It has been my honor and privilege to work with others to craft a Bi+ Pride organization in Milwaukee. It was amazing after I scheduled our first Bi-Cafe how folks were just coming out of the woodwork to join in. Not huge numbers, admittedly, but people who were excited to have a safe space to be themselves and mingle with other Bi+ folx.
And, then, we walked in the Pride parade. We were few in number as there was a torrential deluge that day but we could see the appreciation on the faces of so many Bi spectators as we marched by with our massive bed sheet slash Bi Pride banner. We were homemade and homegrown. Activists who are determined to make a difference where we live.
We have been taking it one day at a time but things have happened that we did not expect…and quickly. Starting in October there will be a Bi+ support group convening at our local LGBT center. This happened because of the input of our followers when we posted a survey on our Facebook page. Folks responded in great numbers demanding support and programming for our Bi+ community. While this is long overdue, it is definitely a step in the right direction.
I attended a Pride event, representing our organization and wearing all the Bi bling I could pile on, and was pleased that I was welcomed. I did not shrink from saying our non-monosexual group had not felt embraced at prior Pride events. However, I also said we were committed to being vocal about who we are, why we belong and also to being engaged in the larger LGBT community. We deserve our place and we will advocate for ourselves. The B will be silent no more.
We have many events scheduled for Bi Visibility Month and are building a safe and supportive space for all of us. Our labels don’t matter as much as the fact we are all non-monosexual. We all deserve shelter under the Bi+ umbrella.
The time, talent, energy and enthusiasm exhibited by our group has been heart-warming. We want to be here for those who have felt isolated and alone, with neither a home in the gay or straight communities. We are all being the change we wish to see in the world. I am filled to the brim with #BiPride as I watch our beautiful bunch of human beings working so hard for the benefit of all of us. Wish us luck!