Celebrate Bisexuality Day
|Celebrate Bisexuality Day|
|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|
|Observances||Teach-ins, poetry reading, concerts, festivals, parties, picnics|
|Related to||LGBT Pride|
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.
A precursor to the first official observance came when the oldest national bisexuality organization in the United States, BiNet USA, was founded in 1990. It was originally called the North American Multicultural Bisexual Network (NAMBN), and had its first meeting at the first National Bisexual Conference in America. This first conference was held in San Francisco in 1990, and sponsored by BiPOL. Over 450 people attended from 20 states and 5 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.
First officially observed in 1999 at the International Lesbian and Gay Association Conference in Johannesburg South Africa, 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. 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.
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."
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[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.
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. The Berkeley City Council unanimously and without discussion declared Sep 23 as Bisexual Pride and Bi Visibility Day.
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.
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."
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.
Bisexual+ Awareness WeekEdit
In 2014, BiNet USA declared the seven days surrounding Celebrate Bisexuality Day to be Bi Awareness Week, also called Bisexual+ Awareness Week. The week begins the Sunday before Celebrate Bisexuality Day.
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. Both allies and bisexual+ individuals are encouraged to spend the week learning about the "history, culture, community, and current policy priorities of bi+ communities." 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.
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