What is the 'B' in LGBTQ? Difference between bisexual and pansexual. – USA TODAY

Many associate the month of June with LGBTQ pride, but there are actually several notable holidays commemorating LGBTQ folks in the fall. Bisexual Awareness Week occurs every year in September, culminating in Bi Visibility Day on Sept. 23 this year. The month of October is LGBTQ history month
According to a 2022 Gallup poll, a record high of 7.1% of American adults self-identify as LGBTQ. Leading the pack is Gen Z. Just over 20% of Americans born between 1997 and 2003 identify as LGBTQ. 
More than half of LGBTQ Americans identify as bisexual, the largest category in the community. 
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The B in LGBTQ stands for bisexual. LGBTQ is an acronym that’s an identifier as much as it is a work in progress for the past few decades. 
What each letter in LGBTQ means:
In recent years, many have added I and A — intersex and asexual — to the lineup. The plus sign is often tacked onto the end to signal identities in the community that perhaps don’t fit into the other letters, according to PinkNews, like pansexual, polyamorous, two-spirited or others who don’t want to label their sexuality. 
A bisexual person is someone who is attracted to more than one gender, but the term is often used to describe a wide spectrum of identities. 
One of the most widely used definitions of bisexuality comes from activist and editor Robyn Ochs:
“I call myself bisexual because I acknowledge that I have in myself the potential to be attracted — romantically and/or sexually — to people of more than one sex and/or gender, not necessarily at the same time, not necessarily in the same way, and not necessarily to the same degree,” Ochs says. 
The term bi+ has also gained traction in recent years. Some use it as an umbrella term to describe people who experience any degree of attraction to more than one gender. This includes individuals who identify as pansexual, queer, omnisexual, fluid and more. The most important thing for many people identifying under the umbrella term bisexual or bi+ is that the label feels right for them.  Not everyone is comfortable with or desires a label on their sexual and romantic attraction.
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The first known use of the word bisexual dates to 1859 when anatomist Robert Bentley Todd used the term to describe what we now call intersex — the possession of male and female physical characteristics in the same body.
According to Stonewall, the word described a combination of masculine and feminine characteristics, now known as androgyny, at the turn of the 20th century. Only beginning in the 1910s was the word used to describe sexual and romantic attraction. In 1915, Sigmund Freud wrote about universal bisexuality as a combination of masculinity and femininity in gender and a more fluid sexual and romantic attraction. 
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The colors of the bi pride flag are blue, pink and purple. The flag was created in 1998 by Michael Page, with pink representing attraction to the same sex, blue meaning attraction to the opposite sex and a purple stripe between the two signaling attraction to more than one. 
While bisexual broadly describes attraction to more than one gender, pansexuality is attraction regardless of gender, but the two often overlap in ways that are nuanced and entirely personal to the individual.
One of the most well-known explanations of pansexuality is portrayed in sitcom Schitt’s Creek. In season 1, episode 10, David Rose and Stevie engage in a brief sexual relationship, surprising Stevie because she assumed David was gay. 
“I only drink red wine,” Stevie says, referencing the fact that she is only attracted to men. “And up until last night I was under the impression that you too only drank red wine. But I guess I was wrong?”
“I do drink red wine, but I also drink white wine, and I’ve also been known to sample the occasional rosé,” David explains. “And a couple summers back I tried a Merlot that used to be a Chardonnay, which got a bit complicated … I like the wine and not the label, does that make sense?”


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