Don’t Forget Bisexuals in Your Gay Pride Celebrations

Editor’s note: This Care2 favorite was originally posted on June 10, 2017.

London Pride came under fire for not including bisexual groups in their 2017 parade. The organizers later retracted their decision, but including bisexual people at Pride has been a long-time struggle.

Here’s why people need to remember bisexuals at “Gay Pride” celebrations.

We exist.

Too often, when people use the acronym LGBT, they’re just talking about a certain kind of gay person. 

The person is a stereotype – usually a flamboyant, funny man who wants to get married to his long-term partner. Even though he’s easier to accept, open-minded straight people still invalidate his relationships and mannerisms as “cute.” We need to acknowledge that the LGBT community is more diverse than that single flawed perception.

Bisexuals, for one, need visibility. We’re half the LGBT community, but we rarely, if ever, have representation that reflects that reality. 

We suffer.

Straight, as well as gay and lesbian, people often forget we exist – even though we’re a historically disadvantaged community.

Our health overall is poor, compared to other sexual orientations. We also face high rates of mental health problems, substance abuse, domestic violence and sexual assault. With most of us in the closet, we’re less likely to have a community supporting us.

Some people don’t even think bi men exist.

We’re essential to Pride.

Brenda Howard, a bisexual woman, founded the first Pride parade in 1969. A longtime feminist, anti-war and LGBT activist, she co-founded the New York Area Bisexual Network and was arrested multiple times for standing up for social justice causes.

As bisexual activist Faith Cheltenham explains in the South Florida Gay News:

Bi people stand out in the history of the LGBT movement for our bravery, and for stubbornly going out on a limb to save lives, no matter the consequence.

Whether its bisexual politico Emily Dievendorf launching a petition to boycott Mitchfest’s transgender exclusionary practices in 2014 or bi icon Dr. David Lourea creating safe sex workshops for gay and bisexual men facing an AIDS epidemic in 1984, bisexuals don’t hide from the work.”

Despite our long history, it wasn’t until 2015 when a U.S. parade featured a bisexual community advocate marshal.

Straight and gay communities treat us badly.

Even at Pride, bisexual people aren’t always welcomed.

One bi woman of color talks about how she’s terrified at Pride events in a comic labeled “Prejudice at Pride.” Some gay men have berated her for being a “breeder” and physically pushed and prodded her.

Writer, actor and comedian R.J. Aguiar talks about how he changed shirts mid-parade, and cheers immediately stopped when he wore his bi pride T-shirt.

“I was in charge of a bi stall at Pride once when someone came up and told me she didn’t believe in bisexuality,” says Libby Baxter-Williams, editor of the UK bisexual magazine Biscuit, to Curve. “She was wearing a t-shirt that said ‘Don’t tell me who I can love’.”

In the meantime, some straight people fetishize us and treat us like deviants.

As bisexuals, we don’t fit into neat stereotypes about being LGBT. That needs to be celebrated, not decried.

Photo Credit: Ted Eytan

142 comments

Toni W
Toni W3 days ago

TYFS

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Toni W
Toni W3 days ago

TYFS

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Mark T
Mark T3 days ago

Ty.

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Dave fleming
Dave f4 days ago

TFS

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Janis K
Janis K4 days ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Amanda McConnell
Amanda M4 days ago

noted

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Amanda McConnell
Amanda M4 days ago

noted

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Leo Custer
Leo C4 days ago

Thank you for sharing!

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Tania N
Tania N4 days ago

Thank you

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Tania N
Tania N4 days ago

Thank you

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