From Westminster to the West Wing
For many years it was something that only bi groups noted, but Bi Visibility Day, September 23rd, won support at government level again this year. For the 18th year of Bi Vis Day, Justine Greening MP, the new Minister for Women and Equalities, continued the four-year run of ministerial messages of support for the date.
Her message read, “Bi Visibility Day is a great opportunity to celebrate our diversity – and an important reminder that we must keep pushing for true equality”.
Greening came out about being in a same-sex relationship earlier this year but has not publicly linked herself to either bi or gay labels.
Meanwhile in the USA the Obama administration recognised the date once again, with a special meeting to mark Bi Awareness Week (one of Bi Visibility Day’s many alter-egos!) led by BiNetUSA boss Faith Cheltenham.
The briefing had a focus on policy and cultural issues of significance for the American bisexual community with dozens of people in attendance from a variety of US groups and even Meg John Barner from BiUK.
Internationally we heard of the first events to mark the date in India, Greece, Austria and Slovakia.
Here in the UK, actions & events included from flag-flying (we think it was six town halls this year, plus Leeds town hall lit up in purple for the night) and actual street stalls giving out bi info to passers-by.
There were in-person talks and webinars, film screenings, book readings, jogging round a park wearing purple, bi-cycling (see what they did there?) and social meetups. Edinburgh, Manchester and London had performance evenings, and there was even a special event for Parliamentary staff too.
Whatever will September 2017 hold?