September 23 is Bi Visibility day. It may have escaped your notice this year (oh, the irony), but make sure you don't let it pass you by next time because it is actually a very important event for the B in LGBT. Here are some reasons why bisexual visibility is important enough to have its own day.
1. Bi Erasure
2. Constantly Coming Out
"The last person you dated was a guy. I assumed you were done with all that." No, I'm not kidding, this is a direct quote that someone in my life has said to my face. If a bisexual person is dating someone, their sexuality does not go away. Even if someone who is bi gets married that doesn't negate their attraction to multiple genders. Monogamy is not the death of bisexuality. Most of us want to be with one person. We just don't care what that person's gender happens to be. Stop treating our sexuality as a phase or as a greedy way of trying to be with multiple people.
3. Representation in Popular Culture
You see a character that has just come out as gay or lesbian. I see a missed opportunity for an openly bisexual character. My favorite example of this is Willow from "Buffy the Vampire Slayer." Don't get me wrong, I love Willow and Tara but their relationship did not need to undermine her past relationship with Oz. It was clear that she had been attracted to the opposite sex in her past and her new love did not have to invalidate that attraction if they had instead made her bisexual. Additionally, nearly every character in the media that is "not into labels" is a huge insult to the bisexual community. Even "Glee," a show that prides itself on its inclusivity portrays bisexuality in a negative light. "Bisexual is a term gay guys use in high school when they want to hold hands with girls and feel normal for a change," says Kurt Hummel in an episode that revolves around his boyfriend, Blaine, questioning his sexuality. The media perpetuates the "myth" of bisexuality more often than not. This is yet another form of bi erasure that needs to be corrected. Things are getting better for bisexuals in TV but not by much. I suppose that if we get stuck having such a limited supply of bi characters then we will definitely take Bo from "Lost Girl." "Game of Thrones" also deserves a shout out for Oberyn. He would move mountains to defend his love for both men and women. Oh, wait.
4. Alienation in the LGBT Community
The biggest problem bi people have with dating? A lot of the time other queer people don't want anything to do with us. They have been taught that anyone who identifies as anything but entirely gay is using them as some sort of experiment. This is not the case! Even when we tell them that we have had past relationships with people of the same gender some people are still hesitant to believe that we are really queer. This is so infuriating because the LGBT community is supposed to be a place for us too. We should feel safe among other queer individuals but sometimes we can't. My advice for any members of the LGBT community who still feel this way is to get over it and think about how you want to be treated.
5. Validating our Queerness
Often, when tragedy strikes the LGBT community, we are made to feel as though our sorrow for our friends is invalid. This is especially true if we happen to be involved in a heteronormative relationship at the time. When the Orlando shooting happened this summer, many queer individuals that were bisexual or pansexual felt that they did not have the right to be angered by the injustices done to the community. However, we should not feel the need to validate our queerness just to stand up for the LGBT community as a whole. We're standing with the community and that is what matters.