Each September 23rd, Bi Visibility Day (also known as “International Celebrate Bisexuality Day”) is observed around the world. It’s a perfect day to recognize and celebrate bisexuality, bisexual history, bisexual community and culture, and all the bisexual people in our lives. September 17th to 24th has been designated as BiWeek.

International Celebrate Bisexuality Day was first observed in 1999, as the brainchild of three US activists and BiNet USA national coordinators: Wendy Curry of Maine, Michael Page of Florida (originator of the bi pride flag and original owner of the Bi Cafe), and Gigi Raven Wilbur of Texas (the first weekly bi-themed radio show hostess).

“If you really study diversity acceptance,” says Curry, “you’ll see that people start to respect people once they respect themselves. As long as we were in this endless begging for inclusion, we weren’t addressing the respect issue. So, those two themes – wanting to respect ourselves and wanting to celebrate the previous years’ battles – were the dual driving forces behind Celebrate Bisexuality Day. The day was not an education day. It was not a coming-out day, it’s not about GLBT partnerships building or proving ourselves to anyone else. It’s not a ‘Pride’ day, though many of us are proud. It’s not about usurping a gay event and making a smaller one for ourselves. It’s a truly unique day, just for us.”

Since the Stonewall rebellion, the gay and lesbian community has grown in strength and visibility. Yet bisexuals remain in many ways invisible. Society conditions us to automatically label a couple walking hand in hand as either straight or gay, depending on the perceived gender of each person, but such assumptions often don’t correspond to reality. The celebrations on September 23rd are conceived as a response to the prejudice and marginalization of bisexual people by some in both the straight and larger LGBT communities.

In 2013 on Celebrate Bisexuality Day, the White House held a closed-door meeting with almost 30 bisexual advocates to meet with government officials and discuss issues of specific importance to the bisexual community, the first bi-specific event ever hosted by any White House.

For more information visit BiVisibilityDay.com.