Bisexual Awareness Week is observed annually between 16th September through till the 23rd September with Bisexual Visibility Day landing on the last day (23rd September). The week is a time to raise further awareness on the issues still faced daily by bisexual people around the world in a bid to accelerate acceptance for the bisexual community.
What is Bisexual?
Bisexuality is the romantic attraction, sexual attraction or sexual behaviour toward both males and females, or to more than one gender. It can also be defined to include the romantic or sexual attraction to people regardless of their sex or gender identity, which is known as pansexuality.
Bisexual Vs. Pansexual
As you may have observed already, sexuality definitions are very personal to us and the differences between Bisexuality and Pansexuality really does depend on who you ask.
One common definition of Pansexuality is the attraction of another person regardless of their gender identity, meaning that a persons gender is not an important factor when looking at sexual or romantic attraction another person. Although never officially highlighted, this is not always necessarily the same in all cases of Bisexual people.
Whilst there are multiple definitions for Bisexual and Pansexual (attraction to two or more genders vs. all gender respectively). It essentially all comes down to personal understandings and preferences and the terms in which somebody feels most accurate to describe themselves.
What are the Colours of the Bisexual Pride Flag?
The Bisexual Pride flag originating in 1998 by Michael Page is comprised of three coloured horizontal stripes, from to to bottom; Pink, Purple, Blue.
History of Bisexual Awareness Day
The first official observation of Bisexual Visibility Day, also known as Celebrate Bisexuality Day dates back to 1990 with the oldest national bisexuality organisation BiNet. Originally called the North American Multicultural Bisexual Network (NAMBN), the first conference was held in San Francisco in 1990 with sponsorship from BiPOL.
It is recorded that 450 people attended from across 20 stats and 5 countries alongside the mayor of San Francisco who publicly commented "commending the bisexual rights community for its leadership in the cause of social justice" whilst going on to declare June 23, 1990, to be Bisexual Pride Day!
History of Bisexual Awareness Week
Back in 2014, NiNet declared the week around Bisexual Awareness Day to be Bi Awareness Week, also known now as Bisexual+ Awareness Week which now runs from the 16th September for seven consecutive days.
According to co-founding organisation 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."
Why we still observe Bisexual Awareness Dates
Bisexual+ Awareness Week is an important opportunity within the LGBTQ+ Key Date Calendar 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.
Bisexual erasure or bisexual invisibility, is a pervasive problem in which the existence or legitimacy of bisexuality (either in general or in regard to an individual) is questioned or denied outright.
For example, referring to two married women as a "lesbian couple" without considering that one or both women identifies as bi. Others may insist that she can’t really be bisexual, her orientation doesn’t matter, or her bisexual identity shouldn't be mentioned now that she is partnered.
Considering a bisexual person either gay or straight depending on the sex of the person's partner, or calling bisexuals "allies" to the LGBT community, are also forms of bi erasure. Undermining the validity of bisexuality by calling it a "phase" or "confusion" is also an act of erasure.
Bisexual erasure plays a critical role in reducing the community's visibility, and in turn reducing access to the resources and support opportunities bisexual people so desperately need.
With bisexual people accounting for approximately 50% of the LGB community, bisexuals face severe health disparities including much higher rates of anxiety, depression and other mood disorders when compared to heterosexuals, lesbians and gays.
It's important to highlight these issues and raise awareness whilst also working with bisexual people to ensure they are cared for. With much higher rates of STI diagnoses, heart disease and cancer than heterosexuals, it's vital that more is done to protect the bisexual community.
How to Help?
Raising awareness and showing solidarity throughout Bisexual Awareness Week doesn't require a lot of effort from your part, however anything you do to help spread love and inclusion of bisexual people is definitely a huge positive step forward for further awareness and inclusion.
Thankfully with the support and promotion from organisations such as GLAAD and Joshua Lloyd; Bisexual Awareness Week has managed to receive a lot more media coverage and support by bisexual advocates.
Once you have a greater understanding about bisexuality and bisexual people, actions such as sharing a simple social post with relevant hashtags such as #BiWeek, #BiAwareness or #CelebrateBisexuality can significantly help amplify the voices of bisexual people online!
Reach Out to Others
If you personally have a friend or family member who is bisexual, just being there and supporting them is more than enough too. Providing both a safe space and friendly face with understanding will make them feel so much better and equal than you could possibly ever know!
By speaking with somebody you know who is bisexual they'll also most likely be open to talk about their identity and help you gain a greater understanding. You may even be able to work together to amplify your voices to spread even more awareness to bisexual people!
Shop Bisexual Pride Products
Here at Joshua Lloyd we constantly strive to be as inclusive as possible throughout our product collections, support and services. We stock a wide range of bisexual products including our premium bisexual pride flag, sunglasses, shoelaces, belts, suspenders, pin badges and much more!