The sexuality of LGBT+ people is allowed to evolve

Perhaps because the fight for LGBT+ rights in Nigeria is still in its waddling infancy, there is a lot of room the LGBT+ don’t allow themselves, a lot of allowance allies and hostile bigots balk against. Like the fact that a person who identifies as gay today could wake up tomorrow and decide to marry because they feel drawn to opposite-sex attraction.

A controversial conversation in Nigerian feminist circles last year was on ‘gay men’ using cis-heterosexual women to shield themselves from the social ruin of homophobia which all LGBT+ Nigerians understand and dread long before they ever have a brush with it.

These ‘gay men’ were dissected as misogynistic for using hapless women in that way, leaving a trail of broken hearts they were never equipped to genuinely love and being cowardly.

The conversation in part acknowledged bisexuality, but not pansexuality, an understandable omission as even among learned population groups pansexuality remains confusing to many.

“You like all genders, doesn’t that make you bisexual?” is a question almost everyone who identifies as pansexual has had directed at them at some point. This is understandable because everyone – Nigerian, Indian or Scandinavian, mostly only has the patriarchal notion of gender that is an unbending binary for context.

Pansexuality means being attracted to all people regardless of gender identity or sex. The prefix pan is the Greek word for all. Pansexuality is a noun, and pansexual can be used as a noun or an adjective to describe a person who is pansexual.

To better understand what it means to be pansexual we spoke to 3 pansexuals about what attraction as a pansexual feels like to them.

Nina (27, F)

“For me if I dig your vibe, our sex or gender is immaterial. I have been with cis-men and cis-women, and I’ve been with a transman. I navigate life looking for a great vibe, that’s it.

According to GLAAD, when one identifies as bisexual it means they’re attracted to more than one gender, while identifying as pansexual means you’re attracted to people of more than one gender, or regardless of gender. The two overlap quite a lot which makes the confusion understandable.

George (30, M)

“I was fine identifying as bisexual for most of my life, but lately I find that more and more it is less about the gender of the person for me than it is the person themself.

“My current significant other is a nonbinary woman pre-op transwoman, and with her love just found me. I remember seeing them from across the room at a party and just being drawn by their light. Everyone flocked to them and I was just one more fly landing on the honey. 2 years later and I haven’t stopped lapping up that honey.”

The hallmark of a successful freedom movement is when it has room for all the harmless iterations of human existence.

A liberated LGBT+ community that makes no allowance for gay men or women to explore their sexuality as it pans out throughout their lives is one that takes the reign of its own oppression and turns around to continue oppressing one another.

That celebrity you know could be gay, simply be bisexual or pansexual. That the possibility exists is enough reason for there not to ever be controversy because someone you knew to identify as something wakes up one day to do something you believe to be contrary to the identity you know them to identify with.

Shackles serve no one.

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