Bi Visibility Day
Bisexual Visibility Day is celebrated world-wide each year on the 23d of September, in honor of the bi history and the bisexual community, and aid in the fight towards acceptance.
It is celebrated as the last day in Bisexual Awareness Week, which runs from the 16th of September until Bi Visibility Day on the 23d of September. As with many other national pride days, Bi Visibility Day is also used to spread awareness and fight stigma, discrimination, bi-erasure, and biphobia.
Bisexuality is a sexual orientation so named as it refers to the gender binary of male and female. In more general terms, a person who experiences romantic and sexual attraction to both men and women is considered bisexual.
This is not to be confused with pansexuality. A pansexual person experiences attraction towards more than one gender, including all gender identities on the gender spectrum.
However, this is not to say that people who identify as bisexual are not equally diverse. Everyone experiences their own sexuality differently. For example, while one bisexual person may experience equal attraction towards both men and women and is open to forming a relationship with either sex, another bisexual person may still prefer women over men. Similarly, a bisexual person may feel sexually attracted towards both sexes but only experience romantic attraction and form relationships with one of the two.
When someone shows an aversion towards another person based solely on their bisexuality, it is referred to as being Bi-phobic. It is similar to homophobia and can come in different forms. Unfortunately, in many cases, it manifests itself in hostility from a straight individual towards bisexual people, sometimes even to the extent of violence. However, there are still some folks in other parts of the LGBTQIA+ community who are bi-phobic as well.
It could take the form of denying that bisexuality is a real sexual orientation or negative stereotypes such as bisexuality simply being an excuse for a person to experiment or be promiscuous. Some biphobic people believe that bisexuality is merely a half-way point to homosexuality. Biphobia can also take the form of bi-erasure.
When proof of bisexuality in history, news, and the media is ignored, removed, falsified, or re-written by society, it is referred to as Bisexual Erasure or Bisexual Invisibility. As with biphobia, bi-erasure may include the belief that the bisexual identity is fake or non-existent or that everyone who identifies as a member of the bisexual community is going through a ‘phase.’
One thing that could account for these beliefs is the misrepresentation of bisexuals as inherently indecisive or hypersexual. Misrepresentation erases the true identity of bisexual individuals.
Bi Visibility Day and Awareness week aim to increase visibility for bisexual people. In cases concerning biphobia and bi-erasure, more visibility often means better chances of acceptance and equality, both in the LGBT+ community and outside of it.
Bi Visibility Day also aims to educate the public about bisexuality and bisexual culture and address the challenges members of the community face in their lives every day- such as the current policy priorities and how that affects members in the community. Positive media portrayal of people in the bisexual community is equally crucial for visibility.
Bisexual Visibility Day
Throughout history, bisexuality hasn’t gotten the same recognition as lesbian or gay identities.
First referred to as Celebrate Bisexuality Day, this observance day was created by three activists; Michael Page, the creator of the bisexuality pride flag, Wendy Curry, and Gigi Raven Wilbur. Wilbur’s birthday is the 23rd of September, and the first bi visibility day was observed officially on her birthday in 1999.
Since then, it has grown to include other members of the LGBTQIA+ community and is often referred to as Bisexuality+ Visibility Day.
Bisexual Awareness Week
BiNet USA, one of the oldest bisexuality organizations in the United States, and GLAAD, who co-founded BiNet, declared the week from the 16th of September to the 23rd the official Bi Awareness Week. Since then, it has had a huge impact on members of the community and people from the outside.
The week plays host to many events that celebrate the resilience of the bi community and educate those on the rich history thereof. It’s also a way for community members to meet and break their isolation and create awareness for bisexual youth who are still questioning their sexual orientation.
How To Celebrate
There are many different ways of celebrating bisexuality, whether you are a member of the many bisexual communities, a family member of someone who identifies as bisexual, or simply one of their supporters and friends.
Perhaps one of the most traditional ways to celebrate bi visibility day, or any other pride day, is through joining a pride parade.
These are typically large-scale events where bisexual people and their friends or families come together, waving their flags proudly. Pride parades also often include other events, like celebrity talks or performances.
Some organizations even host online events, such as the Zoom discussions hosted on the LGBT Foundation website on Bi Visibility Day 2020.
However, suppose you have a more introverted personality type, or you simply don’t want to be a part of a large-scale event like a parade. In that case, it may be a sign for you to get involved in your local bisexual community, perhaps through bisexual-friendly, mental-health support groups or a smaller local pride event.
Become A Better Ally
If you aren’t a member of the LGBTQIA+ community but a friend and ally, there is a myriad of resources available online that can help you educate yourself on bisexual history and culture and help you to become a better ally.
The GLAAD site has a lot of great resources available, including ways in which you can spread the word or give back to the community financially through donation.
You could also look for a local bisexual resource center in your community to learn more about the day of observance and how you can get involved.
Bi Visibility Day FAQs
What day is national bisexuality day?
Since 1999 International Celebrate Bisexuality Day (more often referred to as Bi Visibility Day, or called Bisexual Pride Day) has been celebrated on the 23rd of September.
What does the bi flag look like?
The bisexual pride flag was created by Michael Page in 1998 to help increase visibility within and outside of the LGBT+ community.
The flag features three horizontal stripes. A pink stripe represents homosexuality, a purple stripe represents attraction not based on gender, and a blue stripe represents attraction to different genders.
What does LGBTQIA+ stand for?
The acronym stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning, Intersex, Asexual/Allies, and the plus refers to everyone else in the community who may not be included in the acronym.