First U.S. Bisexual Pride Day

Berkeley, California First to Host Bisexual Pride Day

The Williams Institute in Los Angeles, at the University of California, is devoted to the study of sexual orientation and the law. It estimates that more than four million Americans identify as bisexual, more than the number of Americans who identify as gay, lesbian or transgender combined.

Berkeley, the city that brought you the Free Speech Movement in 1964-65 at the University of California, last Tuesday, proclaimed September 23rd as Bisexual Pride and Bi Visibility Day. The City Council voted unanimously and without discussion on this matter. Since 1999, bisexual activists have claimed the date to celebrate their community in major cities across the U.S.

Bisexuals Have Been Given a Bum Rap

Often misunderstood and accused of being “on the fence” about their sexuality, bisexuals are criticized by straights and homosexuals alike. Martin Rawlings-Fein, Director of the Bay Area Bisexual Network, commented that critics, like gays, “think we have ‘straight privilege’ and we hide in that. We get pushed to the side in the LGBT community and told we don’t exist, that we’re actually gay or lesbian and just not totally “out.”

Not Overlooked With This Official Recognition

Councilman Kriss Worthington introduced the resolution and called it important for Berkeley to support an event “conceived as a response to the prejudice and marginalization of bisexual persons… They deserve our support and acceptance and increasing bisexual visibility is a way of saying, yes, they do exist.”

Worthington is an openly gay person and the first openly gay Vice Mayor running for Mayor. During his reign, he created the LGBT liaison in the Berkeley Police department and sponsored the first LGBT sensitivity training for every member of the Police Department

The resolution Worthington and The City Council voted on Tuesday, September 18th, states, …” the bisexual community remains a distinct one from the gay community and seeks acceptance as such, making it important for the City of Berkeley to demonstrate support for the community individually. “

More Politicians Declare Themselves as Bisexual

Mary Gonzalez, who came out as bisexual at age 21, now calls herself “pansexual,” meaning she is attracted to all genders. She is a member of the Texas House of Representatives. Kyrsten Sinema, is a bisexual candidate running for the U.S. Congress from Arizona.

Alfred Kinsey’s sexual studies as far back as the 1940’s showed that sexual orientation is a continuum and as such is subject to change. By acknowledging this group with Bisexual Pride Day, “it’s an important step forward for a group of people often viewed as an afterthought,” claims Nancy Carleton, a former Berkeley zoning board chairwoman.



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