By MELISSA MULLINAX
It was a Monday night in the Red Room, and People for the Rights of Individuals of Sexual Minorities (PRISM) secretary Charles Girard began the meeting by reading aloud a series of “myths” surrounding the evening’s topic.
“Myth number one: There is no such thing as bisexuality and pansexuality,” he said. “You’re gay, lesbian or straight. There is no in between.”
Students filled chairs lining three walls of the spacious room, anticipating the discussion panel.
People raised their hands around the room and a complex conversation of sexuality ensued.
While bisexuality is a common concept within the public and the media through its manifestation in reality shows like “A Shot At Love” starring Tila Tequila, pansexuality is one of the newer additions to the LGBTTQQAAIP (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Transsexual, Queer, Questioning, Asexual, Allies Intersex, and Pansexual)
as an attraction to both males and females,” PRISM President Brendon Bottle said.
Dean of Student Life Cedric Rucker instructed an interdisciplinary course this semester called “Perspectives in Sexuality.”
“Pansexuality enhances the issues of attraction because it addresses an individual’s attraction to a cross-section gender identity,” Rucker said. “It’s an inclusive term that is beginning to replace bisexuality in a contemporary context.”
Melody Ain, PRISM vice president, described pansexuality as, “attraction across the gender spectrum.”
According to Ain individuals who identify as pansexual typically do not subscribe to a binary gender ideology in which “woman” and “man” are the only two available options.
The Kinsey Scale, first introduced by American biologist Alfred Kinsey, takes into consideration a variety of sexual orientations.
“Basically he outlined a scale from zero to six. Zero is heterosexual and six is homosexual,” Ain said. “It was really groundbreaking because it was the first study of sexual habits, and the scale acknowledged that not everybody is strictly one or the other.”
An individual may fall anywhere along the scale from identifying as heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, pansexual or anything in between.
However, the Kinsey scale still has its insufficiencies according to Girard.
“There’s no place for asexuality,” he said. “Also, the Kinsey Scale doesn’t take gender identification into account, only sexual orientation.”