Janelle Monáe has revealed that she identifies as ‘pansexual’ in a candid Rolling Stones Interview.
After previously identifying as bisexual, the “Make Me Feel” singer explained she read into pansexuality and realised: “‘Oh, these are things that I identify with too’. I’m open to learning more about who I am”.
The acclaimed US artist joins the likes of Miley Cyrus and a whole host of other celebrities who have recently embraced non-binary sexual preferences. However, what does pansexuality mean exactly? And how does it differ from bisexuality?
Being pansexual essentially means being sexually liberated in both an expansive and inclusive way.
What is pansexuality?
In Greek, “pan” translates to “all” and therefore, the term “pansexual” can be understood as a sexual identity used to describe being attracted to people of all genders, beyond male-female parameters. This can include those who identify as transgender, non-binary, intersex and more.
When did the term become popular?
The term pansexual has been around for quite some time, however, Google trends shows that the search term peaked in August 2015 after Miley Cyrus came out as pansexual in an interview with Elle UK.
The pop star’s vindication of the term thrust it into the pop culture zeitgeist, prompting fans to praise the singer for using her public platform to champion liberal ideologies.
How does it differ from bisexuality?
The key difference is in the terminology, as “bi” refers to two, whereas “pan” can obviously include a whole host of gender expressions and sexualities.
“Both identities are valid,” explains The F-Word editor, Joanna Whitehead, “although more people tend to be familiar with the concept of bisexuality.” However, thanks to Monáe that could be about to change.
Which celebrities identify as pansexual?
In addition to Cyrus and Monáe, other celebrities who have described themselves as “pansexual” include singer Angel Haze, Christine and the Queens’ Héloïse Letissier and Kristen Stewart.