October is LGBT History Month and it's coming up fast, but what folks may not realize is that we're already smack in the middle of a worldwide celebration of bisexual people. Sept. 17 through 24 is Bisexual Awareness Week, also known as #BiWeek, with Sept. 23 marking Bi Visibility Day, and bi Twitter is here to make sure bi people are extra visible during this week of recognition.
Even though bisexual people make up the biggest subgroup of queer folks in the U.S., with 40 percent of respondents identifying as bisexual in a 2013 Pew Research Center survey of queer Americans, bi folks are less likely to be out than their gay and lesbian peers. According to Pew, this may be because bi people are commonly in relationships with partners of a different sex, and so may not feel the need or desire to come out.
But honestly, it's hard not to attribute bi people's tendency to stay in the closet to the overwhelming amount of discrimination bi people face. A 2017 study by American University interviewed 503 bi folks and found that stressors were significantly more impactful because bi people face what researchers deem "double discrimination," aka a lack of support from within the queer community as well as from non-queer people.
That's why days like Bi Visibility Day, which has been recognizing and celebrating bisexual people since 1999, and Bisexual Awareness Week, which bisexual awareness organization BiNet USA kick-started in 2014, are super necessary. Bi people spend pretty much every day facing down comments about being wishy-washy, greedy, indecisive, or just plain "confused."
And during Bi Week, and especially on Bi Visibility Day, the bisexuals of the world gather together on social media to remind people that not only is being bi a valid and utterly common identity, but that bi folks being recognized and respected shouldn't just be a one-day — or one-week — phenomenon. Here are 11 of the best social media tributes to #BiWeek.
1. The Fence
2. Facebook Comments
4. Make It So
5. Bi Is Not Trans-Exclusive
6. 100 Percent
7. Not Invisible
8. Real Talk
9. Fast Cash
10. It's Me
While it's truly excellent watching bi folks spend Bisexual Awareness Week and Bi Visibility Day using their powers of snark for the greater good, remembering the very real challenges bi people face on the daily is vital.
Derogatory jokes about how bi people are inherently unfaithful or are all opportunistic, predatory, and obsessed with sex are hurtful to the community. So are assumptions that being bi is trans erasive (the bi community defines bi as attraction to two or more genders, not attraction to men and women), and that bi week — and bi activism — is just for bisexual folks (biromantics are also included by the community, despite the week's name).
As evidenced by the tweets above, Bi Visibility Day and #BiWeek have become vital days where bi activists can, yes, let off a little steam with inside jokes, but primarily they are days where bi folks can put themselves out there and defy other people's assumptions, prejudice, and ignorance.
And while Bi Visibility Day Twitter jokes are fantastic, and the bits of education sprinkled in amongst the existential angst is even better, it's important to remember that as the week wraps on Sept. 24 and we head into LGBT History Month, folks should never stop validating and boosting the bi members of the queer community.