By working closely with teens, I often find myself discovering the newest trends, the latest beliefs and the most common behaviors. Their way of life is so different than when I was in high school (which was NOT that long ago) and while I talk to them, I often hear me “dating” myself.
The latest movement is being “Pansexual.” I first started hearing a lot of this term last year when I had a few clients loosely throwing the word around. One day, a teenage girl that I had been counseling for a while told me that her and her long time boyfriend had broken up and she was now talking to this girl named…”Susie” or whatever her name was. I responded with, “Susie? I didn’t realize you were a lesbian.” To which she responded, “I’m not.” And then we stared blankly at each other. I waited for a while and then said, “Oh, I’m sorry…bisexual?” To which she responded, “Nope!” So jokingly (while totally serious) I said, “So…how would you classify your sexual orientation?” She responded that she didn’t want to be labeled anything, but if she had to be, then she would be considered pansexual. At this point, I was so confused because I thought liking men and women meant you were bisexual. She went on to explain that it’s not just guys and girls, but it’s “anyone…” transgendered, androgynous and “gender neutral.” (The word pansexual comes from the Greek prefix pan-, which translated means “all”).
This generation of adolescents (or at least many of them) has taken such a different approach to “acceptance” than their predecessors. While my generation has become more accepting of the gay population, it is something that was still pretty taboo, especially in high school. And a lot of the older generations shunned it all together. However, this is not an article about straight or gay and right or wrong, but more about how the Millennials (the name for this generation) have taken their idea of acceptance and just added to their own identity confusion.
One of the biggest challenges I see, as a counselor, is teens coming in with low self-esteem, high anxiety, eating disorders, and self-harming behaviors. While the root issues vary for each client, the common thread amongst these teens is that they have no sense of self; therefore, it is impossible to have self-esteem. They don’t know who they are in any sense of the word, even in their own gender. Now, I am not expecting my female clients to walk in wearing only pink dresses with pretty little bows, or all my male clients to be star football players; but, gender roles and gender identity is an important part of understanding one’s own identity…whatever that may look like for an individual. Teens are unable to even identify what they like in others; thus, making it impossible to find what they like in themselves.
I pride myself as a counselor in helping teens figure out who they are…and then in turn loving who they are. If you have a teen who is struggling with sexual issues, identity issues or low self-esteem, then call Pansexual Orlando Counseling with Life Counseling Solutions at 407-622-1770 to schedule a free Pansexual Orlando Counseling consultation or to schedule an appointment today!
About The Author: DeAnn understands hurt that others may experience throughout life and has a genuine empathy to help her clients heal and grow. She believes that everyone is capable of change. DeAnn walks alongside of her clients to help them become the healthiest person possible. Read more about her…