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.”