Do you remember a time when politicians were admired for their actions? [Insert sound of crickets chirping here] Texas State Representative Mary Gonzalez is an admirable person. She is the first openly pansexaul politician in American history.
If you’re unfamiliar with the term pansexual you’re not alone. Pansexuality addresses an issue people have with labels. Gay means gay and straight means straight, until they don’t.
While the capital city of Austin, Texas is known for keeping it weird and wonderful, the rest of the state, including the 75th district which Gonzalez presides over, isn’t nearly as progressive.
“During the campaign if I had identified as pansexual, I would have overwhelmed everyone,” she said. “Now that I’m out of the campaign, I’m completely much more able to define it.”
In a perfect world Gonzalez’s sexuality wouldn’t draw unwarranted attention or create a media firestorm. And perhaps due to the positive reaction to Gonzalez’s coming out, future politicians will decide to run as an openly pansexual candidate. Hopefully that doesn’t undermine their campaign.
Being pansexual means that you are attracted to the person, not the gender, and your identification doesn’t box you in. Also, unlike some close-minded people would like to allege, being pansexual doesn’t mean that you’re promiscuous.
“As I started to recognize the gender spectrum and dated along the gender spectrum, I was searching for words that connected to that reality, for words that embraced the spectrum. At the time I didn’t feel as if the term bisexual was encompassing of a gender spectrum that I was dating and attracted to.”
Gonzalez has been going through a self-identification process for a long time. She came out as bisexual at the age of 21. It’s reported that she also previously identified as lesbian before deciding that both of those two labels were too rigid for her.
At the time of Gonzalez’s coming out out as pansexual gay advocacy group Gay Politics lauded her announcement.
—Matthew Reis, “Four People Most Important To America’s Future”