I listen to LBC radio a lot these days. Truth is I’m kinda finished with the BBC just now as, while the level of journalism is good, it is not setting the heather on fire. LBC is the new disruptive entrant, albeit it has been operating for decades.
Over the last three years this London-based radio station, operating under the Global brand, has taken talk radio and investigative work to a new height. One of the Scottish based hosts, Darren Adam, is a gem to listen to during the wee small hours.
He, like many of the presenters, tackles sensitive issues and explores topics stridently, often resorting to verbal blows and accusations. However, I learn something each time I listen to the station. And over the last few days, I learned what pansexual means.
I guess that being an old, white, straight male brought up with some religious teaching, I have been fairly narrow in my knowledge of the new wave of sexualities. I believed there was a rigid category list that basically included straight, gay, lesbian and bisexual.
Growing up in Ayrshire for a significant part of my early life in the 1970s, I was well acquatinted with the derogatory terms that were used to describe and, of course, insult gay men. I don’t think anyone who was indeed gay would have openly “come out” then. It was not a good time to be “different”. Many poor souls had to move to the likes of London simply to be themselves. Things have changed for the better now.
While I still hear people, older than me, let’s say in their sixties or seventies using derogatory terms to describe gay men, gladly the younger generation just don’t seem to indulge in such vulgarity.
Of course there are always the sad minority of idiots, such as the teens who attacked the two young lesbian ladies on a London bus, mocking them and being generally awful. They got their comeuppance after being found guilty in court recently.
But, the simplistic terms to describe what is now normal sexuality have been recently expanded, at least in my world.
While I know that I am not gay and have no real fascination with experimenting with other men sexually, I can still find some men attractive. This does not make me gay in my book, but has always had me wondering about attraction and what that means.
So when I heard all the various “new” sexualities explained on a recent LBC show, the penny dropped. And the most interesting part was what it means to be pansexual.
I will try my best to explain this in the hope that you get it first time and I don’t make a fool of myself, given there are people with a more in-depth knowledge of this subject than me.
To help put it all into context, I will use a the term bisexual to kick off. Being bisexual simply means that one is attracted to and enters into sexual relations with both men and women or males and females if that is the terminology that suits. But being pansexual means that one is attracted to a human being while not referencing or taking into account sexuality or gender. In short, one falls in love with the person, the personality, the individual, the character and not the physical and sexual persona. So what does this actually look like?
Makes perfect sense to me
In a practical situation therefore, I could be smitten by another guy, be in love him and his personality, but my attraction would not be based on his gender. Still with me? So, while I may be straight and indeed he may be straight, we want to spend time together as we truly enjoy each other as human beings.
I guess this could be interests, chat, walks, holidays and nights out. Even friends or work or politics. Pansexual suggests a lack of limitations, where my potential partner does not consider themselves to be female, male, non-binary or anything else for that matter.
It is not easy to get your head around, but in essence it makes perfect sense to me.
History, religion and culture have dictated for centuries that there are basically two genders – male and female. The two get together and procreate. This has been the norm and the central tenet around which people in many societies dominated by religion have been instructed to live their lives.
People on the fringes of these descriptors were viewed as abnormal and, in many cases, evil. This resulted in torture, incarceration and even death. But, as we as a race are mellowing out a little, being more aware and respectful to others, the old stereotypes are being broken down and ultimately replaced by how, in fact, we actually are as human beings. In short, far from what was previously seen as “normal”. And while some will disagree vehemently with what I am describing, others will see the future and the expansive progress that humanity is making.
Which now begs the question: would I or you be willing to cast aside your gender as you know and understand it now, to enter a relationship, where gender was not a deciding factor? Imagine what you could be missing out on. The opportunity to marvel in the glow of another human being without the shackles of what those who came before us decided was right, wrong or appropriate.
One thing is for sure. Understanding and accepting pansexuality will open a whole new world of potential shared love and shared time with others. Why would you want to miss out on that?
Time will tell...