Celebrate Bisexuality Day

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Celebrate Bisexuality Day
A flag with a pink stripe on top, a purple stripe in the middle, and a blue stripe on the bottom. The pink and blue stripes are both equal length but the purple stripe is thinner than the other stripes.
Official nameCelebrate Bisexuality Day
Also calledBisexual Pride Day, Bi Visibility Day, CBD, Bisexual Pride and Bi Visibility Day, and Bisexuality+ Day
Observed byBisexual people along with their families, friends, allies and supporters
TypeCultural
ObservancesTeach-ins, poetry reading, concerts, festivals, parties, picnics
DateSeptember 23
FrequencyAnnual
First time1999
Related toBisexual Awareness Week, LGBT Pride

Celebrate Bisexuality Day (also called Bisexual Pride Day, Bi Visibility Day, CBD, Bisexual Pride and Bi Visibility Day, and Bisexuality+ Day) is observed annually on September 23[1] to recognize and celebrate bisexual people, the bisexual community, and the history of bisexuality.[2]

History[edit]

A precursor to the first official observance came when the oldest national bisexuality organization in the United States, BiNet USA, was founded in 1990.[3] It was originally called the North American Multicultural Bisexual Network (NAMBN) and had its first meeting at the first National Bisexual Conference in America.[4] This first conference was held in San Francisco in 1990 and sponsored by BiPOL.[3] More than 450 people attended from 20 states and 5 countries, and the mayor of San Francisco sent a proclamation "commending the bisexual rights community for its leadership in the cause of social justice," and declaring June 23, 1990, to be Bisexual Pride Day.[3]

First officially observed in 1999 at the International Lesbian and Gay Association Conference in Johannesburg, South Africa,[5] Celebrate Bisexuality Day[6] is the brainchild of three bisexual rights activists: Wendy Curry of Maine, Michael Page of Florida, and Gigi Raven Wilbur of Texas.[7] Wilbur said:

Ever since the Stonewall rebellion, the gay and lesbian community has grown in strength and visibility. The bisexual community also has grown in strength but in many ways we are still invisible. I too have been conditioned by society to automatically label a couple walking hand in hand as either straight or gay, depending upon the perceived gender of each person.[8]

This celebration of bisexuality in particular, as opposed to general LGBT events, was conceived as a response to the prejudice and marginalization of bisexual people by some in both the straight and greater LGBT communities. Wendy Curry said:

We were sitting around at one of the annual bi conventions, venting and someone – I think it was Gigi – said we should have a party. We all loved the great bisexual, Freddie Mercury. His birthday was in September, so why not Sept? We wanted a weekend day to ensure the most people would do something. Gigi's birthday was Sept 23rd. It fell on a weekend day, so, poof! We had a day."[9]

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.[10]

Tel Aviv-Yafo City Hall lighted with the colors of the bisexual flag on the bisexual visibility day, September 23, 2019

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; this was the first bi-specific event ever hosted by any White House.[11]

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."[12]

Many individuals and organizations, including GLAAD, currently refer to this holiday as Bisexuality+ Day, with the inclusion of the "+" sign intended to include the broader bi+ community of people who prefer to use terms to describe their sexual orientation such as pansexual, polysexual, omnisexual, fluid, or queer.[13]

Bisexual+ Awareness Week[edit]

In 2014, BiNet USA declared the seven days surrounding Celebrate Bisexuality Day to be Bi Awareness Week, also called Bisexual+ Awareness Week.[14] The week begins on September 16, culminating on Celebrate Bisexuality Day.[15]

According to co-founding organization GLAAD, the goals of Bisexual+ Awareness Week include accelerating acceptance of the bisexual+ community, drawing attention to the experiences of this community, and celebrating the resiliency of the community.[16] Both allies and bisexual+ individuals are encouraged to spend the week learning about the "history, culture, community, and current policy priorities of bi+ communities."[16] Bisexual+ Awareness Week can also potentially be an important opportunity for bisexual+ individuals to help fight feelings of isolation, create more visibility for others who may be exploring their sexuality, meet other bisexual+ people, and become an integral member of the bisexual+ community by coming out or sharing their personal experiences.[17]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "International Celebrate Bisexuality Day". www.timeanddate.com. Archived from the original on February 24, 2018. Retrieved February 24, 2018.; Coutis, Marilaine (September 23, 2004). "Celebrate Bisexuality". gauntlet.ucalgary.ca. Archived from the original on May 20, 2007. Retrieved February 19, 2015.
  2. ^ "Press Release". Egale Canada. September 1, 2004. Archived from the original on March 10, 2012. Retrieved February 19, 2015.; "TBN: Bi Culture". torontobinet.org. Toronto Bisexual Network. Archived from the original on December 9, 2013. Retrieved February 19, 2015.
  3. ^ a b c "BiNet USA". BiNet USA. Archived from the original on February 7, 2019. Retrieved August 11, 2019.
  4. ^ "All About BiNet USA including the Fine Print". BiNet USA. Archived from the original on January 20, 2019. Retrieved November 6, 2012.; Summers, Claude J. (October 20, 2009). "BiNet USA". glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Culture. glbtq, Inc. Archived from the original on February 20, 2014.
  5. ^ "Bisexuality Day Celebrated". Long Beach Post News. September 23, 2008. Retrieved June 18, 2020.
  6. ^ Bi Community Celebrates. Bay Windows; September 25, 2003, Vol. 21 Issue 41, p3-3, 1/4p
  7. ^ Scene Around Town. Bay Windows; September 28, 2000, pN.PAG, 00p
  8. ^ Wong, Curtis (September 24, 2013). "'Celebrate Bisexuality Day' Exists Because Of These Three LGBT Activists". The Huffington Post. Archived from the original on December 19, 2013. Retrieved January 15, 2014.
  9. ^ Br. Michael C. Oboza (ret.). "Our Fence" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on February 24, 2018. Retrieved February 19, 2015.; "A Brief History of the Bisexual Movement". BiNet USA. June 30, 1990. Archived from the original on September 23, 2017. Retrieved February 24, 2018.
  10. ^ "Berkeley Lawmakers Recognize Bisexual Pride Day". Mercury News. The Associated Press. September 18, 2012. Archived from the original on May 18, 2013. Retrieved October 10, 2013.
  11. ^ Hutchins, Loraine (November 1, 2019). "Making Bisexuals Visible". In Crawford-Lackey, Katherine; Springate, Megan E. (eds.). Identities and Place: Changing Labels and Intersectional Communities of LGBTQ and Two-Spirit People in the United States. Berghahn Books. pp. 43–44. ISBN 978-1-78920-480-3.; "In Historic First, Bi Activists Gather at White House". bilerico.com. September 25, 2013. Archived from the original on October 16, 2013. Retrieved October 10, 2013.; "White House to hold closed-door session on bisexual issues next month". The Washington Post. August 22, 2013. Archived from the original on October 8, 2013. Retrieved October 10, 2013.
  12. ^ "UK equalities minister welcomes Bi Visibility Day". bimedia.org. September 23, 2013. Archived from the original on August 31, 2014. Retrieved May 21, 2014.
  13. ^ "#BiWeek 2017: Celebrate Bisexuality+". GLAAD. GLAAD. Archived from the original on March 15, 2018. Retrieved March 14, 2018.
  14. ^ "Bi Brigade presents: Bisexual Awareness Week! – Proud Queer (PQ Monthly – Daily Online)". PQ Monthly. Archived from the original on September 25, 2015. Retrieved September 17, 2015.; "Second annual Bisexual Awareness Week to held Sept. 20 – 26; events across U.S. and online". LGBT Weekly. February 14, 2011. Archived from the original on September 21, 2015. Retrieved September 17, 2015.
  15. ^ Valenski, Alicia (September 16, 2020). "9 Things You Shouldn't Say to a Bisexual Woman in a Relationship with a Man". Elite Daily. Retrieved September 21, 2020.
  16. ^ a b "#BiWeek 2017: Celebrate Bisexuality+". GLAAD. GLAAD. Archived from the original on March 15, 2018. Retrieved March 14, 2018.
  17. ^ Zane, Zachary. "The 'B' in LGBT: Why Bisexual Awareness Week Matters". OUT Magazine. Here Publishing, Inc. Archived from the original on March 15, 2018. Retrieved March 14, 2018.

External links[edit]