Today is Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday celebration. I always take some time on this day to reflect upon whether or not I am doing enough for my fellow humans. For the past few years, my focus has been on my Bi+ family. I had started out in Gay Liberation back in the 70’s and there were definitely other Bisexuals involved but they were not always loud and proud about their bisexuality.
It is important to acknowledge that Bisexual people have always been involved in the struggle for LGBTQ rights. There are some very notable folks in that history and I have written about them before. Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, were Bi+ trans women who were involved in the Stonewall Riot. Brenda Howard is known as the Mother of Pride for organizing the Christopher Street Gay Liberation celebration in June 1970. Stephen Donaldson, a Bi activist, organized the first Gay student organization called the Student Homophile League in the mid sixties. Bisexuals have never failed to support the struggle. Glaad has a wonderful synopsis of Bi activism over the decades and I recommend you read it. It is important to educate yourself on the contributions of Bi+ folks to the LGBTQ liberation movement as they are, far too often, erased.
We have a brand new year ahead of us. Another opportunity to express our sexuality as best suits us and to expand our universe by being bi-visible. There is always some way that you can shout your sexuality. They can be small ways such as wearing a Bi clothing or bling. There can be bigger ways such as organizing the Bi community locally. There are very personal ways such as coming out to one trusted person.
The main thing, and I am saying this for my own benefit as well as yours, is to do something. Large or small, loud or quiet….and if, nothing else, just be your Bi self. And, if over the next year, you feel the need to rest a bit, that is just fine. Take it all one day at a time. Be kind to yourself. It can be kind of tough to be Bi sometimes. We are not given our due respect. We are not seen even when we are shouting our existence. We seem to always be asked to explain ourselves. Even though who we are is not at all complex…we are people who can see and respond to the beauty of all people. It should not be that hard to understand but inexplicably it still causes confusion for non-Bi people.
If you can do it join a local organization for support and comradery. Make sure to follow some Bi+ sites and pages on social media. This all seems a little rambling to me but the main thing is to acknowledge within yourself who you are. If you are attracted to people of more than one gender you are non-monosexual. If you are non-monosexual you are a member of the Bi+ community. That acknowledgement alone is absolutely huge and monumental and important. So, at the very least, commit to be yourself and to not deny who you are. And, if you do that, activism and organization and community will follow!
Adding the link to the Glaad site for the brief but interesting Bi+ history lesson: