Today it is Bi Visibility Day, also known as International Celebrate Bisexuality Day. Bisexual activists started the day in 1999. It takes place every year on the 23rd of September. Bisexual people use this day to become more visible and to celebrate the bisexual community. In this article, I discuss the history of this day and why it is important.
It is not easy to define bisexuality, and perhaps it is not needed to do it properly. People should have space to define what their identity means to them. However, one definition could be that bisexuality means that one feels sexual attraction to their own and other genders. This sexual attraction can be fluid and change over time, and there are many ways to define bisexuality more complexly, but this can be a good starting point. For a more in-depth discussion about bisexuality, other resources (for example 1 2) may be helpful.
History of Bi Visibility Day
In 1999, three American bisexual rights activists decided to start Celebrate Bisexuality Day. Wendy Curry, Michael Page, and Gigi Raven Wilbur felt that bisexual people were not visible, even within the LGBT community. To try and change this, they decided to start a day to celebrate their existence. They decided to do it in September, the month of Freddie Mercury’s birthday. Gigi Raven Wilbur’s birthday was on the 23rd of September, and the three decided that day would be Celebrate Bisexuality Day.
Since 1999, people have celebrated the day yearly. Over the years, it spread from the United States of America to countries all over the world. Although it was started as Celebrate Bisexuality Day, the name Bi Visibility Day has also become very popular. Nowadays, many LGBTQI+ associations across the world organize events to mark the day. In Greece, for example, the association Bi Sparkle is organizing a lunch in Athens.
So why is it important to give some attention to this day? There are various reasons. For example, bisexual people are, as mentioned, often not visible in society. The sexuality we are assumed to have depends on who we are dating, and this can be harmful to our personal perception of our identities. A study from the US that was published in 2017 found that bisexual people were at a higher risk for mental health problems compared to heterosexual, gay and lesbian people. This was thought to be because of double discrimination, both from heterosexual and from lesbian and gay communities. Because of this double discrimination, increased visibility can be a valuable way to make bisexual people feel more acknowledged and accepted in their societies.
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