Countries around the world mark Bi Visibility Day

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

Today marks Bi Visibility Day, an initiative created to celebrate bisexuality and diversity within the LGBT community.

Observed each year on 23 September, Bi Visibility Day is designed to raise awareness about bisexuality and the issues that bisexual people face in their day-to-day lives.

Countries including the US, Britain, Australia, Germany, Japan and New Zealand are marking the event.

Since 1999, the LGBT community has been encouraged to celebrate the day with dinner parties, talks, film screenings, flag-flying and balloon launches. The day is being marked with events in Brighton, Manchester, London and Swansea.

Research published in May by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) found that bisexual people experience higher levels of discrimination at work than gay men.

Bisexual people were also more likely to feel they have to hide their sexual orientation at work than lesbians and gay men.

Bisexual women were less likely to report discrimination, believing it would not be taken seriously as it “happens all the time.”

The International Gay and Lesbian Association Europe (ILGA-Europe), who are supporting the day, said that results “make it clear that more specific and targeted legal, policy and social changes need to be initiated by European and national decision makers to protect people from discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation.”

ILGA-Europe says that it wants the LGBT community to “take a leading role in tackling prejudice against bisexual people and challenge normative approach to identity and sexuality.”

The group adds that in addition to discrimination and violence, “the bisexual community often experiences lack of understanding and acceptance by society in general and also lesbian and gay communities.”

UNISON, one of the UK’s largest trade unions, is marking the day by launching a new fact sheet to help challenge discrimination against bisexual workers. 

The union, which has over 1.3 million members, said: “Bisexual people face particular issues at work. They can feel very isolated, experiencing stigma from both straight colleagues and lesbian and gay colleagues.

“Although such discrimination is unlawful and many workplace equality policies refer to lesbian, gay and bisexual people, few do more than pay lip service to the existence and rights of bisexual workers.”

In July, a Human Resources professional for the Ministry of Defence LGBT Network said that ‘B’ and ‘T’ still represent significant hurdles for full LGBT acceptance.

Robert Malpass said: “The kind of hidden agenda, if you like, is ‘B’ and ‘T’. I think biphobia and bi issues are certainly the new frontier for us in the LGBT group and society generally.”

More information about Bi Visibility Day can be found here.