It’s BiWeek! Bisexual Awareness Week was created by GLAAD to “accelerate acceptance of the bi+ community.” What many people may not realize is that the LGBTQIA+ community has its own culture and history and the bi+ community exists within that, with some overlapping and distinct priorities, concerns, and culture.
That’s cool, but why do we need a Bisexual Awareness Week? Think of it this way:
What was the title of the last movie you watched with a bisexual main character?
What was the last book you read about a bisexual protagonist?
For me? I can’t think of a single movie. And the last book I read was in May (and it was Otherbound by Corinne Duyvis and I loved it and you should read it this week).
So maybe you don’t personally have an issue with bisexuality, but it’s not accepted in mainstream media or storytelling. And there’s no good reason why it isn’t.
Bisexual Awareness Week is also intended to fight some of the erasure of bisexual identities. Erasure occurs when a bisexual identity is ignored, explained away as something else, or otherwise changed so that they can be ID’d as straight or gay. Madonna is a good example–publicly bisexual but rarely portrayed as such.
Erasure happens both within and outside of the LGBTQIA+ community. I’m sure many of you have heard of bi celebrities being asked if they are now straight/gay because they’re in a relationship.
Bisexual people receive a lot of criticism even within their own LGBT community, too, and are the most likely to hear that they’re “just pretending” or “indecisive” or whatever, as if committing to being attracted to one sex is the only way to live.
Since that’s an awful thing to do to someone, BiWeek is here to help out!
I was going to do a link roundup of cool blog posts I’ve seen lately (and I still will!). But, as there is a biphobic review from VOYA Magazine going around *during* bivisibility week, I wanted to promote stories with bisexual main characters, instead.
- This nonfiction list was put together by a bisexual writer and librarian who understands that books may be the only thing to remind people we aren’t alone
- Bisexual Books is a website providing a cornucopia of book lists, reviews, and essays for bisexual books as well as a fantastic number of other orientations and identities. It covers different genres and age ranges. And they have a good essay on the home page about that VOYA review I mentioned if you want to check it out.
- A long list (by most standards) of nonfiction and fiction titles, all of which about bisexuality but some including other topics like bi AND transgender politics. Unfortunately, there are not descriptions with the titles but they do have links to Amazon where you can check out something that looks interesting.
Young Adult fiction with bisexual MCs:
These links are listed together because there are a few overlapping books (like Not Otherwise Specified, a book about black, bisexual ballerina with an eating disorder. This book tops most of the bisexual MC book lists and will be one one my reading list very shortly!).
In case you’re allergic to clicking on links for lists, here are a few titles with bisexual MCs to check out:
Not Otherwise Specified by Hannah Moskowitz — YA contemporary
Under the Lights by Dahlia Adler — YA contemporary
Otherbound by Corinne Duyvis — YA fantasy
Pantomime by Laura Lam — YA fantasy
Adaptation by Malinda Lo — YA contemporary, sci-fi thriller
To top it off, since this is Bisexual VISIBILITY week, here are some celebrities who are openly biseuxal! Because yes, bisexuality is a thing and not understanding it doesn’t make it not a thing.
Billie Jo Armstrong–front man for Green Day
David Bowie–musician, legend
Jillian Micheals–personal trainer
If you know someone who is bisexual, give them a shout out today. There are still so many hills to climb before bisexuality is accepted in mainstream discourse that everyone could use all the support they can get.
And have a wonderful Bisexual Visibility Week!