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Mary González, Texas’ First Openly Lesbian Legislator, Comes Out As Pansexual

Mary González made headlines earlier this year as Texas’ first LGBT representative, but turns out she’s neither L, G, B or T, but rather P, as in pansexual.

Dubbed by media outlets as the “Latina lesbian lawmaker,” González came out as bisexual at 21 but started dating genderqueer and transgender people a few years after that, eventually coming to define herself as pansexual,  meaning that gender doesn’t play a role in her sexual attraction to individuals.

“As I started to recognize the gender spectrum and dated along the gender spectrum, I was searching for words that connected to that reality, for words that embraced the spectrum,” González told the Dallas Voice. “At the time I didn’t feel as if the term ‘bisexual’ was encompassing of a gender spectrum that I was dating and attracted to.”

Though she personally identified as pansexual during her campaign, she chose not to reveal the fact publically, fearing it “would have overwhelmed everyone.” It was easier for González to identify as lesbian, though she faced criticism from both the mainstream media and the LGBT community for her varied romantic history.

González insists however that she has always been honest about her relationships “with men or with women or even with trans folk.” Now 29 and getting ready to serve in the House of Representatives next year, González wanted to clarify her orientation because “gender identity isn’t the defining part of [her] attraction.”

And if her coming-out costs González re-election, that’s fine with her: “I’ve never been concerned about getting elected or re-elected,” she told the Voice. “I’ve always been concerned about serving my district and my people and the state of Texas.”

Photo: VoteMaryGonzalez.com

By:           Les Fabian Brathwaite
On:           Aug 16, 2012
Tagged: , , , ,

  • 27 Comments
    • Analog
      Analog

      Good for her!

      Aug 16, 2012 at 7:59 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mark
      Mark

      I wonder if the day will ever come that this is NOT news; being gay, lesbian, bi, trans, asexual and now pan – sheesh – there are so many more things that are of importance. But I know it’s the times we’re in but still, being gay is only a small small piece of who I am.

      Aug 16, 2012 at 8:17 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Spike
      Spike

      “…define herself as pansexual, meaning that gender doesn’t play a role in her sexual attraction to individuals.

      Seriously? Sounds like a very confused female looking for attention. Just a matter of time before she says she was molested when she was a child and in fact she is str8t. Spare us.

      Aug 16, 2012 at 9:19 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mr. Enemabag Jones
      Mr. Enemabag Jones

      @Spike:

      Yep. In a few years, she’ll be married to a “good” Christian man and gushing about her children.

      Aug 16, 2012 at 9:33 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Timmeeeyyy!!!
      Timmeeeyyy!!!

      @Spike: @Spike:
      “Sounds like a very confused female looking for attention.”

      That statement is identical to what many homophobes say about gays and lesbians.

      Aug 16, 2012 at 11:04 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • anoutherday
      anoutherday

      @Mr. Enemabag Jones:
      What of it? What if she does get married to a man, settles down and makes babies? Does that in some way invalidate you?

      Leave her alone. She has displayed some serious strength in comeing out as Pansexual.

      Aug 16, 2012 at 11:08 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Timmeeeyyy!!!
      Timmeeeyyy!!!

      @Mr. Enemabag Jones:
      Right. Because you, a Queerty commenter, know more about her sexuality, identity and attractions than she ever could.

      How do you make a case to homophobes that human sexuality is more diverse than they think, when you are not willing to recognize sexual diversity in others?

      Aug 16, 2012 at 11:09 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Spike
      Spike

      @Timmeeeyyy!!!: Gotcha, so in other words we can look forward to Pride Parades that reflect the LGBTPOMDRQ Communities? What fun that will be.

      BTW, when I came out, to my family, friends . . . it never was nor is for ‘attention’, and your claim that homophobes claim as such, please provide links to back up your claim.

      Aug 16, 2012 at 11:37 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mr. Enemabag Jones
      Mr. Enemabag Jones

      @anoutherday:

      All that will do is create ammo for the sexuality can be changed crowd.

      Aug 16, 2012 at 11:53 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mr. Enemabag Jones
      Mr. Enemabag Jones

      @Timmeeeyyy!!!:

      I know that when someone starts off as a lesbian, claims to be bisexual, then goes through the myriad of queer letters, eventually goes back to being a straight woman.

      Aug 16, 2012 at 11:55 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Timmmeeeyyy
      Timmmeeeyyy

      @Spike:
      Yes, our Pride Parades are becoming more diverse. Over the past 10 years, our local parade has grown from a 15 minute procession to 40 minute parade which this year included high school groups, over a dozen churches, ethnic groups, sports leagues, groups for men, women, bisexuals, trans people, unions, most of our city council and even the mayor. The parade is now followed by a 5 hour public festival with over 6,000 in attendance. The umbrella has gotten larger.

      Regarding your comment “Sounds like a very confused female looking for attention.” Are you telling me you’ve never heard of parents and churches telling LGBT kids they are just confused, going through a phase, or being rebellious?

      Aug 16, 2012 at 12:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Scribe37
      Scribe37

      @Timmmeeeyyy: Thanks for having some common sense. Sexuality can be complicated for some people. Make me laugh, be a good decent person and I won’t give a care how you chose to define yourself.

      Aug 16, 2012 at 2:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • realgay
      realgay

      You know she is going to end up with a guy and kids.

      Aug 16, 2012 at 3:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Spike
      Spike

      @Timmmeeeyyy: Really? There was an 18 wheeler WALMART truck in the one Pride Parade that I went to this year. Nothing SCREAMS LGBTXYZ Pride like Walmart!

      I’ll look forward to you follow up comment when it comes out that she’s gotten married, had to kids, a devout follower of Jesus and admits that she was ‘confused’ when she was young and promiscuous.

      Aug 16, 2012 at 4:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jj
      jj

      I agree. This is someone looking for a book deal. That is all.

      Aug 16, 2012 at 4:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Max the Communist
      Max the Communist

      Wow. Way to bring the hate, guys.

      And if she married Chaz Bono, what would you say?

      If you are so terrified of fluid sexuality that you can’t stand anyone having a queer identity other that gay or lesbian, I’d say that our enemies have you right where they want you.

      Mary’s doing the right thing. More power to her.

      Aug 16, 2012 at 11:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • skeloric
      skeloric

      I wish the GLBT community would quit reinforcing the very discrimination we are supposedly fighting AGAINST. We have to accept that ALL who do not stringently adhere to the Conservative view of gender and sexuality and our straight ALLIES have a home under our flag EXACTLY AS THEY ARE. Why is this difficult? Why are we becoming enough of an “establishment” to begin inflicting discrimination ourselves? So many rail against the perceived absence of the NAACP support for GLBT issues, yet forget they should probably support GLBT issues as well — The “G/L” need to lead by example by actually educating themselves on the Bisexual/Pansexual and Transgender issues and supporting them. The “B/T” got added as letters, without the “G/L” ever DOING anything more. It is time to start getting educated. Time to stop the bullsh*t discriminatory language. Time to lead America by EXAMPLE. How can we prove that we DESERVE rights if we are not willing to accept that the “B/T” DESERVE rights?

      Aug 17, 2012 at 12:19 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • GeriHew
      GeriHew

      I don’t wish to be mean, but if she really campaigned as a lesbian rather than as a bisexual woman when she personally identified as pansexual, then I’m afraid that just confirms my suspicion that people who say they are pansexual are usually just bi people trying to avoid the stigma of identifying as bisexual.

      Currently the most widely accepted definition of “a lesbian” is “a homosexual woman.” This means “lesbian” is essentially a monosexual identity.

      The most widely known and understood non-monosexual identity is “bisexual.” So if she campaigned as a lesbian instead of as a bisexual woman, she concealed her non-monosexual identity behind a monosexual identity. And with the best will in the world that was fundamentally dishonest.

      She should’ve campaigned as a bisexual woman if she felt campaigning as a pansexual woman was too confusing for most people to understand: even if it meant she may have stood less chance of being elected.

      Aug 17, 2012 at 8:05 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Analog
      Analog

      @Max the Communist: Finally a non-moronic comment devoid of utterly devoid of depressing small mindedness and intellectual conservatism.
      Pansexuals exist.
      As do asexuals.
      You may not meet any of them in your tiny cliques, but those cliques aren’t the world.

      I don;t wish to sound patronising, but it’s difficult to talk at the level of the majority of commenters here without seeming so.
      Bisexuality is when one is attracted to both genders – gay men are attracted to MEN, gay women are attracted to women, and therefore ALL the common attributes which defines those gender are primarily what they’re attracted to.
      Bisexuals are attracted to men and women, and therefore ALL the common attributes which defines either gender.
      Pansexuals are not primarily attracted to those gender attributes – they’re primarily attracted to individuals, reagrless of those attributes.

      I realise pansexuality and asexuality is almost incomprehensible to people who hold this binary conception of sexuality and how gender plays a primary role.
      But your narrow experiences do not represent the whole world or the wide variety of individual sexuality.

      If you don;t undertand it, fine. But don’t stretch your ignorance to a total dismissal of the existence of others who don’t fit in with your limited experience of the circles you move in.
      Ultimately, it just reflects badly on you.

      Aug 17, 2012 at 10:23 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • GeriHew
      GeriHew

      @Analog: Re “Bisexuality is when one is attracted to both genders –”

      “Both genders” ? Huh?

      That’s a very binary view of gender you’re displaying there. What about all the other genders?

      Here, read this please:
      http://rainbowgenderpunk.wordpress.com/2012/02/05/stuff-pansexuals-need-to-know/

      Thanxxx.

      Aug 17, 2012 at 3:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Analog
      Analog

      @GeriHew: I think the “binary view” of genders is intrinsic to anyone who claims to be “BIsexual” – the clue’s kind of in the name.
      Just a thought :)

      Aug 17, 2012 at 3:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Analog
      Analog

      @GeriHew: Here, read this please:
      http://rainbowgenderpunk.wordpress.com/2012/02/05/stuff-pansexuals-need-to-know/

      No offense, but I got bored after a few paragraphs. :)
      For most people – gay or straight – attraction is very simple and will fall along a binary view of gender. I understand there are people who don;t identify inside that binary view, but my point was related to pansexuals and bisexuals – the former aren;t primarily attracted to gender and the later are attracted to either gender and most will hold a binary view of gender.
      Your points while interesting are irrelevant to the point I made and the discussion at hand.
      Sorry x

      Aug 17, 2012 at 3:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • GeriHew
      GeriHew

      @Analog: Re: “I think the “binary view” of genders is intrinsic to anyone who claims to be “BIsexual” – the clue’s kind of in the name.
      Just a thought :)”

      Nope, not to me. Because “sex” and “gender” don’t mean the same thing.

      In humans there are two primary sexes – male and female. And then there are multiple genders. That’s how I see it.

      Aug 17, 2012 at 7:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • GeriHew
      GeriHew

      @Analog: Re: “No offense, but I got bored after a few paragraphs. :)”

      No offense taken. I didn’t write that stuff.

      I think the person who did has some very good points to make however. People who identify as pansexual often display a tendency to misrepresent bisexuality, transsexualism, transgender and intersex. For example coming out with statements like:

      “Pansexual individuals are attracted to men, women, transgender, transsexual and intersex individuals, bisexual individuals are only attracted to their same sex or the opposite sex.”

      which is not only a gross misrepresentation of bisexual people (most bi people are perfectly capable of feeling attraction to trans and intersex individuals) it also ignores the fact that many trans and intersex people do in fact identify very strongly with being either male or female.

      And regarding Intersexuality in particular: the notion that someone would have to be pansexual (or indeed bisexual) in order to fall in love with a man who has de la Chapelle syndrome (2 xx chromosomes) or a woman with Androgen insensitivity syndrome is utterly absurd.

      Aug 17, 2012 at 7:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Devyn
      Devyn

      @GeriHew:

      Excellent points, I have seen a lot of pansexual people trying to pretend they super accepting and inclusive because they are attracted to trans* people when it’s ridiculously transphobic to portray trans men and trans women as anything other then how they identify. The only reason I say I’m pansexual is because I’m also attracted to those outside the gender binary (like myself).

      Aug 19, 2012 at 2:42 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • GeriHew
      GeriHew

      @Max the Communist: Jennifer Elia, Chaz Bono’s ex girlfriend, has always identified herself as bisexual.

      http://www.afterellen.com/people/an-interview-with-jennifer-elia

      Aug 19, 2012 at 4:43 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • GeriHew
      GeriHew

      @GeriHew: Apparently Gonzalez originally ID’d as queer when she campaigned. This, it seems, confused the news media, so,then she ID’d as gay.

      “Gonzalez initially identified as queer, which apparently proved confusing to a news media that’s way behind the times on sexuality and gender. So she started using the word gay, which led to her being labeled as a lesbian. And then there was policing of her sexuality for not being a “true lesbian” because she’d dated men in the past. At that point, Gonzalez felt the election had focused on her sexuality enough already, with the media labeling her the Latina lesbian lawmaker.”
      http://feministing.com/2012/08/13/mary-gonzalez-will-be-the-first-out-pansexual-elected-official-in-the-us/

      According to her interview with Gabrielle Rivera for Autostraddle she changed her bisexual identity to a pansexual identity because some transfolk she dated told her that: “By saying bisexual instead of pansexual, I was promoting a binary model of sexuality and not representing the full spectrum of who I am and the people I loved.”
      http://feministing.com/2012/08/13/mary-gonzalez-will-be-the-first-out-pansexual-elected-official-in-the-us/

      So it sounds to me like she may well have been bullied into changing her bisexual identity by transfolk who were rankled at being accused of reinforcing heteronormativity and gender binary roles by transphobic folk.

      Aug 24, 2012 at 4:29 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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