by James Whitely -
SGN Staff Writer
Monday, September 23, marked the 15th annual 'Celebrate Bisexuality Day,' an annual observance to recognize the Bisexual community as well as its history of triumphs and tragedies.
Celebrate Bisexuality Day originated in 1999 at a meeting of the International Lesbian and Gay Association. Since then, it's become recognized nationwide, as well as in Japan, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Germany, Sweden, and other countries.
'Most people will look at a couple and decide they are straight or Gay based on the combination of apparent genders - we fly under most people's radar. As a result, many people are isolated and the stereotypes remain unchallenged,' said Wendy Curry, president of BiNet USA, the oldest national Bisexual support network in the United States.
For Bisexuals who are single or in monogamous relationships, their Bisexuality is 'invisible' to others unless it's verbalized.
'Because of binary thinking, and Bisexuals' categorization by others as heterosexual or homosexual depending upon the perceived sex of their partner, Bisexuality tends to be invisible except as a point of conflict,' said Bi activist Robyn Ochs. 'We tend to assume that a person's sexual orientation corresponds to the sex of their current partner, so it is difficult for a monogamous person to make their Bisexual identity visible to acquaintances. If we are silent, people will almost inevitably misread us. If we speak up, people may think we are providing too much information.'
For Bisexuals, coming out can be a daily endeavor. This might be part of why, statistically, far more Bisexuals appear to stay closeted than their Lesbian and Gay counterparts. According to a PEW Research Center study surveying LGBT Americans, while 77% of Gay men and 71% of Lesbian women surveyed were out to friends and family, only 28% of Bisexuals were.
Believing the rainbow flag was not sufficient, Michael Page designed the tri-colored Bisexual Pride flag in 1998 to give the Bisexual community its own symbol.
'Based on my own personal experience, the vast majority of Bi people I have spoken with feel no connection to the rainbow flag, the pink triangle, the black triangle, the lambda symbol, or the double-edged hatchet,' said Page. 'It is my belief that Bi people need their own flags and symbols to rally around.'
Page explained the meaning of the pink, blue, and purple Bisexual Pride flag. Pink represents same-sex attraction, while blue represents heterosexual attraction. The blended purple in between them represents attraction anywhere along the gender spectrum, and is also meant to speak to the invisibility of Bisexuals in the Gay/Lesbian and straight communities.
For resources on issues pertaining to Bisexuality or to learn more, visit the Bisexual Resource Center online at www.biresource.net. The Bisexual Resource Center is the oldest U.S. national Bisexual organization that publishes resources for the Bisexual community and raises awareness about Bisexuality in the LGBT and straight communities.
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