Oh No! Our Invisibility Powers Are Gone — Bisexual Visibility Month

September is a special time of the year where Bisexual Pride and Visibility are celebrated.

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September is a special time of the year for the bisexual community. It is the month where Bisexual Pride and Visibility are celebrated. More notably, Bisexuality Visibility Day is celebrated every year on the 23rd September. Unfortunately, there are ignorant, problematic individuals who have questioned the necessity for a month dedicated to the bisexual+ community. Regardless, this is an important month and is definitely needed for a number of valid reasons.

Mental Health and Physical Ailments

According to studies, the bisexual+ community suffer from the most mental health difficulties and illnesses. This is due to a number of factors, most being linked to queerphobia and biphobia that is heavily prevalent in our society. The statistics show that: the bisexual community faces “higher rates of anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders.”

Moreover, a concerning study has shown that the bisexual community+ also suffer from the most physical health issues such as: higher rates of Sexually Transmitted Infections, cancer, heart problems and tobacco and drug use, which results in other health problems too.

The main cause for all health-related problems is that the LGBTQ+ community, particularly the bisexual and trans communities, do not have enough access to resources and educational platforms to learn more about their health and well-being, especially when it comes to sexual education, and mental health.

Biphobia and Bi-erasure

An ongoing problem in our society which cannot be ignored is the severe hate and ignorance towards the bisexual+ community. In terms of biphobia, people often discriminate against bisexual individuals, assuming that they are simply confused, going through a phase, or are “too scared to fully come out of the closet.”

A dangerous, patriarchal notion is also ingrained in our society whereby sexual orientation should have a “man-dominated focus”. By this, I mean that bisexual womxn are regarded as being “straight womxn who are simply experimenting with other womxn”, and bisexual men are regarded as being “gay men who do not want use the homosexual title.” These detrimental thoughts are extremely damaging towards bisexual people.

Bi-erasure takes place in multiple forms, and even forms part of our daily language. Many people assume that the binary exists where there is only “man and womxn”, and only “gay and straight.” As soon as bisexuality, non-binary, genderqueer and trans identities are included, people become even more hateful and harmful.

Many people assume you could can only be attracted to a man or a womxn, and you cannot be attracted to more than one gender. This biphobic belief not only restricts sexuality to a binary, but also oppresses and suppresses the diversity and scientifically proven spectrum of sexuality.

Representation and Voice

A clear need in the bisexual+ community is for more representation in our society. This is where leaders, celebrities, professionals and influencers, take up spaces and platforms, whether it is in politics, government, television, films, music, books, careers and more. It is simply an empowering mechanism for other bisexual people to be inspired and to follow their dreams, and know that they belong and are accepted.

We need to normalise the discussion of sexual orientation in our own spaces using our voices. Often, I have engaged with people about being proudly and unapologetically bisexual, and it has comforted and encouraged bisexual individuals who are not yet out of the closet. This is important to work on creating inclusive, accepting spaces where people feel safe to open up to you about who they are.

There are a multitude of societal changes that are needed to break the harmful binaries and biphobic beliefs that exist. It will take time, effort and energy, but it is possible to achieve. I would like to wish all bisexual individuals a happy pride and visibility month.

Luke Waltham is a BA Law Graduate. He is a BA Honours student and has been an activist for transformation, social justice and human rights. #BTSARMY

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