Stand Bi Me: Bisexual Awareness

Understanding sexuality wouldn’t be sufficient without analyzing the history of bisexuality. Yet, in order to maintain the cultural dominance of hetero- and homo-, bisexuality is often overlooked.

When it comes to history, bisexuality, same-sex relations, exclusively or in addition to opposite-sex relations, have been recorded in almost every ancient civilization. Homosexual and bisexual themes have been incorporated even in medieval literature. But, ancient societies did not associate sexual relations with the well-defined labels that modern Western society does, which may be one of the reasons why scholars have ‘’avoided’’ to tap the subject of bisexuality in ancient societies more comprehensively.

In fact, it is more common to theorize about ‘’the modern history of bisexuality’’ and recognize its origins in the 19th century (MacDowall, 2009). Through its biological, psychological and sexual categories, the contemporary history of bisexuality develops in relation to Darwinism, shaping its articulation as we know it today. Over a century, bisexuality has been evolving, both being shaped and shaping the cultural change, academic endeavor and individual experience. But, the history of bisexuality can also be interpreted along the lines of ’’out of the darkness and into the shadows’’ (Taylor, 2018).

For hundreds of years, bisexuality hasn’t really been taken as a legitimate sexual identity, where the existence of bisexual individuals was and is being challenged. This concept of ’’bisexual erasure’’ (Angelides, 2001.) became one of the ‘’hot topics’’ in recent discussions of sexuality, where it is acknowledged that bisexuality was, not only seen as irrelevant and erased, but misinterpreted too. Bisexual erasure or, more precisely, bisexual invisibility occurs in scholarly circles, cultural attitudes and the everyday experiences of bisexual individuals.

The growing need to address poor mental health and high suicide rates among bisexual people in our society, once again, highlights the need to examine bisexuality from its historic roots to its present form. Hence, the importance of #BiWeek Awareness. Bisexual people have been and still are a driving force within the LGBTQ community. That is why it is important for all activists, academics and health professionals to work together to integrate people who identify as bisexual into our communities without any stigma.

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