Mary Gonzales, 28, who was believed to be the first openly lesbian state representative, befuddled many when she divulged the information in a recent interview with the Dallas Voice. Gonzales stated that she is not only “sexually-oriented” to both men and women, but also transgendered men and women. She explained that a pansexual is a person who does not believe in a “gender binary,” because “gender identity isn’t the defining part of my attraction.”
Gonzales said she kept the term in the closet while she ran for office and rather allowed people to classify her as a lesbian, but after beating out two challengers in the primaries and currently finding herself running unopposed by any Republican challengers, she wanted to clarify the matter.
“During the campaign if I had identified as pansexual, I would have overwhelmed everyone,” Gonzales stated. “Now that I’m out of the campaign, I’m completely much more able to define it.”
She advised that when she was 21 years old, she first characterized herself as a bisexual, but then changed the term to pansexual after having relationships with transgendered persons.
“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,” Gonzales explained. “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.”
Homosexuals are applauding the announcement.
“People should be able to be out on their own terms, and it’s a major problem that our political conversation doesn’t have much space for sexuality beyond straight and gay. In fact, there hasn’t been a lot of space for other sexualities in the mainstream conversation, period,” writes the site Feminsting. “Gonzalez is opening up space for other folks to come out as pansexual, and to represent more of the diversity within the queer community. This should mean that soon other folks won’t have to educate everyone about what pansexual means when they come out.”
Pro-family and Christians groups will likely release statements lamenting her appointment in the days ahead. No comments were available at press time.
Gonzales, who is from El Paso, will begin serving in the state House of Representatives in January.