised or judged by communities and society as a whole. It could mean that there’s a part of yourself that has no definition and that society has no understanding about this important aspect of yourself.

It’s important to remember that being a pansexual or a pan romantic person doesn’t define all of a person. It’s just one aspect of them. But it’s an important part to understand and respect. Difference and diversity is what makes the world a fascinating place to be a part of.

At HOPELINE247, we sometimes hear from people who tell us that due to how they identify and how others have reacted negatively – this has led in part to experiencing thoughts of suicide. No one should have to feel suicidal because of who they are. And if you are experiencing thoughts of suicide and you need a safe place to talk without being judged, please reach out to HOPELINE247 and we will do all we can to help you find a way to keep yourself safe. Our number is 0800 068 4141.

If you identify as panromantic or pansexual – enjoy the 24th of May. If you know someone who does, let them know you’re thinking of them. Validation and acceptance makes the human experience all that more wonderous. If you neither identify or know someone – but you’ve learned something new about the wonderful variety that human beings come in, share on social media, have a conversation, do some reading. The more connected we are, the happier we are. And the happier we are, the safer from suicide we are too.

f you’re aged 35 or under, and experiencing thoughts of suicide, call HOPELINE247 on 0800 068 4141, text 88247 or email – Our suicide prevention advisers are available from 9AM to midnight, every day of the year. We are also here for anybody concerned for a young person who might be experiencing thoughts of suicide.

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