The Center combats bi-erasure with a celebratory social


The Center for LGBTQIA+ Student Success

The Center will host a social to celebrate bisexuality day on Friday at 4-6 p.m. at The Center on the fourth floor of Memorial Union.

People who are bisexual face erasure, fetishization, stereotypes and stigmatization of bisexuality outside and within the queer community, leading to only 33% of bisexual women and 8% of bisexual men perceiving acceptance, according to Pew Research Center’s statistics on social acceptance

Individuals who are bisexual make up 52% of the LGBTQIA+ community, with 33% of women and 19% of men identifying as bisexual, according to research conducted by the Movement Advancement Project.

As a way to combat the erasure the bisexual community faces, Celebrate Bisexuality Day was created in 1999 by three bisexual activists: Wendy Curry, Michael Page and GiGi Raven Wilbur. The annual holiday has since spread to more than 30 countries.

Bisexual Awareness Week, which began in 2014, grew as an offshoot of the day to celebrate the resiliency of the bisexual community and draw attention to members’ public policy concerns, according to GLAAD.

Sept. 16 marked the beginning of Bisexual Awareness week, which continues through to Thursday and culminates with Celebrate Bisexuality Day on Friday. The Center for LGBTQIA+ Student Success will host a Bisexual Pride social with food and games on Friday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Center on the fourth floor of the Memorial Union.

Susan Harper, director of the Center for LGBTQIA+ Student Success, told the Daily she wanted to have programming for this week because most of the students that the Center serves are bisexual.

“I want our space to be affirming of all identities all the time, but I wanted to make sure to mark this week as distinct,” Harper said. “Sure it’s included in Pride, but to mark those days and weeks of awareness for specific identities that kind of get forgotten about or treated as ‘gay-lite’ is really important.”

Lack of education outside and within the queer community can lead to misinformation and the spread of stereotypes. Harper said this week is a way to counter some of the stereotypes surrounding bisexuality, and Celebrate Bisexuality Day is a way to internationally celebrate bisexuality as a way to cap off the week.

“Every bisexual experiences it differently and describes it differently, which I think is what also freaks people out,” Harper said.

Having conversations surrounding bisexuality provides an opportunity for dialogue and for those within the community to share their truths and experiences.

“I think talking about it more and discussing how bisexuality can look and hear people’s stories is really important, which is another reason why I wanted to make sure we programmed around it,” Harper said. “It’s important to us as a community that our bi students feel seen.”