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Connect with community at this year's Stand Bi Us forum


This week is Bisexual Awareness Week, an extension of celebrations leading up to Bi Visibility Day (23 September) each year.

Bi+ Collective Australia, a coalition of Bi+ groups across the country, are once again marking the occasion with Australia’s largest bi-centred event, Stand Bi Us.

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We caught up with Bi+ Community Perth member Duc Dau for a chat about community, intersectionality and allyship ahead of this year’s forum.

In the past, you’ve referred to Robyn Ochs definition of bisexuality as referring to “the potential for attraction to people with genders similar to and different from my own.” Of course, others have their own definitions – how would you describe the bi+ umbrella to someone looking to learn more?

Humans are amazingly complex, so the bi+ umbrella seeks to encompass our diversity. Basically, Bi+ Community Perth uses the term bi+ to encompass identities that are neither gay nor straight, and which may or may not also include aromantic/asexual identities. The bi+ umbrella includes attractions, identities, and behaviours. While some people might not identify as bisexual or bi+, they might be having attractions or even sexual experiences with people of the same gender or a range of genders. In other words, they are experiencing attractions or are acting in ways that come under a bi+ umbrella and seem contrary to how they identify, whether it is straight or gay.

In addition, some people might prefer pan (short for pansexual) or fluid, or no label, and most bi+ activists would bring these identities under the umbrella. A number of activists prefer additional terms such as multigender attraction or m-spec, which is short for multiple-attraction spectrum, in order to be inclusive of those who do not identify as part of the bi+ or LGBTIQA+ communities but whose attractions or behaviours suggest they might be bi+ in one way or another.

Looking at the Stand Bi Us program, a series of online panels and in-person events run by Bi+ Collective Australia, there are no shortage of events exploring and celebrating intersectionality with Bi+ communities – why is it important to recognise intersectionality on Bi+ Visibility Day?

Going back to the idea that humans are remarkably diverse, one identity does not define us entirely. Sometimes, a number of ways of existing in the world come together to make us who we are at any one time, and these things can change over time. So, we have people who identify as bi+ and asexual. They aren’t necessarily one thing or another—they are both, and their lives are enriched by this crossover. That’s why we have a panel this year on people who are both bi+ and aromantic/asexual (aroace for short).

And on top of that, someone who is bi+ and aroace might also be neurodivergent. This year we have a panel on bi+ people who are also neurodivergent. There’s a strong crossover between being bi+ and neurodivergent, and many people are only diagnosed as adults in their 30s or 40s or later. There are other considerations for bi+ people such as health and mental health because bi+ people tend to have poorer outcomes in these domains, and that’s why we have a panel of bi+ health this year. These are just the panels that Bi+ Community Perth are organising, so check out the website for other relevant panels.

We know bi+ folks represent the majority of our community, but there is still stigma from both within the LGBTIQA+ community and external sources. How can people better show solidarity and help elevate bi+ folks when we celebrate Bi Visibility Day (and every day)?

• Challenge biphobia if you encounter it. Bisexuality or multigender attraction is as valid as being straight or gay.

• Understand that bi+ is an umbrella term (which encompasses people who are neither straight nor gay). People define their bi+ identities ways that are unique to them, and these definitions can change over time.

• Use inclusive language. Terms like “gay marriage” can erase bi+ identities.

• Do not out a bi+ person unless you have their permission. It might be an unsafe space for someone to be outed, and it is their right to choose the time and place for people to know.

• Make spaces and events more bi+ inclusive. Sometimes, bi+ people feel unwelcome in LGBTIQA+ spaces if their partner is of a different gender or, conversely, in mainstream spaces if their personal appearance does not conform to gender expectations or if their partner appears to be of the same gender.

• Learn about bisexuality through reputable sources and online or social media accounts. Many are online these days.

How will Bi+ Community Perth be celebrating here on the west coast this year?

We will be celebrating with Stand Bi Us, a mostly online series of panels on all things bi+, which runs from 22-24 September. Part of that includes our biggest event of the year is the annual Bi+ Visibility Day Picnic. This year we are co-organising it with Pride WA and it’ll be held at Northbridge Piazza from noon on Sunday 24 September. It’s a family-friendly event, so there are heaps of families, and people often bring their friends along. We have a vegan and gluten-free cake, and we have a unicorn piñata. The atmosphere is really chilled and we have a lot of fun. I laugh so much because I’m around my people, the weather is usually pleasant, and we love hitting the piñata and eating cake.

What would you say to somebody who is still coming to understand their identity who might want to connect with Bi+ Community Perth?

Each person has their own journey. Most of us at one stage were where you are now. There is no one way or set timeline to being bi+. We are incredibly friendly because we know what you are going through. We have a Facebook page where we share stories, memes, news, and events. It’s not a dating page, but people have made friends from coming to the in-person or online meetups we put on. We have an email address, so if you have any questions then send us an email.

Looking ahead to November, how will you be celebrating PrideFEST this year?

Our main event is the Pride Parade. We are still sorting out the details, but we basically want people to feel as comfortable as they can. Wear the clothes that make you feel comfortable and happy. Some people definitely dress up in fabulous bi- or rainbow-coloured clothes and glitter. Others are a bit more casual. We just want people to be themselves, feel part of the bi+ community, and have fun.

Stand Bi Us runs from Friday, 22 September to Sunday, 24 September. Further details can be found at bicollectiveaustralia.com. You can also connect with Bi+ Community Perth on Facebook or by email.


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