Celebrating Bisexuality Awareness Week
A Personal Reflection on breaking down stereotypes and promoting inclusivity.
In a world that is increasingly embracing diversity and inclusion, it is crucial that we celebrate and acknowledge the experiences and identities of all individuals. Bisexuality Visibility Week provides a unique opportunity to do just that. This day holds personal significance for me, as it's a time when we raise awareness about bisexuality and the challenges faced by bisexual individuals. This day serves as a reminder that the LGBTQ+ spectrum is vast and multifaceted. In this blog post, let us delve into the significance of Bisexuality Visibility Day and why it is vital to embrace, support and uplift bisexual voices in order to foster a truly inclusive society.
Bisexuality is broadly understood to refer to individuals who experience romantic or sexual attraction to people of their own gender and other genders. It's a beautiful and diverse aspect of human identity, yet, bisexual individuals often find themselves at the intersection of misunderstanding and erasure. With Stonewall's Bi Report showing 31% of the 5000 LGBT respondents to Yougov survey identifying as Bi, however only 20% of those Bi people felt safe enough to be ‘Out’ to their family, compared to 63% of those whom identify as Gay or Lesbian, on Bisexuality Visibility Day, I believe it's crucial for us to dispel the myths and stereotypes surrounding bisexuality.
Breaking Down Stereotypes
Bisexuality Visibility Day plays a crucial role in breaking down stereotypes and misconceptions surrounding bisexuality. Bisexual individuals often face scepticism from both heterosexual and LGBTQ+ communities. Some argue that bisexuality is a form of "indecisiveness" or "confusion," which further marginalizes bisexual individuals. Another persistent stereotype is the belief that bisexuality is “just a phase” or a stepping stone to coming out as gay or lesbian. Reflecting back, I can certainly recall being told “Ah you’ll join us soon enough, you just don’t know it yet”, or even “I bet that helps impress the boys”. These harmful misconceptions invalidate the experiences of bisexual individuals, erasing their unique identity. By dedicating a day to celebrate and educate about bisexuality, we can debunk the myths, challenge stereotyping, plus promote acceptance.
Eradicating Bisexual Erasure
Despite written records demonstrating that people have been attracted to more than one gender throughout history, with a broader acceptance or recognition of bisexuality as it is understood today in the UK since the 1970s, bisexual erasure is a pervasive issue that deeply affects the bisexual community. It manifests in various ways, from people denying the existence of bisexuality to making assumptions about individuals' sexual preferences based on their current or past relationships. Indeed, it has been the experience of many to find their bisexuality dismissed due to finding themselves in a ‘heteronormative’ relationship. For those individuals, the impact can be massively detrimental to their mental wellbeing, as they can find themselves never quite “fitting in” or feeling excluded from
straight and gay social settings alike. Bisexuality Visibility Day challenges biphobia and bisexual erasure by creating a platform for bisexual individuals to share their stories, experiences, and challenges, thus validating their identities.
Fostering Allyship and Inclusivity
Bisexuality Visibility Day is not solely for bisexual individuals; it is an invitation for everyone to become allies and advocates. Bisexual individuals may face biphobia, both from heterosexual and homosexual peers, which can lead to feelings of isolation. I believe that we all have a role to play in promoting understanding and acceptance. By openly acknowledging and celebrating bisexuality, we demonstrate our commitment to creating an inclusive environment where everyone's experiences are valued without fear of discrimination.
Visibility and Creating Safe Spaces
During Bisexuality Visibility Week, communities and organizations worldwide come together to create safe spaces where bisexual individuals can share their stories, seek support, and connect with others who understand their experiences. These safe spaces play a vital role in fostering mental and emotional well-being, and I wholeheartedly support their existence.
I love that the world has moved on since my formative years (somewhere in the 90s/noughties), especially with social media, despite the trolls, giving people a voice, a way to be heard, a new way to connect or support one another online in a loud and busy world. I am especially thrilled to see more and more representation of the whole LGBTQ+ community I movies and series being streamed across the world.
However, Bisexuality Visibility Day still holds a special place in my heart because it serves as a reminder that every individual, both within the LGBTQ+ community and beyond, deserves to be seen, heard, and respected for who they are. It's a day to celebrate the rich diversity of the LGBTQ+ community, recognise the strength and resilience of the sometimes-overlooked bisexual community, to challenge the harmful stereotypes and prejudices which unfortunately persist, and to work towards a world where everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation, can live their lives free from discrimination and judgment.
As we observe Bisexuality Visibility Day, we at Chichester Pride commit to promoting understanding, empathy, and acceptance of all sexual orientations. Visibility is a powerful tool for change, and when we raise awareness about bisexuality, we contribute to the broader conversation about LGBTQ+ rights and acceptance. The more people understand and accept bisexuality, the closer we come to achieving equality for all sexual orientations. Together, we can create a world where everyone is celebrated for their authentic selves and where love knows no boundaries.
Why not join us in celebrating the joy that can be found in simply “being” yourself!
Don’t forget to follow us on our socials, and remember that you too can help support a more inclusive community. If you would like some tips how, here are some suggestions:
Amplify and Advocate: Advocate for inclusive practices and LGBTQ+ policies within organisations. Amplify bisexual voices by sharing their stories and experiences to help combat erasure.
Converse: Engage and promote open and respectful conversations about bisexuality with friends, family and peers, to promote understanding and empathy.
Educate: Take the time to educate yourself, and where able, others about bisexuality, it’s history and ongoing challenges bisexual individuals can face. If you would like to hear more, just drop us a line, let us know if you’d like an educational piece of the history of bisexuality! Happy Bisexual Awareness Week!