When someone identifies as pansexual, it means they gravitate towards sexual, romantic and emotional relationships to any or all genders. While this is sometimes confused with bisexuality, there are differences and, of course, no single term or label can speak to everyone’s individual experience.
From Cara Delevingne to Yungblud, there is a growing chorus of celebs who’ve come out as pansexual and have publicly shared what it means to them. While some of these stars also identify as non-binary, we need to underscore the distinction between gender identity (the identity a person identifies with) and their sexuality (in other words, who they’re attracted to, which may or may not include other non-binary individuals).
During one interview, the actor, model and now sex toy mogul shared, “The thing is with me, I change a lot,” adding, “I feel different all the time. Some days, I feel more womanly. Some days, I feel more like a man.” What this means for her sexuality, she clarified is that, “I always will remain, I think, pansexual. However one defines themselves, whether it’s ‘they’ or ‘he’ or ‘she,’ I fall in love with the person — and that’s that. I’m attracted to the person.”
A long-time outspoken LGBTQ+ advocate, Miley Cyrus has seldom followed the beat of someone else’s drum. She’s been known for saying that she’s ready to embrace anyone who loves her for who she is. The singer came out as pansexual to her mother when she figured out what it meant, and although she once had a brief marriage to Liam Hemsworth, she continues to identify as queer.
Asia Kate Dillon
The Billions and Orange is the New Black star is not only leading non-binary representation in Hollywood, but they’re doing so onscreen as well. In the notoriously high-testosterone Billions, Dillon, as intern Taylor Mason, assertively introduces themselves to their hedge fund boss, saying “my pronouns are they, their, and them.” Similarly, their role as the Adjudicator in John Wick 3 — Parabellum inspired MTV to combine actor and actress award categories. While Dillon outwardly started calling themselves queer in high school, they were questioning their gender even earlier than that. When it comes to who they seek for love? They’ve identified as pansexual, saying that they are “a human being who is attracted to other human beings.”
Activist, YouTuber and the youngest publicly documented person to identify as transgender, Jennings shared on Twitter that, “I am pansexual. This means that I am attracted to people at a level that surpasses gender identity or sexual orientation. I love people for their souls and internal beauty.” Jennings’ parents have said that she herself was clear on being female as early as she could talk, and was diagnosed with gender dysphoria at age five. She insisted on wearing feminine clothes, even though her parents dressed her in gender-neutral outfits at first.
Related: 11 ways to be a respectful LGBTQ2S+ ally.
Best known for her role as Rue in The Hunger Games, Stenberg identifies as non-binary. While they previously shared they were bisexual, they’ve since come out and shared they identify as pansexual. Previously, they’d used the term bisexual because they didn’t feel enough people understood the definition of pansexual. “I identify publicly as bisexual,” they told Teen Vogue. “I would also use the word pansexual to describe my sexuality. The thing is I use the word bisexual just because I feel like for people who don’t necessarily know that vocabulary… it’s easier to say I’m bi. [But] I understand that erasure piece.”
One of the more recent celebs to claim their true identity, Lovato came out as non-binary in May and stated that, going forward, they will be using the pronouns they/them: “Today is a day I’m so happy to share more of my life with you all — I am proud to let you know that I identify as non-binary and will officially be changing my pronouns to they/them moving forward,” Lovato wrote. “This has come after a lot of healing and self-reflective work. I’m still learning and coming into myself, and I don’t claim to be an expert or a spokesperson.”
They added, “I’m doing this for those out there that haven’t been able to share who they truly are with their loved ones.” Earlier, Lovato has spoken about being part of the “alphabet mafia” and calling herself pansexual. The “Sorry Not Sorry” singer shared that she used to be “extremely closeted off” as a result of her religious upbringing, and that it was her most recent relationship with ex-fiancé Max Ehrich that made her truly accept her sexuality. “I was engaged to a man last year. I totally thought I’d be married, maybe pregnant right now, and that’s not the case, so I’ve just stopped kind of attaching myself to — I know that my life is not going according to my plan,” she said.
Having previously identified as bisexual, the singer has said that, after she learned the definition of pansexuality, she felt it described her too. “I read about pansexuality and was like, ‘Oh, these are things that I identify with too.’ I’m open to learning more about who I am.” She added, “Being a queer black woman in America… someone who has been in relationships with both men and women — I consider myself to be a free-(love proponent).”
In the past, the famous YouTuber (and one of the richest TikTokers) hadn’t labelled her sexuality, but simply said, “I always believed that ‘my person’ was just going to be ‘my person.’ And if that person happened to be a boy, great, and if that person happened to be a girl, great!” But earlier this year, the celeb clarified she is “technically” a pansexual. When discussing her sexuality, the 17-year-old said, “I like queer. Technically, I would say that I am pansexual because that’s how I have always been my whole life is just like, my human is my human.”
The activist, musician and Halsey’s former flame shared late last year that he is pansexual in the UK-based LGBTQ+ magazine Attitude. The “Parents” singer has previously described his sexuality as “more straight,” he also had noted “it’s about about connection” and he was “very fluid” about it. “We’ve been brought up with such boundaries: woman wears dress, man sees woman’s curves, you can make baby,” he said. “Western civilization put women in dresses and men in trousers.” He added, “Ultimately, it was a massive journey to being comfortable in myself.”
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Outer Banks star Madison Bailey announced on TikTok last spring that she’s pansexual, saying she feels “lighter” now that she’s able to open up about her personal life. Her disclosure followed rumours that she was dating University of North Carolina at Charlotte basketball player Mariah Linney. “I feel zero shame, and I don’t feel that way because nobody’s ever really shamed me for it and I know a lot of people have had a lot of hate and lack of support. I know so many, countless stories of queer people that did not have support,” Madison said on Instagram.
See also: 10 gender-bending celebs we love.