Deadpool Is Pansexual, But I’m Not Excited About It

Recently Deadpool writer Gerry Duggan said this about Deadpool’s sexuality:

tumblr_inline_mx9flcNaPY1qeimwqThis was followed by:

tumblr_inline_mxaocvbhX31qeimwqAnd while I’m pleased that a character who is extremely masculine and beloved by dudebros the world over is not actually heterosexual, as a pansexual woman I’m a bit annoyed.

I’m not sure if omnisexual necessarily means the same as pansexual. I have seen some people in the pansexual community use the terms interchangeably and others outright deny that pansexuality and omnisexuality are similar. I don’t know how I feel about any of that, but it is an issue. Whatever the case, many people on Tumblr are now cheering at the idea of a pansexual Deadpool.

DP-topWhat really bothers me is what seems to be the defining characteristics of pansexual characters: sexual promiscuity and being really weird. There is never a nice, quiet girl in a committed relationship who also identifies as pansexual. No, instead it seems that most pansexual characters end up written as sexual deviants.

Other than Deadpool, very few characters are identified as being pansexual. I have heard there are maybe two other pansexual characters in comics, but I don’t know anything about them, admittedly. Regardless, they are definitely not as well known as a character like Deadpool, so I don’t feel comfortable trying to address their portrayal.

What I will discuss is the only two other characters I know to have been viewed as, if not explicitly stated to be, pansexual. I will not include Captain Jack Harkness in this because the general consensus of The Powers That Be is that he is bisexual, despite what fans may think. Honestly, even if I included Jack Harkness in this, I feel he would have many of the same problems as any other character labelled pansexual.

tumblr_lu6q97oqhJ1r61520o1_500First, there is The Todd, from Scrubs, who is generally portrayed as a dumb jock surgeon who objectifies and harasses women. As the show progresses it’s revealed that The Todd is not just into the ladies, and eventually starts to openly objectify and harass the men at Sacred Heart Hospital just like the women (though he notably still harasses men less, because I guess harassing them equally would be too weird). At first, the ladies at the hospital think The Todd is a closeted homosexual, but when it’s revealed he still likes women, people are confused (because I guess bisexuals don’t exist at the hospital). The show further illustrates that The Todd doesn’t really discriminate when it comes to attraction and seems to want to have sex with everyone, even if they aren’t stereotypically attractive. Eventually The Todd explains, “The Todd appreciates hot regardless of gender.” The Todd eventually ends up in a polyamorous bisexual relationship, which would be cool if it weren’t supposed to further show how The Todd is a sexual deviant, an already established fact about the character. He insists that everyone who comes to his apartment wear a banana hammock, and in one notable episode has sex with a female-shaped piñata. All this combined shows that The Todd is a creepy hyper-sexual deviant—and he’s pansexual.

timthumbDespite people saying The Todd is pansexual, Scrubs never really uses the term, but another TV show has. 30 Rock is a fun and often mildly nerdy sitcom about an SNL-like show. In it, one of the fake show’s stars, Jenna Maroney, is a narcissist who starts dating Paul L’astname, a cross dresser who often impersonates Jenna. Jenna realizes that by dating Paul she can date herself, so the two hook up and eventually get married. Paul may actually be the first openly pansexual character on TV. He never defines himself, but Jenna states that Paul is a “gender dysmorphic bi-genitalia pansexual.” Jenna and Paul confess that they hate anything normal and often engage in unusual fetishes likes having a dwarf sit on them, and Paul even walks Jenna when she is dressed like a dog. I don’t think I can describe how odd these two really are, so just watch their wedding scene:

In some ways Paul breaks the pansexual stereotype by being in a committed relationship instead of attempting to sleep with everyone, but he is still hypersexual and nothing about his sexuality is portrayed as normal. The whole point of the relationship between the two is to show how weird, creepy, and obsessive they both are. I’m not going to lie, I find 30 Rock and these characters hilarious, but it irks me that the first openly pansexual character on 30 Rock is portrayed this way.

And now we have Deadpool, who is described as pansexual or omnisexual solely on the basis that he is “ready and willing to do anything with a pulse.” Deadpool was already hypersexual; now he’s just another hypersexual pansexual, because that’s how all pansexuals are, right? We just want to fuck everyone, usually in ways that are odd and unconventional even to the most seasoned fetish-exploring vet. I can at least say this for Deadpool: his weirdness is not just tied to his sexuality. Unlike the other two characters I listed, Deadpool at least makes strides by not having a personality solely defined by having a “weird” sexuality. But I do take offense to the idea that Deadpool is pansexual because he wants to fuck everyone. Perhaps this could be a great move for the character—I know a lot of people have been wanting to see Deadpool as a bisexual or pansexual character for a while now, and with a decent writer this could be a great thing to explore, but right now I’m not very hopeful that Deadpool will be much more than another stereotype.


14 thoughts on “Deadpool Is Pansexual, But I’m Not Excited About It

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  2. I found this peice while looking for articles to reaffirm my idea that there is an underlying fetish-tic reason for the sudden rise in the popularity of Deadpool, especially within the realm of costumes and cosplay. Not necessarily in a sexual sense, but simply an immense appreciation for his ascetic. Anywho, that is beyond the point, I decided to respond because I believe you broach a very interesting topic concerning how one portrays alternative sexualities in any form of literature (something that interests me as a writer). I find there to be a delima when portraying peripheral genders and sexuality because on one hand the writer wants to do their part politically to portray them as realistically fleshed out beings whose lifestyles do not vastly differ from their own. However, as an author, simply by announcing a character’s sexuality you are turning them into a sexual being, and in good story telling-where all facts given are relevant-the revelation of their sexuality now has to serve to further the plot.

    The best example I can give to demonstrate my point is J.K Rowling’s revelation of Dumbledore as a homosexual character. Homosexual communuties had largely mixed feelings about Dumbledore’s sexuality because they believed Rowling’s sudden, ‘scandalous’, plot twist served only to increase her following, rather than the story’s plot. And in a sense they are right, there was no reason to unveil Dumbledore’s sexuality because he is, for all purposes of the book, a non sexual character – even if Rowling did intend for him to be homosexual from the earliest stages of her series. The sexual orrientation of many Potter characters was never made explicit unless a romance was central to the plot, and thus his homosexuality was seen as a sort of scapegoat, an easy way to seem inclusive, because it served no other purpose.

    This same logic can be applied to the quiet girl in a monogamous relationship you reference above. This character has no reason to be described as anything more than the girl that serves coffee, or the girl who misplaces the books in the library, if it doesn’t serve to further the plot. A well written story may refference that her long time girlfriend brought her flowers, but unless the writer wants to specifically orchestrate a scene where the girl explains her sexuality, mentioning it in detail makes little sense.

    So I suppose what I am trying to say is, pansexual, bisexual, homosexual, straight etc. People in any form of media do not need to be hypersexualized, BUT if you desire their sexuality to be their defining trait, then of course they are going to be. Deadpool did not become canonically pansexual because he is the type of character to sit down and have long winded discussions about the complexities of his sexuality, it’s because he demonstrated it though lust for an abundance of various types of people. Could they have given the title to a less sociopathic character? God yes. But in other instances, such as Captian Jack, if he had been and stayed happily settled down rather than flirtishly searching for companionship, how would writers have demonstrated his bisexuality? And why would have they if it never served to further a plot point? (Legit questions. Towing the fine line on how to talk about gender and sexually organically without sensationalizing or defaming is particularly hard. Id like to hear your opinion 😉 ).

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  4. A huge company like marvel is not going to change their character to please you. deadpool is a crazy perverted guy. Who happens to be queer.

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    • This is not what she says or indicates in the article. She has an issue with the sexuality being used primarily on hyper sexually active characters that want to have sex with anyone. Right now, if you didn’t know, a lot of bisexuals in real life have issues with being respected as many of them are seen as heterosexuals because of the media’s portrayals and stereotypes. This IS NOT slut shaming if you just read the article you’d know this.

      She’s only pointing out the issues with 95 percent of pansexual/bi characters being hyper sexuals and how there is never really any pansexuals to really identify with as being the average sex drive or even being in a monogamous relationship.

      Nothing is wrong with promiscuity but there is something wrong with it when a demographic in the fiction world is mostly, almost always, promiscuous. There’s no diversity and will lead to people believing that this is realistic to the real world.

      It’d be like if you were a woman and all you see is the stereotypical bimbo character almost 100 percent of the time when a woman is on screen. Eventually you’ll sit there and go “not all women are bimbos though… so why does the media portray that”. Same concept.

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  7. Deadpool is an amazing character. But yeah, it could be seen as shaming the LGBT to say that he’s pansexual and insane, caused by experiences or not. Not the point.

    Gay = evil, villain, insane. That’s what the non-deadpool fans see. Oh, and insect. His mother touched him. Evil, villain, insect, or insane. That is how pretty much how everyone who in not straight are thought about in games, Marvel and DC comics, and films. It is not intended, for the most part, but it does happen. And it is wrong, very wrong.

    I love that Deadpool is pan. I love Deadpool. And there is nothing wrong with being mentally ill. But at the same time. Really Marvel? How can people not jump to conclusions?

    All the same. He’s Deadpool, and we can’t change him. But he was not the best first choice.

  8. I think this is interesting because it’s less a matter of ‘Deadpool being pansexual isn’t great’ than it is a matter of ‘Deadpool being pansexual is fine, but we need more of a diversity of characters who display a broader range of sexualities in the media in general to sort of thin out the negative stereotypes’.

    As ladysarin noted, from a writer’s perspective, it can be a challenge to figure out how to portray a character’s sexuality without it seeming either ineffectual or over-the-top. I love Deadpool, but he’s not great representation; but I think it would have been far worse if they’d just made him heterosexual or something. Because that’s definitely not the character and so that would just be erasure instead.

    In the end it’s less a matter of who/what Deadpool is than a matter of there being so little representation for pansexuality in the media at the moment that it’s frustrating to realize the lack of diversity in what is already a tiny selection of offerings.

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