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Actress Emily Hampshire, best known for playing Stevie Budd on Schitt's Creek, sat down with Demi Lovato for the September 1st episode of Lovato's podcast, 4D with Demi Lovato. The pair talked pronouns, gender identity, and labeling, and Hampshire admitted that, although she identifies as pansexual, she didn't actually know what pansexuality was until she shot a specific scene for Schitt's Creek.
"We did this scene in Schitt's Creek—the wine scene where David (Dan Levy's character) explains to Stevie his sexuality through wine," Hampshire told Lovato. "And he says ultimately he likes the wine, not the label, and that he's pansexual."
"So you're just really into all wines," Stevie says in the scene. "I like the wine and not the label," David responds. Stevie says that the metaphor makes sense, though it's all very new to her—which was true for Hampshire, too, at the time.
"I had never heard the word pansexual before," Hampshire continued. "And I was also having trouble even understanding...the wine metaphor," she joked.
She continued, "I've always considered myself super knowledgeable about LGBTQ+ stuff just because everybody in my life, my friends, are all mostly LGBTQ+ people, but I didn't know this. Cut to about five years later. I was dating someone and I saw on these message boards people being like, 'Is Stevie a lesbian?' 'Is Emily gay?' 'Who's Emily?'"
Hampshire said she went to Levy for advice about how to identify. "I said to Dan, I was like, 'This is so weird. What am I?' Because I truly just fell in love with a person and where they were on the gender spectrum did not matter to me," explaining that her main attraction is to "a person's vibe."
"He was like, 'You're pansexual. Don't you watch our show?'"
She told Lovato that she sort of felt pressured to identify her sexuality as something, and pansexual made the most sense. "On one hand, I believe in that. I believe in visibility. I know how important it is," she said.
"On the other hand, my utopian world is like, 'You don't have to identify yourself as anything.' I don't have to say I'm pansexual, bisexual, anything. I get why we have to now. But even with pronouns, my utopian world would be like, 'human.'" She later admitted, "I came out because I was being asked."
Hampshire gives credit to Schitt's Creek and Levy for educating people about pansexuality and encouraging viewers to self-reflect on who they are and how they may want to identify.