9 Bisexual Activists You Should Know About

by Sarah Eubanks about a year ago in activism

From the first Liberation movements to modern-day LGBTQ+ rights, these people have fought for the end of bi stigma and the broader inclusion of bisexuals in the community.

9 Bisexual Activists You Should Know About
  1. Diane Anderson-Minshall works for Here Media, the country's biggest LGBTQ+ media company where she is the executive editor of The Advocate magazine, editor in chief of HIV Plus, and editorial director of Chill Magazine. Her writing has appeared in numerous books and online publications. Her memoir Queerly Beloved: A Love Story Across Genders is about her relationship with her trans husband and how they navigated his transition and the new dynamics of they're relationship. Much of her writing centers around LGBTQ+ issues/relationships.
  2. June Jordan was a poet, activist, journalist, essayist, teacher, and a civil rights activist, feminist, antiwar and gay and lesbian rights activist. June talked about her sexuality in her writing many times. "Bisexuality means I am free, and I am as likely to want to love a woman as I am likely to want to love a man, and what about that? Isn't that what freedom implies?" In terms of LGBTQ+ issues, she used her platform to talk about internalized biphobia within and the LGBTQ+ community and being LGBTQ+ as a person of color in the '60s and '70s. She died in 2002 of breast cancer.
  3. Jason Jones is responsible for Trinidad and Tobago's overturn of its same-sex intimacy ban. He challenged the rule in the highest court in the country and gained an important win for LGBTQ+ Trinidadians and for the broader LGBTQ+ movement. Jason has been an activist for 28 years in both Trinidad and Tobago and the UK. He received over 50 death threats and lots of harassment and slurs from native Trinidadians, specifically men. He plans on taking his fight to the Caribbean where there are little LGBTQ+ rights or movements.
  4. Robyn Ochs crafted a definition of bisexuality many use to describe themselves, "I call myself bisexual because I acknowledge in myself the potential to be attracted—romantically and/or sexually—to people of more than one gender, not necessarily at the same time, in the same way, or to the same degree." Robyn is from San Antonio and is one of the biggest and most recognizable names in the fight for Bi visibility and LGBTQ+ rights and education. She is the editor of Bi Women Quarterly and two books: the 42-country collection Getting Bi: Voices of Bisexuals Around the World and RECOGNIZE: The Voices of Bisexual Men. She speaks at numerous events on topics like LGBTQ+ history, questions and stigma surrounding bisexuality and how to be an ally to the larger LGBTQ+ community, and helps up and coming LBGTQ+ politicians.
  5. Cece Mcdonald is a trans woman who gained notoriety in the LGBTQ+ community after she received 19 months in a men's correctional facility for second-degree manslaughter. After leaving a bar with her friends they passed by at least four people yelling racist, homophobic, and transphobic slurs at them, and one of them broke a bottle across her face, cutting her. When she tried to run away a man followed her when she grabbed a pair of scissors from her purse, he was stabbed during the struggle. Cece and her friends were the victims of a white supremacist and anti-LGBTQ+ hate crime. Cece's story became even more popular after famous trans actor, and activist Laverne Cox created a documentary FREE CeCe, about the attack and the unfair treatment of Cece in the courts. Since being released on January 18, 2014, Cece co-founded Black Excellence Collection and Tour when she and others talk about mass incarceration, sexuality, violence, and the struggle of being both black and trans in today's society and political climate.
  6. Fritz Klien is known for the Klein Sexual Orientation Grid, a system of measuring the complexity and fluidity of one's sexuality by rating your sexual attractions, fantasies, emotional preference, social preference, lifestyle and self-identification from 1-6 as they relate to your past, present, and ideal future. He concluded these factors change from person to person over time in groups fo straight to gay to bi and that people generalize a whole sexuality based on their experience of it. He tirelessly educated others about bi stigma and issues, and a was an incredible asset to the community. He wrote numerous books on LGBTQ+ subjects like The Bisexual Opinion and Bisexuality and Transgenderism: InterSEXions of the Others (this was when it was called the gay and lesbian rights movement). He also started the American Institute of Bisexuality and the Bisexual Forum in New York.
  7. Wendy Curry, a bi and animal rescue activist, and her friends Michael Page and Gigi Raven Wilbur, came together are responsible for Bisexual Visibility Day or September 23. Wendy says the idea came when they were sitting around venting at an annual bi convention when Gigi Raven suggested they have a party: "We all loved the great bisexual, Freddie Mercury. His birthday was in September, so why not Sept? We wanted a weekend day to ensure the most people would do something. Gigi's birthday was September 23. It fell on a weekend day, so poof! We had a day." Bi visibility day is now celebrated worldwide and used to bring visibility to bisexuals around the world. Now she is the president of BiNet USA, the oldest national bisexual support network in the United States were she was previously vice president and secretary.
  8. Brenda Howard is known as the mother of pride. A year after the revolutionary Stonewall riots marked the beginning of the liberation movement, she organized the Christopher Street Liberation Day March, the first pride parade in the world. Her efforts encouraged other cities and countries to hold similar events still taking place today. She was also active in the fight against the Vietnam war and the feminist movement. In the 970s, she chaired the Gay Activists Alliance, she successfully lobbied for LGBT rights laws in New York City, in 1987, she co-founded the New York Area Bisexual Network, as well as opened the first chapter of AA specifically for bi people, and participated in rallies and events for people living with HIV/AIDS. Brenda was a huge figure during the liberation movement and helped created a space for bisexual people when most were focused on gay men and lesbians. She dies in 2005 of colon cancer.
  9. Stephen Donaldson was an LGBTQ+ and prison reform activist. He's rarely recognized for what he's done for the community, probably due to his numerous arrests and eccentric behavior. He began the country's first student gay rights group at Columbia University in 1967, before the liberation movement. He was the first sailor to contest a discharge for homosexual conduct after a letter he sent talking about his sexual experiences with both men and women to his former shipmate was stolen and turned into the Naval Investigative Service. He was a significant figure in normalizing and including bisexuality within the liberation movement. He was heavily involved in the New York bisexual movement in the mid-70s. He died in 1996 of AIDS.
Sarah Eubanks
Sarah Eubanks
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