Sept 23, 2021: Celebrate Bisexuality Day, Bisexual Pride Day or Bi Visibility Day is being observed annually on September 23 for over two decades now. The day aims to provide a platform to the bisexual community and their supporters and to bring global attention to the social, economic and cultural prejudices and challenges faced by bisexual people.
Celebrate Bisexuality Day: Understanding Bisexuality
There is a common misconception that the prefix “bi” in bisexual meaning that bisexual people are attracted to “both” genders. That misconception misrepresents all bi+ people as being transphobic. For this reason, “pansexual” is a non-transphobic alternative that can be used. However, while “bisexual” may have originated as attraction towards two genders, it has long since evolved.
As activist and author Robyn Ochs said, “I call myself bisexual because I acknowledge that I have in myself the potential to be attracted — romantically and/or sexually — to people of more than one sex and/or gender, not necessarily at the same time, not necessarily in the same way, and not necessarily to the same degree.”
Today, most bi+ people and organizations use the terms “bisexual” and “bi+” as all-inclusive terms for people who experience sexual and/or emotional attractions to more than one gender. Bi+ people may use many terms to describe their own sexual identities, including queer, pansexual, omnisexual, polysexual, and heteroflexible.
History of Celebrate Bisexuality Day
Three bisexual right activists in the US started the Celebrate Bisexuality Day in 1999. The main purpose of the day was to bring visibility to a community that has for long been ignored, marginalized and discriminated against. This was the first time that an observance solely for the bisexual community was instituted.
On September 18, 2012, Berkeley, California, became what is thought to be the first city in the U.S. to officially proclaim a day recognizing bisexuals. The Berkeley City Council unanimously and without discussion declared September 23 as Bisexual Pride and Bi Visibility Day.
In 2013, on Celebrate Bisexuality Day, the White House held a closed-door meeting with almost 30 bisexual advocates so they could meet with government officials and discuss issues of specific importance to the bisexual community. On September 23, 2013, in the UK, government minister for Women and Equalities Jo Swinson MP issued a statement saying in part, “I welcome Bi Visibility Day which helps to raise awareness of the issues that bisexual people can face and provides an opportunity to celebrate diversity and focus on the B in LGB&T.”
Also Read: Pride Month 2021: History, significance and all you need to know about the LGBTQ movement
Accepting one and all
● Acknowledge and accept bi+ identities as real and on bi+ people’s terms. Ask what term(s) a bi+ person uses to refer to their sexuality rather than assuming. Never ask bi+ people to “prove” their identity by stating how many people of which genders they have had sexual and/or romantic relationships with.
● Ensure all spaces, including LGBTQ+ spaces, are bi-inclusive by using inclusive language and intervening when we witness bi+ erasure, stereotypes, and biphobia. For example, if two people who appear to us to be a cisgender heterosexual couple come into an LGBTQ+ space, challenge those who assume they do not belong.
● Learn about bi+ culture, history, and people, including across race, gender, ability status, and class. It is important that we remember that bi+ people of color and bi+ trans and nonbinary people exist, as well. This also means not tokenizing a bi+ person as representative of a very diverse community.
● Support bi+ organizations by attending events, volunteering, and donating (for those of us who can).
The day aims to celebrate the bisexual community, its culture, history and norms. It is also aimed towards bringing more visibility to bisexual persons and the challenges they face in the world because of such identification. While records have shown that several cultures throughout history openly embraced bisexuality, in recent years the LGBT community and especially the bisexual community has been marginalized.