The City Council on Tuesday night proclaimed Sept. 23 as “Bisexual Pride and Bi-Visibility Day,” making Berkeley the first city in the nation to formally honor people with this sexuality, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Other cities such as Boston and Santa Monica have events on Sept. 23, but Berkeley is the first city to highlight a separate day for bisexuals.
The resolution was brought to Council by Council Member Kriss Worthington. He said the move was prompted by a bisexual woman he talked to who said she did not feel comfortable coming out to either her straight friends or her gay friends. “I thought that was sad. In the Bay area many people talk about the LGBT community but most of the focus is on lesbian and gay people,” he said.
“Since we have supported June as Pride month every year since I got elected, I think it is consistent to give positive affirmative support to the bi community as well,” he added.
Once his office found out that there was a specific day earmarked for Bisexual pride, Worthington went ahead and drafted the proclamation. Part of it reads:
“Bisexual pride is separate from the mainstream LGBT events and bisexuality has its own identity apart from being straight or gay. Bisexuals may be attracted to not one, but both genders. There are often negative and inaccurate connotations inaccurately associated with bisexual people. The goal is to increase awareness and understanding bisexuality as a sexuality of its own. This celebration of bisexuality in particular, as distinct from general LGBT events, was conceived as a response to the prejudice and marginalization of the bisexual persons by some in both the straight and greater LGBT communities.”
Three bisexual activists started the annual event in 1999 as a way to fight both straight and gay bias against bisexuals and raise their visibility.
Berkeley has long been embracing of gays, lesbians, and transsexuals. It was the first city in the nation to set up a Domestic Partners registry, embrace Pride Month, and require police officers to go through LGBT sensitivity training.
Worthington said yesterday four different people came up to him on BART and on the street and thanked him for taking up the issue. “Apparently this resonated more deeply than I knew,” he said.
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