Bi Visibility Day 2013 in words and pictures
Didn’t we do well!?
This September 23rd was the 15th Bi Visibility Day, also known as International Celebrate Bisexuality Day. In recent years this has grown like topsy and has seen about a dozen events around the UK in both 2011 and 2012, but it seemed like 2013 had even more momentum and impact than before. Perhaps one key change has been the move from our celebrations being aimed at the existing bi community circle, to using the date as a springboard to get other people talking about bisexuality too.
There was the twitter-bomb, with over 150 people tweeting the same message, hashtag and link at the same time. For the first time, Government messages of support. Flags flying on police stations, town halls, LGBT bars and – though it seemed to have gone awol by the time BCN got there to check – at one university. The reception area of the Co-Op national HQ was bathed in pink, purple and blue from display panels showing the flag. At least three radio stations were talking about it too.
Overseas the USA played the trump card of “bis in the White House”, as the Obama administration did what the UK government did 18 months ago and invited the bis in to talk about policy-making.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg though as the Bi Visibility Day hub site september23.bi.org recorded events in the UK, USA, Canada, Ireland, Norway, France, Netherlands, Spain, Mexico and Israel.
We’ve tried to round up some of the news and imagery of the day here. If you have more to add, we’d love to know about it.
There were two signs of UK government support marking Bi Visibility Day this year.
Minister for Women and Equalities Jo Swinson MP sent her support, saying, “Absolutely no-one should face prejudice and discrimination because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
“The UK is leading the way in LGB&T equality and we can be proud of the real progress that has been made in recent years.
“But we know there is more to do which is why this autumn we will launch a new Call for Evidence, to explore what the next steps need to be to improve the lives of LGB&T people.
“I welcome Bi Visibility Day which helps to raise awareness of the issues that bisexual people can face and provides an opportunity to celebrate diversity and focus on the B in LGB&T.”
You can be sure that at BCN we’ll be watching out for that call for evidence!
Meanwhile the Department of Culture, Media and Sport official twitter feed tweeted in support of Bi Visibility Day, linking to the september23.bi.org website.
ILGA Europe, the European region of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association, issued a message of support for Bi Visibility Day this year, the second time they have done so.
Since 1999, 23 September is “Celebrate Bisexuality Day”. This occasion is an opportunity to address the particular issues bisexual people face and also to raise the awareness about bisexuality and to celebrate the diversity of and differences within the LGBTI communities.
Prejudice, discrimination and violence against bisexual people continues to be a significant concerns. In May 2013, the European Union’s Agency for Fundamental Rights revealed the finding of the largest ever Survey of experiences by lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people, which provided an insight to bisexual people’s experiences and shows that bisexual people experience significant degree of prejudice, discrimination and violence due to their sexual orientation.
The results make it clear that more specific and targeted legal, policy and social changes need to be initiated by European and national decision makers to protect people from discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation.
In addition to discrimination and violence, the bisexual community often experiences lack of understanding and acceptance by society in general and also lesbian and gay communities.
ILGA-Europe reiterates its full commitment to full equality and respect of the human rights of bisexual people. Bisexual people are entitled to the same dignity and deserve the same opportunity to live their lives without prejudice and discrimination, develop and fully enjoy their identities and form relationships.
On this occasion, ILGA-Europe calls on the LGBTI communities to take a leading role in tackling prejudice against bisexual people and challenge normative approach to identity and sexuality.
Brussels, 20 September 2013