Celebrate Bisexuality Day 2022: Meaning and India's take on bisexuality
September 23 marks Celebrate Bisexuality Day every year. The day raises awareness about acceptance of one another and the many struggles faced by the bisexual community. It teaches us that every person, irrespective of their sexual orientation, is worthy of love, respect, and rights. From the history of the day to India's take on bisexuality, here's everything you should know about today.
Bisexuality is defined as a romantic, sexual, or emotional attraction toward both males and females. It may also include attraction towards people regardless of their sex or gender identity. A bisexual identity doesn't necessarily indicate equal attraction to both sexes, but, in fact, people who have a distinct but not exclusive preference for one over the other are also included.
Also called Bi Visibility Day, this occasion was first observed in the year 1999 by the International Lesbian and Gay Association Conference in Johannesburg, South Africa. Historically, bisexuals were an ignored group in the LGBTQ+ community as some thought that they are either promiscuous or bisexuality doesn't exist. Therefore, the occasion is celebrated to raise awareness that bisexuality is real and present everywhere.
Bisexuals are often brushed aside by some folks of the straight community as "being confused," "closeted gay," "traitor," or "undecided." A 2017 review of 52 studies revealed that bisexual people had higher chances of anxiety and depression when compared with those who are straight or homosexual. A majority of bisexuals fear opening up to their family and friends, thereby experiencing loneliness, stress, and fatigue.
On September 6, 2018, the Supreme Court of India issued a verdict in favor of the LGBTQ+ community, stating "Section 377 is unconstitutional as it infringed on the fundamental rights of autonomy, intimacy, and identity." Today, all members of the LGBTQ+ community are free to be in relationships with their partners. However, multiple petitions on legalizing same-sex marriage in India are pending in courts.
Lend an ear and reassure them that you won't judge, instead try to understand their struggles. Attend local events or Pride parades, raise awareness, wave the flag, celebrate their sexuality with them, and become an ally. Talk to your friends and family about the LGBTQ+ community and educate them to shatter all stereotypes. Be respectful and patient, and leave behind all unconscious biases.