In the run up to the second annual Bi Pride, it’s crucial to reflect on the attitudes towards bi and pan sexualities within our culture.
Despite bi people making up 51% of the LGBTQ+ community, those who identify as neither straight nor gay still face discrimination and prejudice in the form of biphobia and bi erasure. Often bi people are made to feel not only unwelcome in society but unwelcome in LGBTQ+ spaces; for example, Pride parades and celebrations around the country.
Due to vast numbers of bi people in society, it may be surprising that biphobia and bi erasure remain problems to be solved. Bi people often find themselves facing frustrating questions including ‘when are you actually going to choose?’ or ‘which gender do you really prefer? There must be one’.
Biphobia is institutionalised in wider culture – 48% of bisexuals have experienced biphobic comments when accessing medical care, with two-thirds feeling as though they must then identify as straight, and 42% as gay.
HRC’s Foundation study of bisexual youths concluded that biphobia and sexual harassment affects bisexuals at a young age, and is one of the many reasons why bisexuals are at a higher risk of dealing with mental health issues, including anxiety disorders and physical health issues
All of this is why Bi Pride UK is dedicated to providing a safe space for all individuals who fall under the bi umbrella (bisexual, biromantic, pansexual, panromantic, queer and anyone who experiences attraction beyond gender). We do this by holding our own pride events, thus providing bi individuals with a virtual community and ensuring their presence is known at LGBTQ+ prides around the UK.
Our first event in 2019 not only put a beautiful smile on all the faces who came along, but also smashed world records, taking the title of the biggest bi gathering in history. This confirmed for us that our event had an essential place in today’s society, providing bi people with a safe space and highlighting that they deserve to be celebrated.
With the UK on lockdown, some LGBTQ+ people are forced to stay at home with families who either don’t know about their sexuality or do not accept it. 24% of bisexuals say that their sexuality has not come up in conversation with friends and family, meaning that their feelings of loneliness and isolation are currently being heightened. And with mental health struggles being a common denominator for bi individuals, Bi Pride UK realised that now it’s time to show the bi community that we are all in this together.
Bi Pride’s Bi-Fi Festival will take place this Saturday 20th June and bring passionate activists and dazzling performers to your living room to not only remind bi people there’s a loud and proud community out there, but to invite everyone to stand with bi people and make them feel safe.
Bi Pride UK only delivers the best and the performers will be hosted by Ru Paul’s Drag Race UK superstar Scardey Kat and fellow drag queen Pussy Kat, while award-winning bisexual activist Marcus Morgan will be hosting the panel section.
Between 5 – 7:15pm activists including editor-in-chief of Burnt Roti magazine Sharan Dhaliwal, intersex activist Anick Soni, bisexual scientist Dr Julia Shaw, star of Comedy Central’s ‘Transactional’ Jordan Gray and writer from The Bi-ble Volume 2 Vaneet Mehta, will be discussing a whole array of issues including mental health, experiences of being bi and BAME and bi, pan and trans representations in culture.
Drag performance GenderFunk, disco feminist Victoria Falconer and DJ set Hot Mess Disco, are amongst the show-stopping performers who will follow.
Bi-Fi Festival, this Saturday 20th June, is a time to celebrate the bi identity and decorate yourself with pink, purple, blue and yellow. Join us on Bi Pride UK’s Twitch channel (twitch.tv/biprideuk) from 5 – 9pm to continue our mission to champion bi visibility and show that biphobia should not exist within our society.