Bi Visibility Day exists to celebrate and support our bisexual colleagues, friends and family members.
Bisexual is often used as an “umbrella term” that covers a few different identities. Broadly it means being attracted, either romantically or physically, to more than one gender (yes, there are more than two, but that’s a different subject that is far too complicated to cover here!) It’s important to respect someone’s own identity, so if they use a different definition, or a different word to mean a similar thing then that is what they are - accept it, don’t correct it.
Being visible means being acknowledged and allowed to exist. There doesn’t have to be a party, just don’t pretend we don’t exist (although a party would be nice!)
Someone’s sexuality isn’t dependant on their current partner, so someone who is in a committed relationship with one person can still be bi. We don’t suddenly become heterosexual or gay just because of the person we’re with.
Being bi is not a phase, or a half-way point. Some people describe their sexuality as “fluid” meaning it changes and shifts over time, and that is equally valid but it doesn’t represent all people. For many people being bi is a constant and unchanging thing.
Personally, I see being bi as an absence rather than an active thing - sex or gender identity just isn’t a factor for me in how attractive I find someone. It’s just another thing like hair colour or favourite food. I find it hard to describe, because it’s all I know. I honestly can’t imagine being attracted to people of a single gender, but I accept that is how some people feel. Just like I don’t understand why some people don’t like cheese (I really do!) or some people do like cricket (I really don’t!), but I still accept that those tastes are real too.
So here’s the thing I really don’t understand: it doesn’t matter to me whether someone likes cheese, or cricket, or not. I don’t think things like that matter to most people, apart from maybe changing the topics of conversation, or where to have lunch (assuming any venues are open!). So why should it be so different with sexuality? I like cheese, I don’t like cricket, and I’m bi. They’re all part of who I am, along with a whole load of other things. You don’t have to share my tastes, just respect them, and accept that sometimes some aspects are more important than others. Today, being bi is more important than cheese!.
Diversity can seem complicated, so whether you identify as something other than 100% heterosexual or just want to try to understand more, please consider joining the LGBT+ network. Send us an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Does your department network have a blog post to share on our website celebrating Bisexual Awareness Week or Day? Email the Civil Service LGBT+ Network with your contribution.