Mesec LGBTIQA+ zgodovine: Proud to #BSeen
Mesec februar je mesec LGBTIQA+ zgodovine. Na DIH-u smo se odločile_i v tem času objaviti 8 člankov, ki obravnavajo vse identitete v tej kratici – lezbijke, geje, biseksualne, transspolne, interspolne, kvir in aseksualne osebe ter vse ostale identitete, ki so zajete pod +. Članki ne bodo nujno obravnavali zgodovine neke spolne usmerjenosti ali spolne identitete, ampak bodo zgolj predstavljali en kratek vpogled, zanimivost, zgodbo ali drug prispevek, ki naslavlja specifično spolno usmerjenost ali identiteto.
Dobrodošle_i k branju.
Although more the 50% of members of LGBTIQA+ community identify themselves as bisexuals, the bisexual community remains to be the less visible in the public and bisexual persons often face discrimination and biphobia not only resulting from the prevailing heteronormative views in today`s society but also other members of the LGBTIQA+ community. Raising awareness to the visibility of the bisexual community is still one of the main goals of the bisexual rights activists as the bisexual identity is still being denied or not taken seriously within as well as outside of the LGBTIQA+ community.
With this article we would like to bring your attention on to some important landmarks of the history of bisexual movement celebrating bisexuality. Since 1999 the Bi Visibility Day is being celebrated on
September 23th over the world and originally called “Celebrate Bisexuality Day (CBD)”. Today the Bi Visibility Day is being celebrated in an international scope every year as a part of Bisexual Awareness Week (since 2014), in which the LGBTIQA+ activists around the globe are carrying out all sorts of educational and community activities or campaigning on social media aimed to raise awareness to the topics related to bi history, culture and the community in order to make the bisexual community more visible.
The whole initiative was launched just by three U.S. bisexual rights activists Wendy Curry, Michael Page and Gigi Raven Wilbur from a non-profit bisexual community organisation BiNet USA. As Wendy Curry puts it, it “started out as a way to get bisexuals together for something other than a protest or a support group. We were looking for a way to unite with a positive message.“ The idea was for bisexual persons to have an opportunity to celebrate who there are. According to Curry it was not about to be an education day, a coming out day, it is not about the building partnerships within the LGBTIQA+ community and it is not about proving ourselves to anyone else. She adds: “We wanted to celebrate our fabulousness and remind our peers to celebrate THEIR fabulousness.”
Curry saw the problems with the bisexual activism in the 90`s focus mainly on the defensiveness considering the main actions to be desperately trying to prove that bisexual people exist to the LGBTIQA+ community, fighting the misbelieve that bisexuality is just a phase and fighting the invisibility coming from assuming someone`s sexual orientation depending on their current partner. According to Curry only when the people respect themselves, the others start to respect them too. So as long as the focus was on inclusion rather than on their own community building and addressing the respect for themselves, they would not see a progress within the bisexual activism and this is how the “Celebrate Bisexuality Day” started – connecting the respect from bisexual people for themselves and celebrating the previous battles.
It was meant to be an event opposing to the general LGBT events and to the marginalization of bisexual persons on both sides – LGBTIQA+ and the straight communities. But how the whole idea came to being? Curry remembers: “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.”
Since 1999 the CBD gained on importance not only in the USA but is being celebrated internationally. In 2014, the CBD was included into the Bi Awareness Week (also called Bisexual+ Awareness Week) by Bi Net USA together in collaboration with GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation). This includes also a digital campaign #BiWeek aimed on drawing attention on the bi topics to the public and it is considered to be the first campaigng of this kind concentrating on the bisexual advocacy on social media. Described by GLAAD : “During #BiWeek, bisexual people around the world share their stories and speak to the community’s diverse experiences, which are, in turn, amplified in mainstream and LGBT media outlets around the world. In addition to leaving its mark in the digital world, #BiWeek has also proved a prime opportunity for on the-ground advocacy. Several events are held around the country each year, from panels to gatherings with White House staff. #BiWeek, at its heart, is an educational campaign dedicated to celebrating the rich and diverse history of the bisexual community, in addition to furthering awareness and acceptance for bisexual people.”
Furthermore, some other campaigns ware launched recently, as e.g. #StillBisexual campaign initiated by Larry Nelson, a life partner of the bisexual rights activist Brenda Howard, who died in 2005. Howard is nowadays seen as the “Mother of Pride” for she organised the first Pride March in the history – the Christopher Street Liberation Day March on 28th of June 1970, which was held as a commemoration to the first anniversary of the Stonewall riots. Yes, the initializer of the Pride Parades was a bisexual woman! 🏳️🌈 In addition there has been the #Bseen campaign launched in 2018 in Australia.
Down below you can find a video of Larry Nelson launching the #StillBisexual campaing.