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 stripes on the bottom. The pink and blue stripes are both equal length but the purple stripe is thinner than the other stripes.
Official name Celebrate Bisexuality Day
Also called Bisexual Pride Day, Bi Visibility Day, CBD, and Bisexual Pride and Bi Visibility Day, Bisexuality+ Day
Observed by Bisexual people along with their families, friends, allies and supporters
Type Cultural
Observances Teach-ins, poetry reading, concerts, festivals, parties, picnics
Date September 23
Frequency Annual
First time 1999
Related to LGBT Pride

Celebrate Bisexuality Day is observed on September 23 by members of the bisexual community and their supporters.[1][2]

This day is a call for the bisexual community, their friends and supporters to recognize and celebrate bisexual history, bisexual community and culture, and all the bisexual people in their lives.[3][4]

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

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." [8][9]

In its first year, an observance was held during the meeting of the International Lesbian and Gay Association, which occurred during the week of the 23rd.

While at first it only took hold in areas with an extremely strong bisexual presence,[clarification needed] it is now celebrated throughout the United States[citation needed][dubious ] as well as in some countries outside the United States, including Canada and Australia. At Texas A&M University, the week featured discussion panels and question-and-answer sessions. It has also been celebrated in Germany, Japan, New Zealand, Sweden and the United Kingdom.[10][11][12]

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.[13] The Berkeley City Council unanimously and without discussion declared Sep 23 as Bisexual Pride and Bi Visibility Day.[14]

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.[15][16]

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."[17]

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.[18]

Bisexual+ Awareness Week

In 2014, BiNet USA declared the seven days surrounding Celebrate Bisexuality Day to be Bi Awareness Week, also called Bisexual+ Awareness Week.[19][20] The week begins the Sunday before Celebrate Bisexuality Day.[21]

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.[22] Both allies and bisexual+ individuals are encouraged to spend the week learning about the "history, culture, community, and current policy priorities of bi+ communities." [23] Bisexual+ Awareness Week can be 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.[24]

References

  1. ^ "International Celebrate Bisexuality Day". www.timeanddate.com. Archived from the original on 2018-02-24. Retrieved 2018-02-24. 
  2. ^ Coutis, Marilaine (September 23, 2004). "Celebrate Bisexuality". gauntlet.ucalgary.ca. Archived from the original on May 20, 2007. Retrieved February 19, 2015. 
  3. ^ "Press Release". Egale Canada. September 1, 2004. Archived from the original on March 10, 2012. Retrieved February 19, 2015. 
  4. ^ "TBN: Bi Culture". torontobinet.org. Toronto Bisexual Network. Archived from the original on December 9, 2013. Retrieved February 19, 2015. 
  5. ^ Bi Community Celebrates. Bay Windows; September 25, 2003, Vol. 21 Issue 41, p3-3, 1/4p
  6. ^ Scene Around Town. Bay Windows; September 28, 2000, pN.PAG, 00p
  7. ^ Wong, Curtis (September 24, 2013). "'Celebrate Bisexuality Day' Exists Because Of These Three LGBT Activists". Huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved January 15, 2014. 
  8. ^ Br. Michael C. Oboza (ret.). "Our Fence" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2018-02-24. Retrieved February 19, 2015. 
  9. ^ "A Brief History of the Bisexual Movement". BiNet USA. 1990-06-30. Archived from the original on 2017-09-23. Retrieved 2018-02-24. 
  10. ^ NewsPlanet Staff (September 23, 1999). "Bisexuality Day". planetout.com. NewsPlanet. Archived from the original on January 26, 2000. Retrieved February 19, 2015. 
  11. ^ "Bikonferens – Bisexual Conference in Sweden during Celebrate Bisexuality Day!". Ilga-europe.org. September 23, 2006. Archived from the original on December 2, 2008. Retrieved December 3, 2013. 
  12. ^ "UK Events to mark International Celebrate Bisexuality Day". September23.bi.org. Archived from the original on December 12, 2013. Retrieved December 3, 2013. 
  13. ^ "Berkeley becomes first US city to declare Bisexual Pride Day, support 'marginalized' group". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 19, 2012. [dead link]
  14. ^ "Berkeley Lawmakers Recognize Bisexual Pride Day". Mercury News. Associated Press. September 18, 2012. Archived from the original on September 20, 2012. 
  15. ^ "In Historic First, Bi Activists Gather at White House". bilerico.com. September 25, 2013. Retrieved October 10, 2013. 
  16. ^ "White House to hold closed-door session on bisexual issues next month". washingtonpost.com. August 22, 2013. Retrieved October 10, 2013. 
  17. ^ "UK equalities minister welcomes Bi Visibility Day". bimedia.org. September 23, 2013. 
  18. ^ "#BiWeek 2017: Celebrate Bisexuality+". GLAAD. GLAAD. Retrieved 14 March 2018. 
  19. ^ "Bi Brigade presents: Bisexual Awareness Week! – Proud Queer (PQ Monthly – Daily Online)". PQ Monthly. Retrieved September 17, 2015. 
  20. ^ "Second annual Bisexual Awareness Week to held Sept. 20 – 26; events across U.S. and online". LGBT Weekly. February 14, 2011. Retrieved September 17, 2015. 
  21. ^ "Angry African Girls United – LGBTQIA+ Holidays for the remained of the year". Angryafricangirlsunited.tumblr.com. March 17, 2014. Retrieved September 17, 2015. 
  22. ^ "#BiWeek 2017: Celebrate Bisexuality+". GLAAD. GLAAD. Retrieved 14 March 2018. 
  23. ^ "#BiWeek 2017: Celebrate Bisexuality+". GLAAD. GLAAD. Retrieved 14 March 2018. 
  24. ^ Zane, Zachary. "The 'B' in LGBT: Why Bisexual Awareness Week Matters". OUT Magazine. Here Publishing, Inc. Retrieved 14 March 2018. 

External links

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