Can you tell a person is bisexual just by looking at them?
No, you can’t. Bi people come in all shapes, all colors, and all sizes. Many bis fit in with cultural norms and read as “straight,” while many set off people’s “gaydar” across the room. If we fit people’s expectations of a straight person, most people assume – incorrectly – that we are straight. If we fit people’s expectations of gay/lesbian, most people assume – incorrectly – that we are homosexual. On top of that, people usually label us according to our current partners which, unless we happen to be poly and walking down the street with a man and a woman at the same time, also leads others to label us incorrectly.
The bi equality movement has long had to fight for bi visibility. Although bis are the largest group under the LGBT umbrella, it is still common for people to question whether we even exist. It’s not that the doubters are bad people, most honestly just don’t realize that they already know bi people. Even many bi people don’t realize how many other bis they already know! Because folks don’t understand how many bi people are out there, bi people are often left out of LGBT-oriented outreach and are left feeling isolated and alone. To help combat this invisibility, in 1999 bi activists designated September 23rd as Bi Visibility Day. Every year since then the conversations and celebrations around Bi Visibility Day have only grown.
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