There’s one scene in the first season of “Schitt’s Creek” where Dan Levy’s character, David, reveals his sexual orientation by way of a clever conversation about wine. It helps another character, his best pal Stevie, easily understand what pansexuality means.
As it turns out, that same scene also helped the star behind Stevie, Emily Hampshire, understand it, too. But as she explained during an interview on Demi Lovato’s “4D” podcast, it took years before she realized the term applied to her as well.
In the fan-favorite scene, David and Stevie browse wines, and she informs him that she’s a red wine drinker — exclusively — and she thought he was, too. David then explains that he has broader tastes.
“I do drink red wine, but I also drink white wine," he says. "And I’ve been known to sample the occasional rosé. And a couple of summers back, I tried a merlot that used to be a chardonnay."
“He says, ultimately, he likes the wine, not the label, and that he’s pansexual,” Hampshire recalled. “I had never heard the word ‘pansexual’ before. … 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.”
In 2018, five years after filming that scene, Hampshire began dating singer-songwriter Teddy Geiger, who had come out as transgender the previous year.
“I saw on these message boards people being like, ‘Is Stevie a lesbian?’ ‘Is Emily gay?’ ‘Who’s Emily?’ Asking stuff, asking what I was,” Hampshire told Lovato. “I said to Dan, ‘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. And since then, it really doesn’t matter to me. I have to like the person. I’m really attracted to a person’s vibe.”
While Hampshire felt uncertain about her “wine label” at the time, Levy thought the answer was clear.
“He was like, ‘You’re pansexual. Don’t you watch our show?’" Hampshire quipped, earning a laugh from Lovato. In fact, in 2019, Hampshire shared the scene with her fans and followers on Instagram to celebrate Pansexual Visibility Day on May 24.
In addition to Levy, Hampshire also credits Lovato, who came out as nonbinary earlier this year, with prompting her to think “a little broader” about speaking up on gender and sexuality.
"I believe in visibility,” Hampshire said. “I know how important it is. 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 also with pronouns, my utopian world would be like, ‘We’re just human.’"