The one thing that is sort of sneered at, and not really believed, is bisexuality. Any bisexual man is just seen as a closeted gay man. That shows how narrow-minded people are.Edmund White
For all the injustices in the world and all those who struggle against systemic oppression to be accepted for who they are, there is one particular sub-sect who finds themselves struggling from a variety of angles. Their experiences are often minimized by some members of the straight community as ‘being confused’ or simply ‘closeted gay’. On the other side of things, the LGBT community often can categorize bisexuals as “undecided” or even as traitors to the LGBT community, leaving them in a particularly difficult area.
Celebrate Bisexuality Day serves to remind people that the struggles faced by bisexuals are as real and difficult as those that others in the community face. This is a great day to be reminded that every human has value, no matter what lifestyle they live.
It’s time to learn about this day!
History of Celebrate Bisexuality Day
Celebrate Bisexuality Day was established by Wendy Curry, Michael Page, and Gigi Raven Wilbur. It was first officially observed in 1999 by the International Lesbian and Gay Association Conference in Johannesburg, South Africa. The purpose was to raise awareness of the challenges faced by bisexuals all over the world who simply want to go on living their lives being treated fairly and equally.
“Ever since the Stonewall rebellion, the gay and lesbian community has grown in strength and visibility,” observed Wilbur, “The bisexual community also has grown in strength but in many ways are invisible.” It was this vision and the various experiences of marginalization and prejudice from both the straight and LGBTQ communities that inspired the founders to create this new holiday.
Since Freddy Mercury of the music sensation Queen was such an inspiration, the founders decided that his birthday would be the perfect day to establish Celebrate Bisexuality Day. This day ended up serving two purposes, the first being to establish a day that was dedicated to raising awareness of bisexuals everywhere, the second being to help reduce the prejudice faced by bisexuals and work to legitimize it as a sexual orientation. Since then it has been celebrated every year with teach-ins, poetry reading, parties, picnics, festivals, and a myriad of other awareness oriented activites.
How to Celebrate Bisexuality Day
The best way to observe Celebrate Bisexuality Day is to remember that bisexuality is a valid sexual orientation, along with all of the others. And to keep in mind that bisexuals deserve the same honor and respect as human beings, no matter their lifestyle or life choices.
Find Local Events for Celebrate Bisexuality Day
One idea might be to check out your local area and find out if any teach-ins, poetry readings, or any other gatherings are being held that you might attend and learn a little more about it. While it may seem simple on the surface, but the complexities involved with living as a bisexual are perhaps more involved than many people would imagine.
Be a Lifelong Learner
For those who have friends or family members who are bi, perhaps you might consider respectfully asking them about their personal experiences facing adversity because of their sexuality or lifestyle.
Another important way to learn is to educate oneself on the history of the Bisexual movement. For instance, consider these important facts:
- The first national bisexual contingent for the March on Washington was held in 1987 and was organzized by Liz Nania.
- According to Invisible Majority, a report released by the Movement Advancement Project, bisexuals make up more than half of the LGBTQ community, and more than 2/3 of LGBTQ parents are bisexual, https://www.lgbtmap.org/invisible-majority
- Bisexuals experience a great deal of invisibility, discrimination, societal rejection and violence that often leads to poor mental and physical health–including anxiety, mood disorders, and depression (according to the report mentioned above).
- Younger generations have more bisexuals. More than 25% of people ages 18-44 identify as neither gay, lesbian or heterosexual–compared to only 7-8% of older generations.
Educate Someone Else
Helping others gain the respect they deserve is a lifelong effort! Even those who are not bisexual can still spend time standing up for those who are marginalized. Whether adding a supportive comment to a personal conversation or publicly advocating during BiWeek, living a lifestyle that is opened minded and stands up for others is a noble purpose.
Fly a Bisexual Flag
Created in 1998 by Michael Page, the bi pride flag boasts the colors pink, blue and purple. Similar to the Pride flag with its rainbow colors, the Bi Pride flag only has the three colors. With bright magenta (hot pink) and royal blue stripes (consisting of 40% of the flag each) on the top and bottom (representing gay and/or straight attraction), the flag boasts a narrower purple stripe in the middle, which represents those who are bisexual.
Celebrating this week might mean hanging the flag off of the front porch, attaching a smaller version to the top of the car, fashioning a scarf out of the colors, or simply wearing pink, blue and purple on the day–just to represent support.
Celebrate Bisexuality Day is a chance to broaden the mind and learn a little bit about the struggles others in this world face. Show compassion to those who are different and learn something on this day and all throughout the year!