This week is almost halfway over, and I just realized that it is Bisexual Awareness Week. I guess that just underscores the need for a week stressing the need for greater awareness of bisexual issues.
Stacey Long Simmons, the director of public policy and government affairs for the National LGBTQ Task Force and herself a bisexual, said: “Much more public education is still needed as misconceptions and stereotypes about bisexual people have serious consequences. For instance, research shows that compared to heterosexual women and gay men, bisexual women experience higher rates of sexual assault, smoking, and suicide.”
She added: “Bisexual people are some of the most maligned and misunderstood members of our LGBTQ community. From assuming that we ‘don’t exist’ — even though statistically we comprise the largest group in our community — to the hyper-sexualizing of bisexual people; from saying we are ‘confused’ to suggesting that we can be ‘turned’ gay or lesbian or straight.
“This week we urge everyone in the LGBTQ community and the general public to educate themselves more about the issues affecting bisexual people. We exist in abundance and we deserve more attention to the reality of our lives.”
Here are a few other quick facts I didn’t know, all found online at BisexualWeek.com.
• Sept. 23 every year is Celebrate Bisexuality Day. That’s the official name. It’s also called Bisexual Pride Day and Bi Visibility Day, and it is observed by the bisexual, pansexual, fluid community and their families, friends, allies and supporters.
• Bisexual advocates Wendy Curry, Michael Page and Gigi Raven Wilbur came up with the idea for Celebrate Bisexuality Day as a way to combat bi invisibility. It began in 1999 and is celebrated with events around the world honoring bisexual culture, community and history. In 2013, the White House held its first bisexual community issues roundtable on Celebrate Bisexuality day.
• There is a bisexual Pride flag. It was designed by Michael Page and has one pink stripe on top (40 percent of the top-to-bottom length), one purple stripe in the middle (20 percent) and one blue stripe on the bottom (40 percent). The bi Pride flag is neither patented, trademarked nor service marked.
• There are a specific set of public policy priorities for Bisexual Awareness Week, including collecting data on bisexuals and more. Read about them all at the website.
• The hashtag for Bisexuality Awareness Week this year is #biweek. There is also a Twitter icon and an official logo. Look for them on the website.
• If you want to know why they use the word bisexual and if you want to see a list of the Bisexuality Awareness Week partners, go to the website. There’s all that and more.
So. I am sorry I waited til the week was almost over. I promise to educate myself and do better next time.