Post submitted by Helen Parshall, HRC Digital Media Manager, and Rokia Hassanein, HRC Content Producer
Over the past year, we have seen more and more celebrities come out as bisexual, pansexual, queer and sexually fluid -- breaking down barriers and inspiring others to live their truths.
Studies show that as many as half of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and queer population identify as bisexual -- making the bisexual community the single largest group in the LGBTQ community.
Yet far too often, the unique needs of the bisexual community go unseen and unheard in LGBTQ and non-LGBTQ spaces alike.
In honor of Bisexual Health Awareness Month and Women’s History Month, we celebrate some of the incredible people leading at the intersection of these identities. This month is a vital opportunity to shine a light on how much work we have yet to do to achieve full equality -- and better still, achieve equality that does not tie identity solely to male-female, gay-straight binaries.
Robyn Ochs remains an influential bisexual leader who is looked up to by many in the bi community.An international speaker and editor of Bi Women Quarterly and two anthologies -- “Getting Bi: Voices of Bisexuals Around the World” and “RECOGNIZE: The Voices of Bisexual Men” -- Ochs shines light on existing bi stereotypes and dismantles them.
Checking into a hotel, clerk compliments me on my earrings. Feeling brave, I smile & say, “Thanks, they’re bisexual pride earrings.” They smile broadly: “I’m bi, too.” So I sign them up for a free electronic subscription to @biwomenqtly. We really ARE everywhere. #bivisibility pic.twitter.com/idC7oVYjlt— Robyn Ochs (@robynochs) March 8, 2019
Queer and transgender writer Raquel Willis works to elevate the voices of marginalized individuals, particularly trans women of color. She is the newest editor of Out Magazine, where she brings an intersectional, advocacy lens to journalism.
Stephanie Beatriz -- actor on Brooklyn 99, proud Argentinian American immigrant and bisexual woman -- joined HRC for an #HRCTwitterTakeover during Latinx Heritage Month to mark the 30th anniversary of National Coming Out Day. “Know that I see you. Te veo,” Beatriz said. “Whether you’re out to everyone or just starting to come out to yourself, you’re not alone.”
1/ Hey Twitter! This is Stephanie Beatriz (@iamstephbeatz). I’m here today for an #HRCTwitterTakeover to talk about my journey as a Latina, bisexual actor for the 30th anniversary of National #ComingOutDay. pic.twitter.com/dBRgbRyNtY— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) October 11, 2018
Last month, YouTube personality Lilly Singh came out as bisexual. “Throughout my life (my identities) have proven to be obstacles from time to time,” wrote Singh. “But now I’m fully embracing them as my superpowers.” Singh is open about her life and taking care of her mental health needs, setting an example for other bisexual people of color.
As we mark Bisexual Health Awareness Month, experiences among bi people in health care settings remain rarely discussed. Activists including LGBTQ health researcher Lauren Beach are working to change that. As Beach told HRC, “The biggest challenge to researching bi+ health issues is simple: biphobia.”
Evan Rachel Wood
Openly bisexual actor Evan Rachel Wood has used her platform to advocate for LGBTQ equality, shedding light on issues impacting bi, pan, queer and fluid communities -- including health disparities the community experiences.
During last year’s Bi Health Month, Sara Ramirez joined HRC to host a conversation about the need to address biphobia and bi-erasure. From groundbreaking roles in shows such as “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Madam Secretary” to her work with organizations including True Colors United, Ramirez works to create spaces where bisexual, pansexual, queer and sexually fluid people feel safe enough to celebrate one another openly and without fear.
It is time for us to see more bi+ people at the forefront of #LGBTQ spaces, on our televisions, in our stories. It is time to recognize the #bisexual elders that have been invisible despite driving our movement forward. —@SaraRamirez #HRCTwitterTakeover https://t.co/ArPwqw3EbM— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) March 26, 2018
Gov. Kate Brown
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown made history as the nation’s first openly bisexual person elected as governor. Under Brown’s leadership as governor, Oregon has protected LGBTQ youth from the dangerous practice of so-called “conversion therapy” and extended critical protections for transgender students in Oregon schools.
When Janelle Monáe came out as “a queer Black woman in America,” it was a moment of visibility that resonated with many -- evidenced by the number of definition searches for pan identities.
This #WomensHistoryMonth, @HRC honors award-winning singer @JanelleMonae who, in coming out as a “queer Black woman in America,” jump-started an international conversation about bisexual and pansexual identities in 2018. She continues to be a Black pan icon. ������ pic.twitter.com/XpVq29ag0B— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) March 4, 2019