Emily - Leeds Bi Group - History

As you may well know, February is LGBT History Month in the UK. It’s the month we celebrate some of the amazing things that have been achieved within LGBT rights, remember some of the very low points that we and others before us have fought through and highlight some of the wonderful things LGBT people have accomplished.

However, many people seem to have difficulty highlighting some of the bisexual events and involvement within LGBT history. Because of this, I thought I’d put an admittedly brief timeline together for some of the key moments that stand out to me:

1914 – Though previously used to describe having both male and female sexual organs, the word

bisexual was first used to describe people who are attracted to men and women in 1914. The term has evolved again over the years and is now more commonly used to describe attraction to more than one gender.

1948 – American biologist Alfred Kinsey publishes Sexual Behaviour in the Human Male (and five years later Sexual Behaviour in the Human Female) identifying that sexual attraction/behaviour could be towards people of more than one gender (ie not just straight and gay).

1970 - Bisexual identified activist Brenda Howard, also known as the “Mother of Pride” was a key organiser in the first Pride event in New York the year following the Stonewall riots.

1972 – The first statement of support for bisexuality and the challenging of biphobia by a religious group released from the Quaker Friends General Conference.

1978 – Fritz Klein published The Bisexual Option which included the Fritz Klein Sexual Orientation Grid. Based on Alfred Kinsey’s Kinsey Scale but allowing for expressions of attraction beyond the sexual/behavioural.

2000 – The Journal of Bisexuality, the first academic, peer reviewed journal dedicated to bisexuality, was founded in the United States. The journal is still published in paper form and online today.

1994 – BiPhoria, the UK’s longest running bi group, was founded in Manchester.

1999 – Celebrate Bisexuality Day, also known as Bi Visibility Day, was founded to celebrate bisexuality and combat bi-erasure and bi-invisibility, this now takes place yearly on 23 rd September.

2009 – Stonewall release their first piece of research focusing specifically on bisexuality: Bisexual People in the Workplace: Practical Advice for Employers.

1998 – Bi Pride flag (pink, purple and blue) created.

2010 – Bi’s of Colour, a UK based support group of bi people of colour, was founded.

2012 – The Bisexuality Report is published in the UK.

2014 – The yearly bisexual convention BiCon comes to Leeds for the first time.

2014 – Leeds Bi Group has its first meeting. We have now been running for two and a half years.

2016 – Leeds City Council flew the bi flag over the Civic Hall for the first time for Bi Visibility Day.

2016 – Openly bisexual boxer Nicola Adams from Leeds won her second Olympic gold medal in women’s boxing.

2016 – LGBT charity Stonewall ran a free Bi Role Models programme for bisexuals to help empower bi people to challenge biphobia and support each other.

For regular bisexual history updates, follow the @bisexualhistory page on Twitter.

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