“2020 is a new decade and a new path in my journey. Last year I fell in love with a wonderful woman. Something I’d never even considered before. Now I am just happy #Pansexual #OutAndProud,” she said.
That’s great. Congratulations. It did make me immediately think of climbing Mt Everest. What do they have in common, you ask? Well, both acts make you ponder the eternal question – can you do either without posting about it on social media?
For the uninitiated, being pansexual means that you love the person, not the gender.
Moran told PinkNews that, to her, gender is merely an afterthought. “It doesn’t matter about the physical [attributes] of the person you fall in love with.”
Who cares? You live in the UK in 2020. You could sit on a London Tube with eight arms, each fondling a polyamorous partner, and no one would look up from their phone.
I’ve just read articles on CNN, the Guardian, and the BBC about your sexuality – yet none of them say anything about your policies. Or perhaps a reference to ‘pansexual’ is a policy, thrown in for good social media coverage, to attract hipster voters who pander to the trend of ‘sexual identity reveals’.
After all, Ms Moran is thought to be considering a bid for the Lib Dem leadership and is, according to the LGBTQ Foundation, the first openly pansexual MP. They said, “Visibility is crucial in creating a fairer and more equal society.” Her reason for going public, Moran says, is that she wants people in her Oxford West & Abingdon constituency to know that she is “part of our community as well”. But can you not just be part of a community in which your sexuality is nobody else’s business?
Call me old-fashioned, but if I were a voter in your constituency, I’d ask: how does your pansexuality pay my bills? Voters don’t care if you’re Erasure – not the 80s band, but someone who ‘ignores the existence of genders and sexualities in the middle of the spectrum’. They just want politicians to acknowledge their needs, be they decent services and infrastructure, health care, or an assurance that their taxes don’t get wasted.
Focusing on pansexuality, and other genders and sexual inclinations, demonstrates how removed the Liberal Democrats are from the needs of their voters, rather following Hollywood trends.
Pansexuality is the avocado toast of sexualities and is wildly popular among celebrities. In 2018, ‘pansexual’ was the most searched-for word in online dictionary Merriam-Webster, with queries spiking the day after singer Janelle Monae defined herself as pansexual and a “queer-ass motherf***er.” Meanwhile, singer Demi Lovato is ‘sexually fluid’, enjoying “a shifting gender preference.” Model and actress Cara Delevingne is “Not gay. I am. I’m not. I’m fluid! I like fluid,” while Miley Cyrus “always hated the word ‘bisexual,’ because that’s even putting me in a box.”
Modern discourse has an odd fascination with labels, yet there is something deeply regressive about those who feel compelled to label themselves publicly.
Real progress means not caring about race or sexual inclination. This movement of putting sexual labels on everything insists that those who do it are more important than those who don’t, and that everything is about membership of groups.
We break away from ‘groups’ only to create new ones. What’s progressive about that?
Back in the 1980s, when photographer David LaChapelle was a busboy at Studio 54, having been taken under Andy Warhol’s wing, nobody cared whether you were polysexual (attracted to many genders), androsexual (attracted to masculine gender presentation), or any of the other dozen or more sexual inclinations.
“When I lived in New York in the 80s, we didn’t have gay, straight, whatever. We didn’t care… you just had to be cool. All this stuff is a new obsession. If you were cool, creative, had something to bring to the party – or could dance well – that’s all that mattered.”
As a gay man who ‘toyed with the idea of a sex change in his early teens’, Mr LaChappelle could easily have lost his head, but luckily his is a sober voice. “It’s out of control,” he told Channel 4 News in a 2018 interview. “So self-involved.”
Baby boomers saw homosexuality decriminalized, while in January 1994 Generation X saw the first lesbian kiss to be televised before the 9pm watershed – as part of UK soap Brookside – which was groundbreaking at the time. Now Millennials and Generation Z-ers who live in the UK are lucky enough to be able to take the idea of gay rights for granted.
In 2015, when YouGov asked people to place themselves on a sliding scale – where zero equals exclusively straight and six equals exclusively gay – more than a quarter of Britons identified as something other than 100 percent heterosexual. Yet, according to the Office of National Statistics, 93.2 percent of Britons refer to themselves as old-fashioned garden-variety heterosexual.
It seems the more choices people are given, the more shades of grey they acknowledge. In the 1980s, we were told labels weren’t cool. Now they’re back, and they’re woke – and, oddly, more isolating.
So Ms Moran, why not free yourself from the shackles of label-dom. Embrace sexual liberty, where gender is a moveable feast. Make it irrelevant who people like and how.
Just get on with it.
Unless, of course, it’s a political move. In which case, it is something else being revealed here.
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