Become an Inclusive Employers Member today
Inclusive Employers is the UK’s first and leading membership organisation for employers looking to build inclusive workplaces.Find out more about our membership benefits
What is Bi Visibility Day?
Bi Visibility Day is a day to recognise the bisexual community and celebrate bisexual people globally.
When is Bi Visibility Day?
Bi Visibility Day takes place annually on 23rd September.
One of the day’s founders stated:
“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.”
Why is there a Bi Visibility Day?
The bisexual community is frequently referred to as the “forgotten” part of the LGBTQ+ community, and they face a number of negative stereotypes and expectations.
Bisexual Visibility Day is an opportunity to celebrate bisexuals, learn about bisexual erasure, and discover the difficulties that many members of the bisexual community face.
From our experts:
“For me, Bi Visibility Day is about recognising and celebrating sexual orientations that are often erased or forgotten about within the LGBTQ+ community.
Often there can be an assumption that sexuality is binary – either you’re straight or you’re gay. This can even come from within the Queer community itself, including from partners of Bi people. As someone who didn’t fit into either of those boxes and spent time figuring out the label that felt right for me, I think it’s important to encourage freedom to explore language and identity in a society that’s rushing us to choose. Some people may be born knowing who they are, and others might need a little more time, but all experiences are important to recognise.
A UK study (YouGov, 2019) found that one in four people place themselves somewhere between completely gay or completely straight. This means a quarter of people have an identity that falls under the Bi umbrella, perhaps without even realising it. There’s often a stereotype of Bi people being 50% attracted to their own gender and 50% to other genders, so people may not recognise themselves as being part of this community due to this misconception.
Ultimately, Bi Visibility Day is a chance to share stories, find and celebrate community, and recognise that people’s identities are valid regardless of their current or past partners!”
Courtney Wright, Senior Inclusion and Diversity Consultant.
“Bi+ Visibility Day is still a much needed awareness and celebration date because bi+ people and their romantic and sexual orientation is still vastly misunderstood and stereotyped outside, and even within, the LGBTQ+ community. This means bi+ people can be hugely isolated with lack of community and support. For me, Bi+ Visibility Day is important because internalised biphobia, poor understanding and stigma attached to the label caused me to spend a long time rejecting and feeling ashamed of my bi+ identity.
Representation, like Bi+ Visibility Day, and hearing others’ stories validated me and allowed me to move towards acceptance and stand proudly in who I really am. The day has an essential role in dismantling stereotypes, biphobia and bi-erasure, so that people are not afraid to embrace their bi+ identity and can live freely. The bi+ umbrella encompasses many identities, and they all deserve to be seen, heard and celebrated!”
Kelly Philips, Inclusion Impact Officer.
The history of Bi Visibility Day
Bi Visibility Day began (and is still sometimes referred to) as “International Celebrate Bisexuality Day.”
Bi Visibility Day is also known in some places as:
- Bisexual Day
- International Bisexual Day
- Bi Pride Day
- Bi Day
- National Bisexual Day
Wendy Curry, Michael Page, and Gigi Raven Wilbur, three bi activists from the United States, founded the day in 1999. Michael Page is well-known in the bisexual community for designing the bisexual flag.
Jen Yockney started the day in the UK and coined it Bi Visibility Day, which has since spread worldwide.
The importance of Bi Visibility Day
It is important to recognise and celebrate Bi Visibility Day for a variety of reasons. Take a look at some of the reasons why the day is significant below:
It helps tackle biphobia
It is an opportunity to combat biphobia by learning more about the community and celebrating their existence.
Many people may be unaware of what bisexuality is, but the day is an opportunity to raise awareness and share knowledge.
What is biphobia?
Biphobia can look like intolerance, discrimination and stereotyping against bisexual people based on biases in the form of verbal language and comments or physical harm and violence.
It gives visibility to the bisexual community
As we’ve mentioned before, the bisexual community is frequently forgotten and feels invisible or excluded from the larger LGBTQ+ community.
This day provides visibility to the bisexual community, raises bisexual awareness and allows them to celebrate who they are with others.
Bi-erasure questions and dismisses someone’s sexuality and is pervasive in the bi community. It makes assumptions which can result in low self-esteem, lack of acceptance and poor mental health for bisexual people.
Opportunity for people to learn about bisexuality
Some people may be unaware of what it means to be bisexual. The day provides an opportunity for others to learn about and understand the community.
Call for change
The day is a call for change in the way many members of the bisexual community are treated. Some people feel they don’t fit in with any community because they are bisexual, which should not be the case. It’s an opportunity for everyone to speak up, share their stories, and encourage acceptance.
How to celebrate Bi Visibility Day
Don’t worry if you’re stuck for ideas for Bi Visibility Day; we’re here to help.
Here are a few ideas to get your Bi Visibility Day celebrations started in the workplace:
Provide training on bisexuality and the community’s history. This is an opportunity for others to learn about bisexuality’s history, which is rarely discussed.
Attending Bi Visibility Day events, whether at work or on your own time, is a great idea. Consider participating in a flag raising or march. There are numerous events to attend, whether you are a member of the bisexual community or an ally.
Consider bisexual history
Bisexual history is an extremely important aspect of the day that should be taken into account. Consider the history of the bisexual community and how they got to where they are today. It is critical to look back in time to see how the past shaped the present.
Discuss the importance of allyship
Support for all is vital, and by discussing allyship and the numerous benefits it provides, you are equipping people with the knowledge to help many communities.
Offer the chance to share experiences
Provide your bisexual coworkers with a platform and the option to share their experiences if they feel comfortable. By learning more directly about how bisexuals feel in the workplace and what support is available, you can plan actions and strategies to help them.