It's Bi Visibility Day, a time for bisexual people across the globe to come together and celebrate who they are. It is also a time to think about the issues bisexual people face and the progress that we need to see. Here are five of the issues that I would like to see progress made on by Bi Visibility Day.
A New Word
It's so sad what has happened to the word bisexual. If you look at today's world, people that are bisexual don't want to call themselves bisexual, because of the stigma attached to it. People like to say "I don't define myself, I don't need labels". Each to their own, but I love being bisexual and I think the word is worth saving.
Our major problem is that a lot of gay people say that they are bisexual on the way out of the closet; they identify as bi before eventually coming out as gay. This cycle has become so common over decades that the word bisexual has been discredited. Many people see it as a phase rather than the life long sexual orientation it is. The truth is these men were never bisexual. They were always gay, they just didn't know/accept it at the time.
In this modern and rather complex world, the only solution is to have a new word. Whether we use "bicurious", "experimenting" or "of no fixed sexuality" to describe those years of sexual exploration/confusion, the important thing is that the word is NOT Bisexual. Only when those uncertain of their sexuality stop defining themselves as bisexual will we be able to reclaim our label.
Better care by LGBTI groups
As I've recently discussed in my previous article, LGBTI groups have been failing bisexual people for years. Their studies fail to differentiate between gay and bisexual people and the result is inaccurate advice to bi people. Many young bi people report a lack of faith in LGBTI groups and we need to find a solution soon. Bisexual people seem to be at the bottom of the priority list for LGBTI groups. These groups need to start bringing about real social change to benefit the bi community.
A Bisexual Magazine
We have some great online resources, much like the one you are reading now. But if bisexuality is ever going to get the recognition it deserves, we need to be on the newsstands. We need a magazine to keep the conversation alive and evolving. We need to explore bisexuality more deeply than simply "someone who likes both". If you compare what gay people have to what bisexual people lack, the word to sum it up is "investment". People invest money in gay bars, magazines, technology because there is a market for it. The more of us who come out and the more we fight to be visible, the more we will be recognized as an important demographic. A demographic that needs its own spaces, technology, and magazines.
It's 2016, I have apps to wake me up, check the weather, and search for nearby Pokemon. The fact that we don't have an app to let bisexual people communicate, whether that be to make friends or to find dates is bonkers. I live in London, one of the biggest and most liberal cities on the planet, yet I can count on one hand the amount of other bisexual people that I know. It's certainly not a lack of there being bi people out there and it's certainly not from a lack of me trying to meet the others. The truth is there just aren't a lot of resources to help you meet other local bisexual people.
One of the reasons gay people have such an established culture is because for decades they have been coming together in bars and clubs around the globe and forming a community. They figured out what music they like, what's important to them, and what issues they needed to address. We need the same for the bi community. It's time we see bisexual venues where all different types of bisexual people can come together to form a community and a culture.
I wish you all a Happy Bi Visibility Day! While things aren't perfect and there is a lot of work to do, never forget that being Bisexual is awesome. Being able to find people attractive regardless of gender is a gift and a perspective on life that not many people are lucky enough to experience. Enjoy the day and cheer louder than ever before!