Happy Bisexual Visibility Day!

Featured
Check out this bisexuality playlist I made on Spotify in 2019!

Every September 23, Bisexual Visibility day is celebrated  to recognize and celebrate bisexual people, the bisexual community, and the history of bisexuality – but why is needed? Why is it important?

Firstly, it’s important because it helps to tackle biphobia, which is the discrimination that bisexuals face. According to Pew Research Center, 40 percent of LGBT Americans are bisexual. The Office for National Statistics suggests 0.8 percent of the British population are bisexual. However, the same research also shows gay men and lesbians are more likely than bi people to be out.

Furthermore, part of the reason why bisexual individuals face discrimination and stigma, which doesn’t allow for them to come out – a 2017 study by American University found that stressors had more of an impact because bi people face what researchers described as “double discrimination” – from both queer and non-queer community.

We also need Bisexuality Visibility Day because the experiences of bisexual people are often forgotten or ignored, because our experience are assumed to be the same as lesbian and gay experiences, and our identities are frequently made invisible or dismissed as something that doesn’t exist, by people both inside and outside of this community, which is “double discrimination.” We also have negative stereotypes – the big ones being that we’re greedy, can’t make up our minds, more likely to cheat – as well as more negative stereotypes.

The issues that bisexual individuals face is also gendered – Bi women are more likely to be viewed as ‘actually straight’, their sexual orientation merely a performance to attract straight men, whereas bi men are frequently seen as going through a ‘phase’ on the way to coming out as gay. But please remember, anyone of any gender can identify as bisexual!

Finally, if you want to step up as an ally to bi people this Sunday: remember we exist and we are valid, remember the stereotypes and assumptions we face daily, and think of one thing you can do in your daily life to help – I will be posting bisexual visibility related content on Twitter, so be sure to follow me @CaseyBrowne4.

Featured

The History Of The Bisexual Flag & What It Represents

Image result for bisexual flag
The Bisexual Flag

The Bisexual flag, designed in 1988 by Michael Page, aimed to give bisexual individuals & community more visibility, both in society and in the LGBTQ+ community- this is due to the biphobia (the irrational fear of bisexuals) bisexuals face both in society and unfortunately, in their own community. But biphobia is another post for another day.

When creating the bisexual flag we know today, Page took the colors from an already existing symbol and stated, “In designing the Bi Pride Flag, I selected the colors and overlap pattern of the ‘bi angles’ symbol.” This simply means that Page was putting his own spin on the bisexual symbol- however, the biangles (or “bisexuality triangles”) origins are unclear.

 

Biangles (or “Bisexual Triangles”)

Another symbol for bisexuality, the crescent moon, avoids the Nazi movement’s pink triangle used to dehumanize homosexuals during World War 2. Again, that’s another post for another day. 

In terms of meaning, Page describes the meaning of the color scheme behind the flag- a dark pink, lavender, and a dark blue (and for a bit of extra knowledge, the ratio for the flag is 2:1:2) as follows, “The pink color represents sexual attraction to the same sex only (gay and lesbian). The blue represents sexual attraction to the opposite sex only (straight) and the resultant overlap color purple represents sexual attraction to both sexes (bi).” – however, this isn’t how I would define my bisexuality, as I like to define it as “sexual attraction to my gender & other genders” (aren’t labels cool like that?!) 

Image result for bisexual crescent moon
Bisexual Crescent Moon

In addition, Page delves deeper into the flags meaning, adding, “The key to understanding the symbolism of the Bisexual pride flag is to know that the purple pixels of color blend unnoticeably into both the pink and blue, just as in the ‘real world,’ where bi people blend unnoticeably into both the gay/lesbian and straight communities.”[3]