May 24 is Pansexual Awareness Day, so you know what that means?
Happy Pansexual Awareness Day!
Pansexuality is the sexual, romantic, or emotional attraction towards people of all genders, or regardless of their sex or gender identity. Yet for such a simple definition, the application of the word is what often trips many folks up!
Many pansexuals explain their sexuality as “gender-blind”, ie not letting a person’s sex or gender determine their attraction towards that person. Some include pansexuality as it’s own sexual identity; others will include it as a branch of bisexuality, taking the approach that the term bisexuality does not factor in the fact that gender is separate from one’s sex. Another term used is omnisexual. With regards to pronouns, pansexual folks may use gendered pronouns such as he/him or she/her. Or they may use neutral pronouns like they/them.
However, the important thing to remember about anyone who identifies as pansexual (or ANY other gender identity!) is that it is up to the individual to determine THEIR gender – and which pronouns they prefer!
However, pansexual representation in queer cinema is still lacking overall!
While I have not yet reviewed a pansexual film or series, I have actually seen a few – and am familiar with even more! In comparison to my list of 5 Agender Films, there is a larger representation of pansexual characters both in film and in TV series. I’ve compiled this list of 10 Pansexual Films for Pansexual Awareness Day because it’s important to identify pansexual representation – that’s one of the key points of Pansexual Awareness Day itself!
However, while some of the pansexual films and series below obviously include pansexual characters, there are a couple that are not quite as clear. One of the problems with pansexual representation in film is that it can look like a heterosexual or even gay/lesbian representation – especially if we do not see them in a relationship with more than one other person.
Sometimes the characters state their sexuality as pansexual; other times it’s talked about AFTER the film is released either by the writers or even the actors. Some claim this is a “queer retcon”… while others remark that if pansexual characteristics were made obvious, the film wouldn’t have as wide of a reach. (Disney – I’m looking at you with your queer-baiting and refusal to confirm or even deny rumors!) While there are a few entries on this list that you need to consider for yourself it it’s pansexual or not, there are plenty of obvious pansexual films, characters, and series!
So peruse through this list and learn about a new film that features pansexual character. And don’t forget, let me know what you think about these films in the comments below!
10 Pansexual Films to Watch for Pansexual Awareness Day
Two high school enemies, uber-jock Harry and out-and-proud Sam, are forced to share a car ride to their Missouri hometown for a friend’s engagement party on Valentine’s Day. Things take a turn when Sam learns Harry has come out.
It took me a while to finally sit down and watch “The Thing About Harry”. In fact, it was AFTER I published this blog post. And I’m kicking myself for not watching this queer pansexual film sooner – it’s simple adorable! Sure, despite Harry being pan and having relationships with both men and women, the love story at the heart of the film is still between two men. Both Harry and Sam are cute and adorable to watch, each with their little quirks that make them perfect for each other in the end. Sure, this queer film cannot simple make it easy for these two guys to end up together and there’s a point where it actually seems like they won’t end up together. But the ending will absolutely tug at your heartstrings! If you haven’t seen “The Thing About Harry” yet, then do so ASAP!
Socially awkward high school student Otis may not have much experience in the lovemaking department, but he gets good guidance on the topic in his personal sex ed course — living with mom Jean, who is a sex therapist. Being surrounded by manuals, videos and tediously open conversations about sex, Otis has become a reluctant expert on the subject. When his classmates learn about his home life, Otis decides to use his insider knowledge to improve his status at school, so he teams with whip-smart bad girl Maeve to set up an underground sex therapy clinic to deal with their classmates’ problems. But through his analysis of teenage sexuality, Otis realizes that he may need some therapy of his own.
“Sex Education” is a Netflix series that I’ve enjoyed from the start, for many reasons! However, the reason that it belongs on this list of pansexual films & series is because of one character: Ola Nyman, played by Patricia Allison. While initially caught up in the tensions between Maeve and Otis, and even dating Otis for a bit, Ola really comes to life during season three when she falls for Lily. There’s no doubt that her character is pansexual, however it’s how Trish describes Ola in an interview that really draws attention to how well she represents pansexuality. She states: “Ola is just the kind of character to me that you could never really put in a box. She really is the definition of pansexual, she will go based on the personality and who makes a laugh, and who catches her eye in that sparkly way”. With more than plenty of laughs, and a few bits of drama, I strongly encourage watching “Sex Education”. But having a pansexual character as part of the ensemble cast makes it even more queer!
Watch “Sex Education” on Netflix.
Rhiannon (Angourie Rice), a 16-year old girl who falls in love with a mysterious soul named “A” who inhabits a different body every day. Feeling an unmatched connection, Rhiannon and A work each day to find each other, not knowing what or who the next day will bring. The more the two fall in love, the more the realities of loving someone who is a different person every 24 hours takes a toll, leaving Rhiannon and “A” to face the hardest decision either has ever had to make.
I’m rather intrigued by “Every Day”, a film based on a 2012 novel of the same name by David Levithan. While neither the film nor the novel uses the term “pansexual”, it’s quite clear that “Rhianon” IS a pansexual. This is due to her ability to fall in love with every daily iteration, gender, and sexuality of “A”. I likely would not have discovered this film were I not searching for pansexual films, but “Every Day” is a film I am eager to watch.
When filthy-rich video store magnate Johnny Rose and his family suddenly find themselves broke, they are forced to leave their pampered lives to regroup and rebuild their empire from within the rural city limits of their only remaining asset – Schitt’s Creek, an armpit of a town they once bought as a joke.
This Emmy-winning Netflix series has won over the hearts of many viewers, especially the queer community. And the key reason for that is David. While the entire premise the Rose family find themselves in is hysterical and the font for much of the comedy and important life lessons, David’s personal journey is our focus. Rather early on, David finds himself explaining his sexuality to Stevie, who had assumed David was heterosexual. “I like the wine not the label” – one of the best representations of pansexuality on this list! Later on in the series, David even helps his future husband-to-be, Patrick, in understanding his own sexuality. Dan Levy, who helped create “Schitt’s Creek” and portrays beloved David, has stated that the reason he took this approach with David’s sexuality is because he had never really seen pansexuality represented onscreen before. As if you needed another reason to watch this amazing show!
This is the origin story of former Special Forces operative turned mercenary Wade Wilson, who after being subjected to a rogue experiment that leaves him with accelerated healing powers, adopts the alter ego Deadpool. Armed with his new abilities and a dark, twisted sense of humor, Deadpool hunts down the man who nearly destroyed his life.
“Deadpool” is another enigma. Those who are fans of the Deadpool comics will know that there is no doubt that Deadpool is pansexual, the film adaption is not so clear. Not only is he in an apparently heterosexual relationship with a woman, any remarks regarding pansexual attributes are played off for comedic value. In some ways, it could almost be a mockery; taking the stance “Deadpool will have sex with anything that moves”. Some critics have remarked that if this is part of an effort to depict Deadpool as pansexual, it’s not a positive representation. It’s been a while since I watched “Deadpool” so I cannot attest one way or the other. But we cannot ignore the fact that in comics, it’s quite clear that Deadpool IS pansexual.
On one day in 1989, 43 infants are inexplicably born to random, unconnected women who showed no signs of pregnancy the day before. Seven are adopted by billionaire industrialist Sir Reginald Hargreeves, who creates the Umbrella Academy and prepares his “children” to save the world. In their teenage years, though, the family fractures and the team disbands. Fast forward to the present time, when the six surviving members of the clan reunite upon the news of Hargreeves’ passing. They work together to solve a mystery surrounding their father’s death, but divergent personalities and abilities again pull the estranged family apart, and a global apocalypse is another imminent threat. The series is based on a collection of comics and graphic novels created and written by My Chemical Romance lead singer Gerard Way.
I’ll confess that I have seen some episodes of “The Umbrella Academy”, but started midway through the first season and didn’t keep up. But it’s Klaus Hargreeves, one of Hargreeves adopted family, that places this Netflix series on my list. Throughout the series, it’s quite clear that Klaus is non-binary, using the pronouns he/they. Yet it’s actually actor Robert Sheehan who has confirmed that Klaus is specifically pansexual – even though this is not explicitly clear in the original source comics by Gerard Way. Despite this, many have connected to Klaus’ genderfluid wardrobe and their journey of self-discovery throughout the series. Even though the story doesn’t always revolve around Klaus directly, “The Umbrella Academy” is still a pansexual & queer series.
A present-day idyllic kingdom where the benevolent teenage son of King Adam and Queen Belle offers a chance of redemption for the troublemaking offspring of Disney’s classic villains: Cruella De Vil (Carlos), Maleficent (Mal), the Evil Queen (Evie) and Jafar (Jay).
I have not seen “Descendants”, although the storyline is rather intriguing; I’ve enjoyed other real-life and adaptations of well known Disney characters. Yet this TV Movie holds a tentative spot on this list because the pansexual character of Mal was decided after-the-fact. At no point in the script or storyline is it shown that she is actually pansexual. Interestingly, it was during a series of questions towards Dove Cameron, the actress who portrayed Mal, when she revealed that Mal is actually pan. Disney is notorious for being vague regarding sexuality of their characters, and have even been accused of “queer-baiting” to gain audiences. However, despite the lack of obvious pansexual traits, it’s worth nothing that if Cameron viewed Mal as pan, her portrayal would have been influenced by this. Until I’ve watched “Descendants”, I’ll reserve my full judgement though.
One gunshot, one death, one moment out of time that irrevocably links eight minds in disparate parts of the world, putting them in each other’s lives, each other’s secrets, and in terrible danger. Ordinary people suddenly reborn as “Sensates.”
Netflix’s series, “Sense8” is without a doubt queer! However there’s a handful of reasons for this. To start, “Sense8” is the brainchild of Lilly Wachowski and sister Lana Wachowski, along with Michael Straczynski. Both Lilly and Lana are out trans women! As such, nearly all of the main characters in “Sense8” are gay, queer, or trans – and they all have relationships with different people throughout the series. By definition, that makes everyone pansexual. Actor Brian Smith, who plays the bisexual character of Will, remarked in an interview that Lana views them all as pansexual. While I have not seen this pansexual series, it is on my list to watch.
Watch “Sense8” on Netflix.
With the emerging demand of hyperfuel and other resources, Han Solo finds himself in the middle of a heist alongside other criminals, where they meet the likes of Chewbacca and Lando Calrissian in an adventurous situation exposing the criminal underworld.
Lando Calrissian, who’s flirting skills are quite clear from his first appearance in “Empire Strikes Back”, will flirt with just about anyone – or anything! In fact, there are quite a handful of scenes with Han that can make a viewer step back and wonder. However, his sexuality was never addressed until just before the release of “Solo: A Star Wars Story” which depicts Han Solo’s origin and run in with Lando & the Millennium Falcon. But even then, it was still merely a rumor. Even though the film’s co-writer, Jonathan Kasdan, came out and noted that in his eyes, Lando IS pansexual, we have yet to be granted a solid answer. However both Donald Glover and Billy Dee Wiliams have remarked how it makes sense that Lando is pansexual. Yet some critics note that in addition to adding a character’s sexuality after-the-fact, there could be some who see Lando’s promiscuous behaviour as pansexual. Until we get an answer, we’ll have to make our own decisions on Lando’s sexuality.
Rick is a mentally-unbalanced but scientifically gifted old man who has recently reconnected with his family. He spends most of his time involving his young grandson Morty in dangerous, outlandish adventures throughout space and alternate universes. Compounded with Morty’s already unstable family life, these events cause Morty much distress at home and school.
I’ll be frank – I never found the appeal for “Rick and Morty”, though I have enjoyed other similar adult animation series. However since the first season, many fans assumed that Rick was pansexual which places him as one of the oldest mainstream pansexual characters. For those who watch the TV series, it’s apparently clear that he is attracted to everyone around him. Yet at no point does he actually come out as pansexual. Thankfully, during a Comic Con panel in 2015, creator and the character’s voice actor Justin Roiland stated that Rick IS pansexual. I likely won’t get around to watching this pansexual series, but I’m sure many of you may enjoy “Rick and Morty”.
So what did you think about the 10 Pansexual Films to Watch for Pansexual Awareness Day that I’ve selected? Are some of them your favorites as well? Did I leave your favorite pansexual film or character off this list? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!
(Or you could Pin your favorite pansexual film to your Pinterest account to save for later!)