In 1999, three bisexual activists were hanging out at together at a conference, talking about bi invisibility. One of them got the idea to have a party for their bi friends, and another suggested that it be in September because Freddie Mercury’s birthday was that month. They settled on the 23rd because it fell on a weekend that year and they wanted to boogie. This is how Celebrate Bisexuality Day was born.
The holiday is now celebrated in parts of the US, Canada, Australia, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, Sweden, and The United Kingdom. In 2012, Berkeley, California became the first US city to officially proclaim a day recognizing bisexuals. (Ahem-Kate-Brown-ahem.)
On September 23, 2013, The White House held a meeting with almost thirty bisexual activists from around the country so they could talk with government officials about issues that affect bi people. That same day in the UK, government minister for Women and Equalities Jo Swinson MP made a statement saying,
“I welcome Bi Visibility Day which helps to raise awareness of the issues that bisexual people can face and provides an opportunity to celebrate diversity and focus on the B in LGBT.”
Last year, fifteen years after the first Celebrate Bisexuality Day, the nation’s leading grassroots bi organization BiNET USA declared the surrounding seven days to be Bi Awareness Week. BiNET teamed up with GLAAD to launch an international social media campaign to recognize and celebrate bisexuals worldwide.
In its second year, the theme for Bi Awareness Week is “Raising bisexual awareness through cultural acceptance”, and PQ Monthly is teaming up with Bi Brigade to make you aware of ways you can celebrate locally:
Portland’s Bi Awareness Week Line-up:
Sunday, 9/20: Sunday Coffee at Triumph Cafe. Look for the bi pride flag! Some pastries and beverages will be provided to kick off bi awareness week. All ages! 201 SE 12th Ave. 1-4 p.m.
Monday, 9/21: Something very exciting is happening this day in the bi world, but it’s top secret—keep your ears peeled!
Tuesday, 9/22: Bi/Pan conversation group at Q Center. This is an open forum with rotating facilitators and topics range from coming out, relationships and dating, combating social stigma, community building, and more. That top secret thing that happened the day before is likely to be discussed. Open to all ages, but those who are 21+ often meander to a nearby bar afterward to socialize. 7-8:30 p.m. 4115 N Mississippi Ave.
Wednesday, 9/23: Celebrate Bisexuality Day! How are youcelebrating? Let us know! firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friday, 9/25: Bi Brigade is proud to present the first ever Bi Barrage! This periodic guerrilla style bi-takeover is coming to a neighborhood near you. Bi Brigade’s first barrage will be at The Alibi! Sport your favorite bi pride colors -purple pink or blue- or wear anything bi-themed. From Freddie Mercury to Fergie, we will be paying homage to some of our favorite bi musicians: Bjork, Nicki Minaj, Janis Joplin, Frank Ocean, Azealia Banks, Lady Gaga, Amy Winehouse, Vanessa Carlton, Grace Jones, Debbie Harry, Billie Holiday, Lou Reed, Dusty Springfield, Carrie Brownstein, David Bowie, the list is endless! 21+ 9:30 p.m.-late. 4024 N. Interstate Ave.
Keep checking PQ Monthly for more from Bi Brigade (www.bibrigade.org).
(Originally published in PQ Monthly)