Bisexual Awareness Week is a yearly event celebrated on the third week of September. It highlights the various shades of bisexuality, debunking misconceptions, challenging discrimination, and correcting misrepresentations.
The central theme of this event is understanding, but it goes beyond mere awareness. It involves cultivating deep-seated empathy and bridging the gap between different sexual orientations.
Moreover, this celebration promotes cultural acceptance, creating a world that understands, accepts, and celebrates bisexuality. Read on to learn more.
Featured in: September - Awareness Months, Days & Observances
History and Background of Bisexual Awareness Week
The Bisexual Resource Center (BRC) established Bisexual Awareness Week, also known as BiWeek, as an annual celebration in 1999. It sheds light on the unique experiences and challenges faced by bisexual individuals.
BRC helped develop the bisexual rights movement. One of the founders, Lani Ka'ahumanu, advocated for bisexual rights.
BiWeek takes place from September 16 to September 23, culminating in Celebrate Bisexuality Day, or Bisexual Visibility Day, another global event.
Influential figures in the bisexual rights movement, Wendy Curry, Michael Page, and Gigi Raven Wilbur, established this day in 1999. The movement reached a milestone upon the White House's official recognition of BiWeek in 2013, as President Obama led the inclusivity charge.
Social media also played a significant role in bringing the conversation to the forefront, with the birth of the #BiWeek hashtag in 2014, advocating bisexual rights globally and seeking to accelerate the acceptance of the bisexual community.
The Cause and Its Challenges
Bisexual Awareness Week is a worldwide initiative that spotlights the experiences and the challenges bi people face.
Bisexual people face two significant obstacles: biphobia and bisexual erasure, or "bi erasure." The former refers to prejudice due to one's bisexuality. In contrast, the latter refers to denying or dismissing the existence of bisexuality.
These issues are also rooted in deeply ingrained societal attitudes and can make a bisexual person feel invisible within the LGBTQ+ community.
Bisexual individuals often experience higher levels of depression than their peers1, according to a 2018 review of numerous studies. This is mainly due to discrimination, invisibility, and lack of support. The stigma they face differs from that of lesbian women and gay men.
Safety is also a concern within the bisexual community. The data from a study is stark: 63% of bisexual women have experienced rape in their lifetime2, nearly doubling the 35% reported by heterosexual women.
These challenges remind us of the urgent need for understanding, empathy, and awareness of these individuals' daily complex issues.
Efforts and Initiatives
The Bisexual Resource Center (BRC), the oldest bi+ organization in America, rallies a global audience through various platforms to join the event. In the same continent, the Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity also participates in the event.
Across the globe, the Bisexual Index in the UK promotes Bisexual Awareness Week and addresses biphobia in society. Australia's National LGBTI Health Alliance offers a range of resources during Bisexual Awareness Week to empower bisexual individuals.
Moreover, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) commits resources and advocacy tools to broaden understanding - for bi people, minorities, and anyone suffering from non-acceptance or human rights abuses.
How to Get Involved and Support Bisexual Awareness Week
Explore local events, whether a lively parade or informative panel discussions. You can contact the nearest LGBTQ+ community center, a safe space to connect, communicate, and show support for your bisexual friends on those you have yet to meet.
If you dislike crowds, volunteer at your favorite LGBTQ+ organizations. Help them with administrative tasks, event planning, or providing a comforting conversation.
Learn about bisexual people by reading "Bi Lives: Bisexual Women Tell Their Stories" and "Recognize: The Voices of Bisexual Men." You can also watch documentaries or listen to podcasts.
Promote this event, raise awareness, and challenge the misconceptions associated with bisexual identities by sharing insightful content on social media.
Bisexual Awareness Week raises awareness of the unique challenges that people within the bisexual spectrum, often stemming from societal misunderstanding and stigma. To create more inclusive societies, we must educate ourselves, challenge our biases, and dismantle harmful stereotypes.
Together, we can contribute to an environment where every sexual orientation feels seen, heard, and accepted, promoting overall mental well-being.
Bisexual Awareness Week FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
It's a dedicated week for elevating the understanding of bisexuality, celebrating those who identify as bisexual, and advocating for their recognition and rights.
Traditionally, it occupies the third week of September, climaxing on Celebrate Bisexuality Day, September 23rd.
Given that bisexual individuals often battle biphobia and erasure, this observance is key in enhancing inclusivity, acceptance, and awareness of bisexuality.
Boost your knowledge on bisexuality, circulate insightful content, participate in relevant events, use inclusive language, and echo the voices of bisexual folks.
There exist numerous myths around bisexuality, like it being a temporary phase, indications of confusion, or a predisposition to infidelity.
Ross, L. E., Salway, T., Tarasoff, L. A., MacKay, J., Hawkins, B., & Fehr, C. (2017). Prevalence of Depression and Anxiety Among Bisexual People Compared to Gay, Lesbian, and Heterosexual Individuals:A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Journal of Sex Research, 55(4–5), 435–456.
Canan, S. N., Jozkowski, K. N., Wiersma-Mosley, J. D., Bradley, M. S., & Blunt-Vinti, H. (2019). Differences in lesbian, bisexual, and heterosexual women’s experiences of sexual assault and rape in a national U.S. sample. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 36(19–20), 9100–9120.