Berkeley first city in nation to mark Bisexual Pride Day

From now on being a bisexual in Berkeley will be something to publicly celebrate.

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.

Berkeleyside publishes many articles every day. To see all our stories in chronological order, and read ones you may have missed, check out All the News.

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  • Guest

    Yay Kriss!

  • David D.

    I don’t really care one way or the other (ha!) about this, but if we are going to celebrate a separate bisexual day, let’s at least take the “B” out of LGBT. Discrimination within the LGBT community exists towards bisexuals, perhaps even more so than within the straight community*, so to include them in the LGBT banner seems silly.

    *Using family member experience as my citation for this. I haven’t dived deeply into the issue, but I have come across similar reports from others over time.

  • The Sharkey

    …now if only he could do something about the continued decline of Telegraph Avenue…

  • Guest

    … now if he could only do something about the national economy…


  • David D.

    The national economy is not what is causing Telegraph Avenue’s woes.

  • Guest

    Right, because Telegraph exists in a special bubble of its own, where the national economy, full of lost jobs and stores going out of business, does not apply.
    I’m starting to understand why Berkeley is so unfriendly to business: you don’t understand how it WORKS.

  • The Sharkey

    Business is booming three miles away at Emeryville’s new(ish) mall.

    Clearly the national economy isn’t the sole (or even most important) cause of Telegraph Avenue’s woes.

  • dsd510

    And with regards to that, no one faces more discrimation than the “T.” Most things that are labeled “LGBT” are really just “LG,” total erasure for the other half.

  • David D.

    If the national economy had much to do with Telegraph Avenue’s woes, wouldn’t Fourth Street, the Gourmet Ghetto, Rockridge, Temescal, Piedmont Avenue, Uptown, Emeryville, etc. be suffering similarly? In case you haven’t noticed, they AREN’T.

  • Thomas

    Can I puke now?

  • anon

    Have you looked at the National Center for Lesbian Rights website lately?  Since the early 2000s that organization has been primarily concerned with transsexual issues.  In fact, they really ought to change their name.

  • Hyper_lexic

    “Discrimination within the LGBT community exists towards bisexuals, perhaps even more so than within the straight community”

    I’m a bisexual male and that definitely hasn’t been my experience.  At least for me, the gay male community has always been totally accepting.