Event: Sep 23: Celebrate Bisexuality Day/Bi Visibility Day/Bi Pride Day
Overview: The bisexual, or bi, flag is pink, purple, and blue and was designed by Michael Page in 1998. The following year, Page and two other bisexual activists, Gigi Raven Wilbur and Wendy Curry, organized the first Celebrate Bisexuality Day. Page, Wilbur, and Curry created this day because there were feelings among bisexual people of being ignored and invisible by the rest of the gay and lesbian community. Bisexual refers to someone who has an attraction to two (or sometimes more) genders. Some famous bi people include the artist Freddie Mercury, musician and actor David Bowie, activist and author Alice Walker, author Virginia Woolf, and jazz singer Billie Holiday.
Action: Watch a video about things bi people are tired of hearing or a video of bi celebrities sending bi youth a message.
Quick Lesson Steps:
- Questions to ask: What do you know about bisexuality? Why do you think we have a day to celebrate bisexuality?
- Show / Do:
a) Share: Bisexual refers to someone who has an attraction to two (or sometimes more) genders. Despite the creation of the bi flag and Celebrate Bisexuality Day is relatively recent, bisexuality has been around since ancient times. For instance, men in ancient Greece and Rome commonly had relations with other men while also having opposite sex partners. Such relations were not understood then in the same way bisexuality is understood today.
b) Read and show the comic: Badass Bisexual Women In History You Should Know by Hazel Newlevant
- Reflection Questions: What are some of the assumptions Hazel’s mom makes? Why are stereotypes harmful to people? How does generational differences come into play? What can you do to be more inclusive of bisexual people?
The prefix ‘bi-’ means ‘two.’ Bisexual (bi) refers to attraction to two genders, however some people use the term bisexual to mean attraction to two or more genders. These genders can include men, women, non-binary people, genderfluid people, etc–there are more than two genders. Thus, bi does not necessarily indicate attraction to only people with male or female genders. The definition of bi may vary a bit between people, and it is best to ask people their label preference, if there is one.
The first time the term “bisexual” was used was in 1872 in the pamphlet, “Psychopathia Sexualis” that was translated from German to English. In 1967, the Sexual Freedom League formed in San Francisco in support of bisexual people.
According to the Bisexual Resource Center, “We use “bi” and “bi+” as inclusive terms for those who are non-monosexual/non-monoromantic and can include those who identify as bisexual, pansexual, omnisexual, fluid, queer, and asexual, among other free identifiers, including those who do not wish to use a label.” Read more about labels here.
Just as LGBTQ people have been present throughout all of history, the same is true for bisexual people. Even though the terminology or understanding of bisexuality has changed, the basic feelings have been the same. There are many examples of bisexual people in history. For instance, in Homer’s Iliad, the great warrior Achilles is implied to have relationships with both women and his Patroclus. Another example is Alexander the Great, who publically had a wife and male lovers. Some famous bi people today include Amandla Stenberg who starred in the Hunger Games, musician Halsey, Bryan Singer who directed X-Men: Days of Future Past, and musician Billie Joe Armstrong from the band Green Day.
- Video: Things Bisexual People are Tired of Hearing [2:08 min]
- Video: A Message from Bi Celebrities to Bi Youth [2:05 min]
- Resource page – Bisexual Resource Center: Bi Youth Resources
- Resource page – Bisexual Resource Center: Supporting Bi Youth
- Article: Celebrate Bisexuality! GLAAD Dispels Some Common Myths
- Article: 13 Lies We Have to Stop Telling About Bisexuals