Celebrate Bisexuality Day is celebrated every year on September 23rd. It is also known as Bisexual Pride Day, Bi Visibility Day, and Bisexuality+ Day. The day recognizes bisexual history and celebrates the bisexual community.
What is Celebrate Bisexuality Day?
Celebrate Bisexuality Day was founded by BiNet USA in 1999. It was first observed at the International Lesbian and Gay Association Conference in Johannesburg, South Africa. Celebrate Bisexuality Day is the brainchild of 3 bisexual rights activists: Wendy Curry, Michael Page, and Gigi Raven Wilbur. The group chose a date in September as it was bisexual icon Freddy Mercury’s birthday month.
What is Bisexual+ Awareness Week?
GLAAD, the Bisexual Resource Center, and Still Bisexual joined with BiNet USA to create Bisexual+ Awareness Week. “Bisexual+” recognizes the broader bi+ community who use other terms to describe their orientation (pansexual, polysexual, omnisexual, fluid, queer, etc.). The week culminates with Celebrate Bisexuality Day on September 23rd. Bisexual+ Awareness Week encourages allies and bisexual+ people to educate themselves about the history and culture of bisexual+ communities.
The goals of Bisexual+ Awareness Week are to:
- promote acceptance of the bisexual+ community
- draw attention to the bisexual+ experience
- celebrate bisexual+ resiliency
- fight feelings of isolation
- create visibility for people exploring their sexuality
- meet other bisexual+ people
- become a member of the community by coming out as bisexual+
- share personal experiences
Why Is Celebrate Bisexuality Day Important?
Celebrate Bisexuality Day is important because it promotes acceptance and celebrates the resiliency of the bisexual+ community. Bisexual+ people face prejudice and marginalization from both heterosexual and LGBTQ+ communities in the form of biphobia and bisexual erasure (or bisexual invisibility). These forms of stigma often lead to mental health consequences for bisexual+ people.
What is Biphobia?
Biphobia is “aversion toward bisexuality and bisexual people as individuals. It can take the form of denial that bisexuality is a genuine sexual orientation, or of negative stereotypes about people who are bisexual (such as the beliefs that they are promiscuous or dishonest).” (Wikipedia)
Biphobia occurs when:
- denying that bisexuality is real
- asserting that bisexual+ people are not genuinely bisexual
- assuming that all bisexual+ people are in a phase and will one day “choose a side”
- believing that bisexual+ people are indecisive
- asserting that bisexual+ women are anti-feminist and reinforcing patriarchy
- misrepresenting bisexual+ people as hypersexual and intrinsically nonmonogamous
- believing that bisexuals have a higher chance of transmitting HIV and AIDS
- asserting that bisexuality is a social trend
What is Bisexual Erasure? Bisexual Invisibility?
Bisexual erasure (or bisexual invisibility) is “is the tendency to ignore, remove, falsify, or re-explain evidence of bisexuality in history, academia, the news media, and other primary sources. In its most extreme form, bisexual erasure can include the belief that bisexuality itself does not exist.” (Wikipedia)
Bisexual erasure occurs when:
- maintaining binary views of sexuality (either heterosexual or homosexual)
- referring to bisexual+ people as heterosexual when involved with people of the opposite sex and homosexual when involved with people of the same sex
- depicting bisexual+ celebrities as either gay or straight (Ani DeFranco, Lady Gaga, Madonna, Freddie Mercury)
- accepting bisexuality in women while rejecting bisexuality in men
- over-representing bisexual+ women in the media as part of the male gaze
- creating gay-straight alliances in schools rather than gender and sexuality alliances
How can I Celebrate Bisexuality Day?
Ways you can celebrate include:
- sharing your coming out as bisexual+ experience
- making treats in bisexual+ flag colours and sharing them with friends and chosen family
- telling the bisexual+ people in your life what they mean to you
- sharing educational resources on social media
- donating to organizations that support the bisexual+ community
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