It’s Celebrate Bisexuality Day!

Today is Celebrate Bisexuality Day, a day that had its origins 30 years ago in 1990 when people met in San Francisco to discuss how people who are bisexual are often left out of discussions and celebrations about sexuality.

More than 450 people attended from 20 U.S. states and 5 other countries, and the mayor of San Francisco sent a proclamation “commending the bisexual rights community for its leadership in the cause of social justice,” and declaring June 23, 1990, Bisexual Pride Day.

It would be until 1999 that September 23rd would be branded Celebrate Bisexuality Day, an  proclamation was made at the 1999 International Gay and Lesbian Association Conference in Johannesburg. The idea for the day was put forward by bisexual activists Wendy Curry of Maine, Michael Page of Florida, and Gigi Raven Wilbur of Texas.

Wilbur previous spoke about the need for the day by explaining how easy it is to not recognise bisexual people.

“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.”

Increasingly society is beginning to understand the sexuality occurs on a spectrum and may change throughout a person’s life. We’re moving away from putting people in specific boxes, and assigning labels to other people.

The 2019 Youth Risk Behaviour Study conducted by the USA’s Centre for Disease Control looked into how younger people defined their sexuality, and found that increasingly younger people are identifying as being bisexual. At the same time there has been an improvement in the number of bisexual character appearing in television programs and films, and we’re moving away from incorrectly depicting bisexuality as being a road stop on the way to a single gender sexual preference.

Today is a day for all of us to think about how we can make sure bisexuality is not being eased, that people’s stories are equally shared, that support services are welcoming, and that individually our own comments and actions are not causing discrimination.

Graeme Watson

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