Bella Thorne identifies as pansexual, but what does that mean?

Bella Thorne has revealed she identifies as pansexual [Photo: Getty]

Bella Thorne has come out as pansexual after recently discovering what the term actually means.

The 21-year-old former Disney child star had previously identified as bisexual but told ‘Good Morning America’ that after finding out about pansexuality, which does not consider sex or gender, she has had a self realisation.

“I’m actually pansexual and I didn’t know that,” she explained. “Somebody explained to me really thoroughly what that is.

“You like beings. You like what you like. Doesn’t have to be a girl or a guy or a he or she or they or this or that. It’s literally you like personality.

“You just like a being.”

The ‘Shake It Up’ star is currently in a relationship with Italian pop singer Benjamin Mascolo, but was previously in a polyamorous relationship with YouTuber Tana Mongeau and American rapper Mod Sun.

READ MORE: Former Disney star pens powerful essay about her sexuality

What does being pansexual mean?

The word ‘pansexual’ is derived from the Greek prefix pan, meaning “all”.

According to Urban Dictionary a pansexual is “one who can love sexuality in many forms. Like bisexuality, but even more fluid, a pansexual person can love not only the traditional male and female genders, but also transgendered, androgynous, and gender fluid people.”

Unsurprisingly, people sometimes mistake pansexuality with bisexuality although the two are actually different.

“While being bisexual means being attracted to more than one gender, being pansexual means being attracted to all gender identities, or attracted to people regardless of gender,” GLAAD, an organisation supporting LGBTQ+ representation in the media, explains.

Bella Thorne isn’t the only celebrity who has opened up about being pansexual.

Earlier this month plus-size model Tess Holliday revealed she now identifies as pansexual.

The 33-year-old explained in an interview with NYLON magazine that she’s spent time reflecting on her sexuality and would consider a relationship with a woman, if she wasn’t happily married to husband Nick - who she wed in 2015.

READ MORE: Willow Smith, 18, says she is open to having a bisexual, polyamorous relationship

Earlier this month Tess Holliday also revealed she was pansexual [Photo: Getty]

Janelle Monae and Miley Cyrus have both previously admitted to being pansexual.

Cyrus said that she first discovered her sexual identity “when I figured out what it was.”

“I went to the LGBTQ centre here in L.A., and I started hearing these stories,” she told Variety. “I saw one human in particular who didn’t identify as male or female. Looking at them, they were both: beautiful and sexy and tough but vulnerable and feminine but masculine. And I related to that person more than I related to anyone in my life.”

“Once I understood my gender more, which was unassigned, then I understood my sexuality more,” she continued. “I was like, ‘Oh — that’s why I don’t feel straight and I don’t feel gay. It’s because I’m not.'”

In an interview with Rolling Stone, Monáe opened up about her sexuality, revealing that though she initially thought she identified as bisexual she has now settled on the more inclusive pansexual.

“I read about pansexuality​ ​and was like, ‘Oh, these are things that​ ​I identify with too,’” she told Rolling Stone. “I’m open to learning​ ​more about who I am.”

She didn’t elaborate about what being pansexual means to her but said she hopes opening up might help anyone struggling with their own sexuality.

“I want young girls, young boys, nonbinary, gay, straight, queer people who are having a hard time dealing with their sexuality, dealing with feeling ostracised or bullied for just being their unique selves, to know that I see you,” she said.

“This album is for you. Be proud.”