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What is bi visibility day?
Bi Visibility Day, also known as International Celebrate Bisexuality Day, has been marked each year since 1999 to highlight biphobia in both the straight and wider LGBT+ community.
Bi Visibility Day also marks the beginning of #BiWeek – Bisexual Awareness Week, which runs from 23rd September to the 30th. Individuals and organisations have added the month of September as Bi Visibility Month to #BiVisibilityDay and #BiVisibilityWeek.
What is bisexuality?
Bisexuality is when someone experiences attraction to two genders, most commonly male and female genders. It is often separated from pansexuality, where someone experiences sexual attraction to all genders, including non-binary genders. These differ again from polysexuality, where one experiences sexual attraction to multiple but not all genders.
Why does this matter?
Many bisexual people experience prejudice from people in both the LGBT+ community and the straight community, and there is a huge stigma around bisexuality. Many people are also just assumed to be gay or straight depending on with whom they are in a relationship, but this is binary and can hurt people struggling with their identity. The goals of Bisexuality Awareness Week include accelerating acceptance of the community with a degree of separation from lesbian and gay communities and history, and drawing attention to the experiences of the community. It can also be an opportunity for bisexual individuals to help fight isolation through this endeavour for visibility.
Below is a personal statement from a bi individual. Names have been changed to protect identities.
I want some day for people get that it’s a separate identity from gay or straight and it’s not a mixture of both and that you’re not just gay if you’re in a gay relationship or straight if you’re in a straight relationship – and you’re not more likely to have an affair.
It’s a label that carries a lot of assumptions and in some ways it’s harder to admit to being bisexual – people just think you’re a swinger, or you’re just desperate or confused. Many also just assume that if you’re bi – especially a bi woman, you’ll be up for sleeping with a couple and having a threesome: people tend to fetishize the sexuality. There’s also a lot of biphobia from gay and straight people, saying you’re “not truly gay”, or you’re “faking being gay to get attention”.
Bi visibility to me means less fetishizing of my sexuality, and more representation in the media. Many movies and TV shows now do include gay couples, albeit with it ending badly, but bisexuality is rarely represented properly – and if it is, it’s often the “slut” who will sleep with anyone. Many women turn me down or break up with me purely for being bi – they don’t want to be with a women who’s “been infected by men”.
If you want a chat or some support with regards to your sexual identity and/or your gender identity, please get in contact with our SPACE team 🙂