4 Ways to Stay Visible All Year Long
photo by Ian Lawrence-Tourinho
The big day is finally upon us: It’s September 23 — Bi Visibility Day! Unlike in past years, I’m not going to focus on why we need this day (i.e., because bi+ people experience higher rates of depression, anxiety, sexual assault, and discrimination from both the gay and straight communities). I always found an infuriating irony that on our day we have to justify why Bi Pride is important — just like we often have to justify our existence to naysayers.
For one day out of the year, I don’t want to have to justify my sexuality or explain why people should give a damn about the bi community.
So instead of all the usual depressing statistics, I want to discuss how you can bring the joy, pride, and increased visibility you experience today into the other 364 days a year.
Because wouldn’t it be cool if we lived in world where every day was Bi Visibility Day? You can help make that happen with these four tips!
1. Join a Bi Group
My favorite part of Bi Visibility Day is recognizing how large and diverse the bi+ community is. Most years since its inception (maybe even every year, I’m not 100% sure), #BiVisibilityDay trends on Twitter. That’s how many people are openly discussing their bisexuality. I love seeing people come out as bi today. I also love how responsive and supportive we are to one another. The level of compassion and empathy we give to our queer brothers and sisters today makes my little bisexual heart burst.
Additionally, Bi Visibility Day helps us realize that we are not alone. While we compose the majority of the LGBTQ community, we still often feel isolated — like there’s no one else out there who experiences our struggles.
Unfortunately, it might not be easy to connect and find other bi people when it’s not bi visibility day, but that’s why it’s crucial to join a specific bi group or to tell yourself that you will actually attend that once-a-month bi meet-up that’s downtown.
If you live outside of queer-friendly metropolises, then you can (and should) join Facebook or Reddit groups. An online community of like-minded, supportive bi+ can be as nourishing to the soul as meeting up with folks in real life.
2. Continue to Push Yourself
Today, you might be pushing yourself to do or share things that would typically be out of your comfort zone. Maybe you came out to your family, or you wore a colorful pink, purple, and blue outfit that you’d usually be too scared to wear in public, or you told a coworker that you’re attracted to all genders. You likely did something that you wouldn’t do on another day because you felt encouraged/inspired by the bi pride all over the Internet.
But the truth is, you don’t need to an “excuse” to do anything bi or to come out. And the straight coworker’s response is going to be the same today as it would be every other day of the year. Try to find the courage to push yourself to be more open and proud when it’s not Bi Visibility Day.
3. There are Many Kinds of Visibility
Due to bi-erasure and society’s tendency to think of the world in binaries, it’s surprisingly tough to be “visibly bi.” Unless you’re walking around town holding a bi flag or hands with partners of multiple genders, people are going to assume you’re either gay or straight. This can be absolutely maddening to feel like your identity is constantly being ripped from you.
A few years ago on Bi Visibility Day, I came to realize that bi visibility can take many forms. Talking about being bi. Dressing up queer. Promoting bi writers, activists, and actors on social media. It’s also not only about what other people think of as being visible. When I wear my crop tops, I don’t feel like I’m embracing a gay identity (which is what most others assume) I feel like I’m embracing my femininity and bisexuality. That’s how bi visibility looks to me!
4. Donate Your Time to a Bi or Any LGBT Cause
Get involved. That’s the best thing you can do to feel part of a bi+ or larger queer community. When you donate your time to bi+ causes, you’ll not only meet other incredible bi+ people, you’ll also feel more connected to the community. So go ahead and Google to see what’s around in your area. It really is a win-win all around!
So go on and enjoy Bi Visibility Day 2018! Live your life to the fullest today and be proud and open of who you are. But remember, we can embrace and be proud of our sexuality every day of the year. Just because we are celebrating today, it doesn’t mean we’re done being proud and visible!