Today is Bisexual Visibility Day! We celebrate this day because many people don’t realize that we exist, and also because we have to take our invisibility cloaks to the dry cleaners.
So to offer some guidance on this very special day, check out this three-step guide to being an Excellent Bi Ally.
1) Let go of stereotypes and assumptions.
We understand, we also took Latin in high school and learned that bi means “two.” What it means for many people in this context is that bi people can be attracted to people with many different genders; we don’t have to pick just two. In fact the “twoness” of bisexuality is generally accepted to mean same gender and different gender. Cool, right?
2) Put away your pie charts.
It may be tempting to ask your bisexual friend “what percent gay” and “what percent straight” they are, as if your friend is made up of complementary fractions of a gay person and a straight person. Instead, I’d be willing to bet that your bisexual friend is actually one whole bisexual person. So put away that pie chart and present your bisexual friend with an actual pie; I hear that providing desserts is an excellent way to show support. And if you’re still really into pie charts, the folks over at Movement Advancement Project have some great ones.
3) Offer solidarity.
It can be hard to be a bi person these days. We are statistically at higher risk than gay and straight people of struggling with substance abuse, suicide, and eating disorders. We are consistently erased, ignored, and doubted. There are a lot of harmful stereotypes out there, and it can be exhausting to repeatedly tell people that, “No, Willow from Buffy the Vampire Slayer was NOT a lesbian.” So on this special day, offer solidarity to your bisexual friends by letting them know: I see you. I respect your identity. And I’m glad you exist.
-Your Friendly Neighborhood Bisexual