First, you need to know that even if there are some overlaps between bisexuality and pansexuality, there are some differences between them. Bisexual men and women refer to those who are attracted to both males and females sexually and emotionally. They may feel very confused at the very start when they find out who they are. Some will identify themselves as straight, gay or lesbian to move on because they are widely accepted by others. But most of them will go through that part and identify themselves as bisexual eventually. Although life will become a little difficult for them when they know it is not acceptable to talk about it and when they are rejected by family members, friends, and work mates, they can be strong to get over with it. They will develop and maintain that identity and find their own community where they can seek for support from other bisexual people. Or even find more bisexual people for a relationship. It is said that most of them will have a preference for one sex over another. But they will never be attracted to other genders.
Well, pansexual people are those who are not only attracted to males and females, they can also establish a romantic relationship with those who identify as intersex, third-gender, androgynous, transsexual and other sexual or gender identities that we are unfamiliar with. Pansexuals first need to recognize the existence of different genders and sexualities so they can identify themselves to be one of them. And then they can say that they are able to be attracted to various genders. This is the main difference between bisexuality and pansexuality. We can say that pansexual people are bisexual, because they will also be attracted to both males and females. But bisexuals are not pansexual when they have no interest to those genders except for males and females.
Some people may think there are no huge differences between bisexuals and pansexual. In fact, it is wrong. They are truly different sexual orientations. But the differences become smaller and smaller because some pansexual people identify themselves as bisexual. They think it is a widely known sexual identity and can be accepted by others easily, which makes the differences become smaller for some people who don’t really have a serious understanding of both sexual identities. When people see some singles who identify themselves as bisexual actually dating someone who identifies as intersex, third-gender or transsexual, they see no difference between them. However, if we just analyze these two sexual orientations, we know that they are different and cannot be mixed up.