For the week of the bi flags 19th birthday (because lets be real, everyone loves a birthday week) Lois Shearing explores what the bi flags means to the community it represents.
This week the blue, pink, and purple bisexual pride flag turned 19 and the bisexual community couldn’t wait to wish it a happy birthday. The flag, unveiled by BiNetUSA on December 5th 1998, was designed by activist Michael Page, before being brought to the UK by Marcus Morgan.
Here’s what some of you said it means to you:
“I’m 31. I was raised by polyamorous parents, who never put labels on any sexuality, and whenever I tried having a conversation about it, it was met with “we fall in love with character, not the body,” which on the surface is great but, it left me confused and trying to find my place.
I remember when the bi flag came out, and it finally started my search into actual labels. Even though my sexuality fell into the spectrum that my parents always expressed, it felt like I finally had a home in it.
Words are important, representation is important. Especially to kids trying to figure out who they are.”
Miles Joyner (Miles the Bisexual):
“The [bi] flag has always meant more to me than the rainbow [flag]. The flag represents a family that I didn’t know existed until college, and despite being 22 I didn’t see it until I was in my late teens. It was just never visible to me. That’s why one of the things I do in my activism is use the colors wherever I can. I’ve got bi buttons and stickers that find a way onto everything I own, because [bi] youth shouldn’t have to wait until college to know they have a home that will accept them, a community that will embrace them regardless of the gender of their partner.
The bisexual flag represents so much to me, and I’m proud to wear it and have it near me all the time.”
I adore the bi pride flag not only because I’m bi, but because it appropriates the unnecessary and forceful genderizing of colors ❤ https://t.co/UPxCpY5Shf
— Jennifer Hanigan (@fearless_jenn) December 6, 2017
“[The flag] means everything [to me]. I have the moons tattooed down my spine. It’s the visual banner of our very existence. Thexik: “To me it means that I’m part of a community full of people willing to fight for not just each other but for the bis of the future too.” Biscuit mag: “It means history. It means we’re not the first and we won’t be the last. It means solidarity and political action. It means embracing gender as a spectrum and recognising the work of those who came before. It means a lot.”
It means inclusion and being part of a community with its own identity and colours. I have it on my computer desktop and phone screen and every time I see it I feel part of something big and beautiful.
— Anne (@MammaArianna) December 8, 2017
“People forget that the bi in LGBTQ+ is actually the largest group in the community. Bi (and other non-monosexual) people face issues separate to lesbians and gay men. We’ve always been here. Some of the most famous people within the community historically were bi. The woman known as the “mother of Pride”, Brenda Howard, was bi. The flag is an excellent, and rather attractive way to recognise and highlight the B in LGBTQ+. It makes us more visible.
It didn’t exist when I acknowledged my sexuality back in the ’80s. Being bi has always had a seedy connotation to many due to unfounded stereotypes. The flag is a step in the right direction to educate people and correct erroneous ideas about bis by helping to start the conversation about what being bi actually means rather than what people assume it means.
Plus it’s a really beautiful colour combination!”
Hilde Vossen Co-founder and Coordinator of the European Bisexual Network of Activists:
“Since 2013 I collect photos of Bi Visibility in European Prides. Wonderful bi+ folks, it’s getting better. In just a few years the Bi Pride colours have become an international language and there is no stopping us. In 2014 I presented a selection of these pictures at the UK BiCon. People in the audience were touched, one was even crying, for putting all this Bi Visibility in one slideshow is overwhelming powerful. Now I have a 10 and 15 meters Bi Pride flag, an awesome gift from the American Institute of Bisexuality. These flags travel through Europe. It’s empowering to bi+ people, the owner, too”
Image: 15 meters Bi Pride with Bi Berlin July 2017. Credit: Thilo Wetzel.
“It’s a colourful symbol that i’m here, i’m queer, and my sexuality is valid. It’s tattooed on me – literally. I have the characters ❤ on my left side, in courier bold, filled in with the bi pride flag colours.”
Brooklyn Nine-Nine fans on Twitter also noticed that Rosa revealed her bisexuality on the bi flag’s birthday and could barely cope:
december is officially a blessed bisexual month, it’s the month the bi flag was invented, the month rosa diaz came out as bi, and also the month korrasami became canon & korra and asami were both confirmed bi
— Brigid 💫🌟🌙✨ ROSA IS BI!!! 💖💜💙 (@angst_in_space) December 6, 2017
— olivia || b99!! (@stephiebeatriz) December 6, 2017
Happy birthday Bi Pride Flag!
Tell us what the flag means to you in the comments below.
Follow Lois on Twitter (@LoisShearing)