Can you tell a person is bisexual just by looking at them?
No, you can’t. Bisexuals come in all shapes, all colors, and all sizes. Many bis fit traditional 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 bisexual 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 bisexuals don’t realize how many other bis they already know! All this would be a harmless intellectual exercise, except that lack of visibility and mislabeling has negative consequences for our community such as leaving us cut out of LGBT-oriented outreach, and leaving bi people feeling isolated and alone. For this reason, the bi activists designated September 23rd as Bi Visibility Day in 1999. Since then, the commemorations around September 23rd have grown bigger and bigger and spread across the globe.
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