How to celebrate World Bisexual Awareness Day
Celebrated each year on the 23 September, World Bisexual Awareness Day is an opportunity to celebrate and raise awareness for one of the most under-represented sub-sects of the LGBTQ+ community.
If you're reading this as an ally or new to bisexuality, this article aims to help you understand all about World Bisexuality Day and how to raise awareness and celebrate.
World Bisexuality Day, also commonly referred to as Celebrate Bisexuality Day, Bisexual Pride Day and Bi Visibility Day, first came to be back in 1999, and its significance is just as important today as it has ever been.
Almost half of bi men and a quarter of bi women confess that they feel they aren’t able to be open about their sexual orientation, fearing stigmatisation from those both inside and outside of the LGBTQ+ community.
World Bisexuality Awareness Day shines a spotlight on those who may often feel they are forgotten, ignored, or discriminated against, and gives the bi community an opportunity to stand up and be heard, voice their hardships, and celebrate their love. It also provides the wider community with a chance to show their support with collections dedicated to raising funds for the LGBTQ+ community (you can check out our LGBTQ+ range here).
What prompted the beginning of World Bisexual Awareness Day and why is it still so important?
Read on to discover more, and for a few hints and tips on the best way to celebrate World Bisexual Awareness Day 2021!
The origins of World Bisexual Awareness Day
Established in 1999 by three bisexual rights activists; Wendy Curry, Michael Page and Gigi Wilbur, World Bisexual Awareness Day was first officially observed by the International Lesbian and Gay Association Conference in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Their goal was to raise awareness of the challenges and discrimination faced by bisexuals the world over, and highlight their fight to be accepted and treated fairly and equally.
Why September 23rd? Simple! Founder 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 September. We wanted a weekend day to ensure that most people would do something. Gigi's birthday was September 23rd. It fell on a weekend day, so, poof! We had a day."
World Bisexual Awareness Day is usually celebrated during Bisexuality Awareness week, however this year the date falls just a few days afterwards.
Why it’s important to raise awareness
It’s sad to think that in 2021, any community continues to be marginalised or stigmatised. Sadly, many bisexuals continue to live with the negative effects of misrepresentation, prejudice and biphobia.
Many bi people feel they sit within a forgotten element of the LGBTQ+ community, their experiences assumed to be the same as lesbian and gay experiences. There’s a high chance you’ve heard the stereotypes that bi people are ‘greedy’, or ‘unable to make their minds up’, and the media do little to break these assumptions.
Bi representation is severely lacking in movies, TV shows and other mainstream content. When they are featured, bisexual characters are rarely shown in a favourable light, leaving the population with an overwhelmingly negative perception of the bi community.
This trickles down into our everyday lives, with many continuing to hold onto archaic views of bisexuality. This is even more apparent when you consider how differently bi men and women are looked at by society – with bi women often seen as straight, and simply ‘experimenting’. Bi men on the other hand are frequently seen as being not quite ready to ‘come out’ as gay.
Bisexual people also face backlash from those within the LGBTQ+ community, with many categorised as ‘undecided’, or at times even referring to bisexuals as traitors to the community.
It’s no wonder that a recent report by Stonewall indicates that 72% of bi women and 56% of bi men have struggled with anxiety over the last 12 months.
It’s for those reasons that it is imperative that there is a day dedicated to raising awareness, and understanding of bisexuality, the harsh stigmatisation and the struggles faced by those within the bi community on a daily basis. It’s the perfect reminder that love is love, and bisexuality is no less valid than any other sexuality, and deserves to be treated with sincerity and understanding.
Things to do to celebrate and show your support
So how can you show your support this World Bisexual Awareness Day? Well, here are just a few ideas for you to get involved in:
- See if there are any events in your local area – these could include things such as educational talks or lectures, parades or gatherings, parties, festivals or club nights.
- Talk about your experiences or listen to those who are open to talking about their own experiences, particularly if they are your friends or family.
- Educate yourself on this history of the bisexual movement and the struggles faced by bisexuals both historically, and in the present day.
- Help other to gain a better understanding of bisexuality, and actively seek to combat and call out negative stereotypes.
- Fly the bisexual flag to show your support for the community.
- Support bisexual ran businesses, or companies who are actively donating to bisexual charities and other causes.
- Wear clothing that shows your support for the movement, like our LGBTQ+ collection, of which a donation from each item sold goes towards supporting the LGBTQ+ community.
At Boutique Kaotique, we are committed to bringing artists and non-profit organisations together through collaboration, and with every piece sold at BoKa, we share proceeds with both the artist and their charity of choice. This includes LGBTQ+ charities dedicated to bettering the understanding of gender diversity and empowering those uplholding the human rights of the LGBTQ+ community. You can read more about #BOKAGIVING here.