Pansexuality can be defined as not limiting one’s attraction based on another person’s biological sex or gender. Junior Maddie Steinberg has found comfort in this term to describe her sexuality. Steinberg has publicly embraced herself as pansexual ever since she came out last year.
Steinberg first came out to her father casually in a spontaneous conversation. “I came out to my dad kind of jokingly,” Steinberg said. Steinberg decided to come out to her father during a discussion about her love for people in plaid. According to Steinberg, her father observed that she was into “the lumberjack kind of guy.” She corrected him by saying, “No, girls too.”
After this quick comment, she told her dad not to tell her mom because Steinberg wanted to reveal the news in her own way. “I wanted to tell her a joke too,” Steinberg said.
One afternoon, Steinberg was sitting on her bed when her mother came in to talk. Steinberg’s mother had heard about her possibly being gay and asked if it were true. “Okay, I am not coming out of the closet,” Steinberg said. “I am coming out of the Kitchen Closet because I’m pan.”
Her witty response received a burst of laughter from her mom. After breaking the ice between her parents, not much changed according to Steinberg. “It was pretty great,” Steinberg said. “My parents are very supportive.”
When Steinberg came out publicly through a Facebook status, she still kept her joking and creative nature. “Hey fam, in case you couldn’t tell from my excessive jokes about it, I am the gay cousin,” Steinberg posted. After she came out, she received a few supportive and encouraging comments from family members who were not aware of her sexuality.
Once she came out to everyone, Steinberg found that it was easier to be more open and discuss any feelings she has for someone. “I can talk about who I am attracted to more now and if there is a girl I like,” Steinberg said.
Sexuality can be difficult to understand, but Steinberg has gained some clarity through her experience of coming out. “Sexuality is really fluid,” Steinberg said. “Honestly if you are confused, just be chill about it.”
Steinberg has seen several benefits of coming out, such as having closer relationships and feeling more open. “As long as you are comfortable with the people you are coming out to, do it.” Steinberg said. “If you know you are going to get a negative response, then don’t do it until you know you can be safe with it. Do whatever makes you happy.”