No longer bi themselves

Education on Queer Issues Project hosts first Celebrate Bisexuality Day tomorrow to combat stereotypes of bisexual individuals

Tomorrow, students will show their stripes as a pink, purple and blue flag flies over the JDUC to recognize the University’s first Celebrate Bisexuality Day.

Amanda Christie, Education on Queer Issues Project (EQuIP) chair and ArtSci ’12 said she hopes the flag will create visibility and awareness about the bisexual community.

“There is bi-phobia within the queer and straight communities and it’s good to combat that through dialogue,” she said.

EQuIP is hosting a meeting tomorrow night at 5:30 p.m. at the Grey House on Bader Lane to discuss myths and stereotypes surrounding the issue.

Christina Clare, EQuIP executive member and ArtSci ’10, said the myths and stereotypes surrounding bisexuality are that bisexuals are inherently promiscuous and can’t be monogamous, that they have a higher risk of contracting STIs and can’t be truly bisexual if they’ve only dated one gender.

“These are all completely ridiculous,” she said. “Bi-phobia also comes out of the need people feel to keep binaries because anything outside of that is threatening. We’re hoping to tackle these issues with this workshop and expose that they are myths and not realities.”

Clare said three American bisexual activists started the idea for celebrating bisexuality in 1990.

Since 1999, the event has been observed worldwide annually on Sept. 23.

Clare said the event isn’t just for those who identify as bisexual but also for people who want to confront bi-phobia.

“We’re trying to tackle bi-phobia so that people feel safe and are able to express themselves in whichever way they choose,” she said. “We want people to take it upon themselves to educate themselves and others so it makes the campus safer.”

For Althea Green, EQuIP chair 2008-09 and Nurs ’11, the event is important because it means recognition of her sexuality.

“Bisexuality isn’t taken that seriously,” she said. “When I come out to someone as bisexual, I generally get the response, ‘Oh, most girls are,’ which puts down my sexuality and links me with girls who may do it for the gaze of their male partners.”

Green said there are mixed emotions regarding bisexuality in the queer community.

“Some will celebrate while others think bisexuals are fence sitters, traitors, or all-together just promiscuous,” she said. “I’d hope that Celebrate Bisexuality Day will help those individuals who may feel isolated from the queer community to stand for their sexuality and know they do in fact have a place in it.”

Green said awareness and acceptance stemming from the event might be small at first but she thinks it will increase as time goes on.

“As we continue to celebrate and increase awareness, both communities will give it the recognition it deserves and will understand that we are here to stay.”

EQuIP hosts a Celebrate Bisexuality Day discussion tomorrow at 5:30 p.m. at the Grey House.

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