Bi Visibility Day is a call for the bisexual community and its allies to celebrate the history and stories of bi people and events. One of the aims of the day is to create a safe space for those who identify as bisexual, so they know they are neither alone, nor different. For such an inclusive environment for bisexuals, why do I feel so apprehensive?
We are conditioned into the binary, that two women together are lesbians, two men together are gay. One of the greatest struggles I have found with my sexuality is the invisibility. and a YouGov survey reveals 49% of people aged between 18 and 24 identify as something other than 100% heterosexual.
With an absence of role models who are identifying as bi and lack of support from the rest of the LG&T community, it is easy to fade into the background and not have a conversation about the issues facing bi people, as well as those who identify as pansexual, asexual or those whose sexual orientation is fluid. After all, we are protected by the law, we just aren’t fully accepted within the LGBT community.
Same-sex couples face ongoing prejudice, trans people are told they must fit in the binary of male and female. Bisexuals are told that sooner or later they will discover their preference and settle for either men or women, and from my experience the L&G community have been most vocal about this opinion. Biphobia is a destructive force within the community and has made bisexual people feel like they have to battle for acceptance.
So with Bi Visibility Day coming up this would be a great time to tackle the argument around visibility and ask the question, how do we fully represent ourselves in a positive and encouraging way? More young people than ever are now identifying on the diverse bisexual spectrum and want to have conversations around these issues. Young people need to take advantage of their power and vocalise the complexity and depth of bisexuality, that it isn’t just about attraction to men and women.
Gender is a huge spectrum, with increasing numbers of young people identifying as non-binary or gender-fluid. I feel hopeful that on the 23rd September I will meet like-minded people who are excited to talk about bisexuality in a confident and positive way. I believe there needs to be a focus on moving forward and not excluding ourselves from LG&T people, but finally becoming an inclusive LGBT community. I feel apprehensive because I believe it’s time for a change in attitude from the bisexual community and I hope new emerging voices will be heard.
We are not voiceless, we are part of an inspiring and diverse community. Let’s celebrate on the 23rd September, let’s demand the acceptance we deserve.