The day Janelle Monáe came out as pansexual after the release of her highly anticipated album, “Dirty Computer” was the day a resounding call into the void that is the internet echoed with a simple question: “what is pansexuality?”
Many of us now know what is means to be pansexual, whether it be before or after Monáe brought it into the mainstream of Rolling Stones’s pages. Pansexuality is an identity beyond the more simple, even restrictive label of bisexuality. Pansexuals simply like everyone, regardless of gender expression or lack thereof. Ask Donald Glover’s character Lando in Star Wars if he’s down to have sex with an android to confirm this theory.
With more representation in popular culture, various queer identities have also been brought forth in genres we’d least expect in TV and film--epic, landscaped, costumed and perfumed-to-cover-the-dysentery-stench period pieces. This isn’t just Keira Knightley’s domain anymore.
But more importantly, pansexual and bisexual characters are being added into time periods and storylines that they have long been excluded from. Not only are these pan heroes being added as vital supporting or main characters, but are also opening up a dialogue about sexuality that we need right now.
Some of our favorite pansexual characters are popping up with their wigs askew from fucking anyone they feel like that day, and we are so here for it. The other straight characters are shook, jealous, confused and turned on, and honey, we can tell.
Narcos: Mexico - Falcón
Critics and audiences were excited when a queer character, Pacho, showed up in the original Narcos installment because it’s hard to pull off inserting any queer characters into mob or cartel based shows due to the homophobic nature of the gangster genre itself. We shouldn’t even have to bring up The Sopranos here. Pacho used his queerness as a power play, daring anyone to say or do anything about it, knowing that anyone who knew him would be scared shitless.
Narcos: Mexico took queer representation a step further with the addition of Falcón, who is bringing scary pansexual fire to his hot tub as well as a very off-putting 80’s haircut. It’s clear Falcón gives exactly zero fucks about living an openly pan lifestyle, and likely a poly one from the looks of his mansion and guest list therein. There is something hot about queer gangster characters, as psychotic as they are.
Honorable subtly queer mention: When Falcón tells Diego Luna’s character, Miguel, that he has “a lot of work ahead of him,” lightly touches his face and lets his fingers linger. Miguel knew what was up, and if you ask me, low key liked it.
Outlander - Lord John Grey
*Please don’t read on if you can’t handle spoilers*
Outlander, though it is one of the guiltiest of TV pleasures, has definitely had the most problematic deeply closeted character in the form of Jack Randall (jury’s still out on Thomas Barrow in Downton Abbey, though a lot of his supposed sociopathy probably came from self-loathing and loneliness, so we’ll give him a pass).
This dude not only violently raped our precious Jamie Fraser, but also had the gall to attempt to rape a young Fergus and Claire, though he couldn’t get it up to complete the latter act. Just when we thought all queer hope was lost, our friendly pansexual angel, Lord John Grey, shows up in the beautiful form of David Berry. Grey falls in love with Jamie because who hasn’t at this point, but respects that Jamie will forever be straight and even raises Jamie’s child as his own. We stan.
When Claire and Jamie’s daughter gets in deep shit (Can y’all quit with the rapes?) and is about to have a baby out of wedlock, enter Lord John Grey and his ice blue eyes to save the day and marry Brianna so she won’t be sold to the first suitor who’d take her. I would marry Grey, you would marry Grey, everyone would marry Grey.
Honorable hot af queer mention: When Brianna eludes to the fact that Grey couldn’t perform his husbandly duties with his wife who’d died because he’s gay, Grey takes that as a personal attack and reassures Brianna that he sleeps with men and women. My underwear disintegrated when he looks right at her as he says it.
Game of Thrones - Oberyn Martell and Yara Greyjoy
*If you haven’t watched this show already, I can’t help you. So, spoilers.*
HBO’s Magnum Opus, Game of Thrones, is about to return for its final season of all things sex, death, and war, and so far the series has been rife with dubious examples of sexual relationships, incest, rapes, and sexual violence, and we could probably talk about that for hours, so we won’t.
One thing about Game of Thrones we don’t talk about enough is that it has brought the gays to Westeros and to a worldwide audience. The queer characters in Game of Thrones enjoy sex for sure, but it isn’t just about power like we’ve seen in The Favourite--the pansexual romp that includes female powerhouses (and now oscar noms) Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz, and Emma Stone--but most definitely about pleasure.
Oberyn Martell, may he rest in peace, openly brags about the pansexual, poly conquests and orgies he’s had with his wife in their sex pad (no wonder he married a “commoner” if they’re getting that down). Yara Greyjoy, who exemplifies female BDE, also alludes to the fact that she sleeps with men and women, while simultaneously commanding her own fleet of ships.
Honorable cute queer mention: When Yara meets Daenerys for the first time in Season 7 and is very clearly flirting with her, while Daenerys is very clearly loving it.
Seeing this pansexual representation warms my heart and also kind of turns me on. There’s a lot more to take off in a period piece sex scene, but the anticipation is probably the hottest part. If nothing else, we’ll leave you with this: in the least likely of places, the pansexuals will conquer.
Dakota is a poet, journalist, and right in the damn center of the Kinsey scale. Follow her on Twitter: @Likethestates.