Bi Viz: Celebrate Bi Visibility Day with Bisexual+ Community Perth

Bi Visibility Day is coming up on September 23.

First observed in 1999, Bi Visibility Day is an international call to recognise and celebrate the history, community, and culture of being bisexual+.

Hot on the heels of last month’s discussions of biphobia, I talked to Bisexual+ Community Perth members about why bi visibility is important to them.

“When I was young I had no concept of bisexuality,” Mira Jones said. “I thought my feelings were just a very long phase, and there was something wrong with me.

“Having bisexual visibility can help others to recognise that these feelings are normal, that what they’re feeling is real, and that there is a word for it.

“Labels, and by association visibility, can sometimes be damaging — but they can also be an anchor for belonging.”

As much as a label can put you in a pigeonhole, they can also serve to be a signpost.

Patricia Smith commented that bi visibility is important because there is still a negative stigma around our sexuality.

Even in the LGBTQI+ community, Patricia says, “So many people perceive it as either being too scared to be gay, attention-seeking, or greedy.

“Some people can find that there is nowhere to turn to if their own community doesn’t fully accept them,” Smith said.

“Personally, it matters to me a great deal as my parents are ignorant and closed-minded about bisexuality. They see it as a popular thing to do, that it will pass, and think I don’t understand my emotions. I know that I’m not the only one in this situation, or worse.”

Bi visibility can help people truly see and understand what being bi means.

Paige Howells had similar feelings about bi visibility. “As a younger person, when I tell people I am bisexual it’s usually met with an eye roll, as if it’s some sort of phase that I’ll get over soon enough, or that I’m not someone to be taken seriously.

“I know a lot of other bi+ people my age have the same problem. We are dismissed and often not taken seriously by other members of the LGBTQI+ community. Not being ‘seen’ is what hurts the most.”

For Nathan Lee, bi+ visibility is important for feeling validated.

“Being open about my bisexuality normalises it for others coming out,” Nathan said.

“Even if I’m not famous, who knows how many people will look at us living our lives as openly bi people, and feel less alone as a result?

“To be seen as bisexual is not always positive, but to me it’s worth it knowing that a younger me would have loved to talk to me now.”

For bisexual+ people, being an ally to ourselves can possibly be one of the most important reasons.

Visibility and community is important. Join the Bisexual+ Community Perth for a Bi Visibility Day picnic on September 23. There will be a unicorn-themed cake and piñata. Find Bisexual+ Community Perth on Facebook.

Jay Chesters

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