[Ads-l] Pan = pansexual

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM
Fri May 29 21:46:09 UTC 2015

On Fri, May 29, 2015 at 5:18 PM, Benjamin Barrett wrote:
> Wiktionary (https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/pan) has citations to 2012
> for the shortening of "pansexual" to "pan", but labels it as slang. The
> Huffington Post has a quote where the placement of pan is discussed by a
> US state legislator.
> "Mary Gonzalez, First Openly Pansexual Legislator, Explains How She Is
> Changing Minds In Texas" by Michelangelo Signorile
> 29 May 2014
> http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/05/29/mary-gonzalez-pansexual_n_7433432.html
> =====
> "It's a more complicated history," she said. "The media labeled me [as a
> lesbian]. I always identified as queer or LGBT-identified or pan. When I
> first came out in politics, I used to say I was LGBT-identified and the
> media took that [as], 'Well she must be lesbian' as opposed to having a
> more complex understanding of our sexual community. And so, because of
> that I had to clarify that and say, 'No, not lesbian. Love them.
> [laughs] but...' I identify as pan and talk about what that means.
> =====

This would have been a good addition to our roundup of new
gender/sexuality descriptors for "Among the New Words" (AmSp 89.4
Winter 2014): http://bit.ly/ATNW89-4

We included, inter alia, "ace", the preferred clipping of "asexual"
(since "a" doesn't do the trick), and "demi" for "demisexual". All are
of course modeled on "bi", "hetero", and the now-offensive "homo".


Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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