Schitt’s Creek has been an incredibly popular show over the past few years, especially regarding its representation of queer identities and relationships. One of the main characters, David Rose, is a pansexual man. The first time that the audience is made aware of his identity is in a conversation that he has with his friend, Stevie, in which he says, “I like the wine, not the label.”.
This analogy is a wonderful way to describe what it means to be pansexual, especially since it is often confused with being bisexual.
Pansexual: Being attracted to all genders.
Bisexual: Being attracted to multiple genders.
Many people’s experiences with their sexuality change throughout their lifetime. Many will adopt different identity terms at different times.
Identity is not fixed. You can gain and change labels over time or come to find a label that works better than another. Also, since the word “queer” can be an umbrella term, it allows room for some flexibility when it comes to the binary, or lack thereof.
For example, I identify as asexual, but I also identify as queer. Even within asexuality, there is a spectrum. Each asexual person has different experiences, and although it is easy to lump everyone together, each person is their own individual. Fluidity gives us the space to resist being put into a box, as one label may not be absolutely perfect for everybody.
As we go through life, we gain new experiences and learn new things, about ourselves and the world around us. If we don’t change amidst these changes, we may begin to feel stuck. Peering through the lens of heteronormativity, we can see how society expects people to look and behave in a certain way.
In response, we may choose to reflect those standards in order to fit in or conform to the world around us, regardless of who we actually are. Performing sexuality in this way is restrictive, and it makes me wonder what the world would look like if we were all allowed to just live, free of labels and stereotypes, in the way that David Rose does.
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