Do you know what I find interesting about asexual vs pansexual as identities? A lot of people who identify as either at one point thought they were the other.
So how could a pansexual possibly mistake themselves for an asexual, or vice versa? Well, I’ll use my own experiences regarding questioning as an example, because I was one of these people. At one point I thought I was ace, but I’m actually pan.
I guess I should start with why I define myself as pan instead of bi. The most commonly accepted definition of pansexuality is “attraction regardless of gender.” For me personally, gender isn’t really a factor in whether or not I find someone attractive.
So here’s where the confusion comes in: you don’t feel any sort of special way for one gender over another. Maybe you even feel sort of indifferent to gender. Does this mean I’m asexual or pansexual? The key is how you experience attraction to other people, if you feel any at all. The trick is figuring out what it means and how it feels to be “attracted” to someone, which is a very personal thing for everyone.
Keep in mind that these were my personal experiences. They’re different for everyone, but they can sometimes share a common pattern. There’s nothing wrong with exploring your identity and changing your labels as you make discoveries. This is one of the biggest reasons why a-spec solidarity is so important to me as a pansexual. I know where they’re coming from.
This is why bi/pan/ace solidarity exists!!! This is why we’re the triforce sexualities!! A lot of ace people thought they were bi before there was language to identify otherwise. A lot of ace people think they’re pan before they realize they’re not AND VICE VERSA!!!
Discourse fucking murdered bi/pan/ace solidarity because of their hatred of aces and they can fucking kiss my ass if they don’t think destroying that solid bond between us didn’t leave some gnarly scars.
It’s one of the biggest reasons I started getting involved with ace discourse, because I saw the attempt being made to sever our solidarity. I was so incredibly lucky to have gone through my questioning phase back when Tumblr was more-or-less ace-friendly, because going through it in, say, 2016 during the height of some of the most toxic anti-ace discourse would have messed me up hard. All of it is very anti-questioning and I have a huge problem with that, as anyone should.