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  • Impostor Syndrome and Pansexuality - 3 year update

    June 28, 2024

    Three years have passed since I first posted the “Feeling Like an Impostor in your own Sexuality” blog post, but it honestly feels like a lifetime.

    Some things stayed the same: I still identify as pansexual, although now I sometimes say "bi" and use the bi flag, because truthfully the lines between the two identities are very blurred and at times non existent: a lot of bi folks are attracted to people of more than one gender (not necessarily two, and not necessarily men and women), so it’s a label that does apply to me. 

    I have gained much more confidence in my queerness, which I initially thought to be hindered by my straight-passing relationship and my stereotypically feminine style, but really, was held back by a society-induced internalised bi/panphobia. 


    Bi/Pan Erasure

    If a few years ago I, rightfully, listed a damaged relationship to my sexual identity as the downside of the privileges I earned by being in a straight-passing relationship, today I want to add another price we all are made to pay in that situation: the erasure of our queer identity.

    I am pan for as long as I say so, no matter the relationship I am in. And while being in a straight-looking relationship does mean I will not be discriminated against while with my partner, it also means that society will take my sexual identity less seriously because of it, which in turn will weaken it in my eyes. This burdens us with internalised bi- and pan-phobia, which a lot of bi/pan folks fight with every day.

    This type of erasure is a discrimination that is specific to the bi-pan community, which is still less represented and less accepted than the gay, or even lesbian, one. Unluckily not much has changed since Phoebe Buffay sang “Sometimes men love women, sometimes men love men, and then there are bisexuals… though some just say they're kidding themselves”. Too many people see my being pan as either “you haven’t found the right man” or “ it’s just the step before defining yourself lesbian.”.

    Now, has it happened before that people who identify as bi/pan, later identify as sapphic or gay? Of course. And they might even, at that point, say that they were never bi/pan, because it can happen to be unsure of our own sexual orientation. Or maybe they were actually bi/pan and then things changed, because sexuality, just like gender, can be fluid! The fact remains that I am now, and for as long as I say so, pan. And so it goes for anybody else, because self-determination is the only thing that matters.


    My Personal Changes: Owning My Queer Identity 

    There have been some objective changes in my life in these years, so let’s get into it. First of all I am not in a straight-passing relationship anymore. But I have not dated afterwards so my experience is still 99% with men, with that one exception years ago which was mentioned in the previous blog.

    The not being in a relationship anymore might have helped with my owning my sexuality, but it was only a catalyst for something that was already happening within me. Slowly but surely, I started thinking differently about myself, and with time I became secure in my queerness. Although I worked on myself a lot, the truth is that, of course, I didn’t do this by myself: other’s support was fundamental and amazing to have, especially when coming from other people of the community. For this reason, I now make it a point to be of support to anybody walking on a similar path. Although these insecurities and internalised bi-pan phobias are not our fault, they, unluckily, remain our responsibility to shed.

    In the previous blog post I didn't mentioned how my “stereotypical femininity” impacted on my journey, but the truth is that it has been an interesting and confusing part of it. At the beginning I thought it to be almost in opposition with my queerness, but, truthfully, my style only became more feminine as I leaned into my queerness! It was all quite confusing until I discovered Hyper Femininity, and the intrinsic queerness of it. If you’re a bit confused don’t worry, I was too. I will definitely be making a blog about this because it’s just too much to cover here, but it’s such an interesting topic!



    To wrap it up, I want to assure you that, at whatever point you might be in your journey, it’s going to be ok. Take your time, and always remember that:

    1. You do not have to identify yourself with any label if this is not part of your journey. The important thing to understand is whether you are avoiding defining yourself, your orientation or identity because society is pressuring you to oppress parts of yourself, or telling you you’re not enough. Unluckily these feelings are extremely common, and they are this common because they are the result of a systemic issue. It is not your fault and you are not alone, we all go through it and everybody takes their time. You are most definitely enough. ❤️
    2. Questioning IS PART OF THE ACRONYM. The Q can stand for queer, but it also stands for Questioning! The LGBTQIA+ community is inclusive of any human questioning their orientation or identity, not identifying with any label, still wondering whether they might be queer or not. So, as far as we are concerned, you are welcome anytime.



    The next blogs coming up will be: The Queerness of Hyperfemininity, Bi or Pan, what’s the difference? and The Disability Pride Flag: History and Meanings.


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