In honor of Bisexual Awareness Week, which aims to “help draw attention to the public policy concerns of bisexual people while also celebrating the great resiliency of bisexual culture and community,” we present to you five pieces of bisexual trivia to serve as a reminder of the importance of bisexuality to the greater LGBTQ cause. As with any sexual movement, the road has been long and windy. Don’t forget to look both ways.
[jump] 5. Berkeley was the first city to create a Bisexual Pride Day
In 2012, Berkeley, ever the radical, became the first city in the country to give bisexuals their own special day, separate from the usual June melee of traditional Pride festivities. Berkeley City Councilman Kriss Worthington came up with the idea in order to counter marginalization and invisibility.
“Bisexuals can experience prejudice from both directions,” Worthington told The Chron. “Increasing bisexual visibility is a way of saying, yes, they do exist, and they deserve our support and acceptance.”
Bisexual Pride Day is on Sept. 23, in concurrence with Bi Awareness Week.
4. Even off the clock, a majority of porn actresses identify as bisexual
Recent-ish findings from the Journal of Sex Research found that porn actresses have higher self-esteem and feel better about their bodies in comparison to women who aren’t in the adult industry. But another surprising tidbit from the study showed that porn stars were far more likely to identify as bisexual (67 percent, compared to the match group’s 7 percent). While we can probably attribute these high numbers to a certain sexual adventurousness in porn actresses in general, it is nonetheless interesting to note that adult stars identify with the bisexual label off the clock. More research is clearly needed on the subject.
3. Bisexual slurs have been around since the time of ancient Greece
Ancient Greece accomplished a great deal for Western civilization in areas such as democracy, architecture, art, and philosophy. They were also known for being pretty slutty. For instance, in the military, it was a common and accepted occurrence for homosexual relationships to flourish between older and younger soldiers “to increase loyalty during war time.” Not everyone was as accepting of this bang-your-commanding-officer style of morale, and the philosopher Aristophanes even went so far as to coin a derogatory term for it: euryprôktoi, which means “wide asses.” Clearly Aristophanes could have benefitted from some “euryprôktoi” in regard to his own rigid beliefs.
2. Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong swings both ways
Billie Joe Armstrong, the frontman for the East Bay band everyone either loves or hates (or loves to hate), has been a vocal proponent for bisexuality, starting back in 1995. In an Advocate interview, Armstrong said, “I think I’ve always been bisexual. I mean, it’s something that I’ve always been interested in. I think people are born bisexual, and it’s just that our parents and society kind of veer us off into this feeling of ‘Oh, I can’t.’ They say it’s taboo. It’s ingrained in our heads that it’s bad, when it’s not bad at all. It’s a very beautiful thing.” Armstrong’s albums have also touched on bisexuality issues, as he told Rolling Stone magazine.
1. The whole notion of Pride was started by a bisexual activist
Brenda Howard (aka the Mother of Pride) was a New York-based bisexual activist and all-around bad-ass, known to counter biphobia with quotes like, “Bi, poly, switch — I’m not greedy, I know what I want.” One of her most lasting contributions came from her work commemorating the first anniversary of the Stonewall riots, which many consider the genesis of the modern LGBT rights movement. It was Howard’s idea to host a weeklong series of Pride events, culminating in a Pride march, which is now celebrated in countless cities and countries around the world every June (or October if you’re in Oakland).
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