Bi Visibility Day is one of the busiest days of the year for bisexual activists all over the world. For bisexuals in Tel Aviv it was not only a busy day, it was a historical one.
On September 23, Tel Aviv had its first Bisexual Pride Parade, making it one of only two cities worldwide to do so.
Organized by the Bi/Pan/Poly Forum, a group founded by around 18 activists and which recently agreed to join the Israeli National LGBT Task Force, the event began as a parade on some main roads in Tel Aviv and ended in Gan-Mei’r were bisexuals and their allies gathered for speeches by members of the community.
Omer T., a bisexual who attended the historic event shared her experience and why this event means so much to the bisexual community of Israel.
“It was a liberating experience,” Omer began. “It felt like I’m not alone…there was an extremely strong sense of community.”
According to Omer around 200 individuals showed up to the parade, which was a “heartwarming surprise” since the predicted numbers for attendance were low.
“There is a significant erasure of bisexuality in Israel,” Omer continues, “outside and within the LGBTQ+ community. We’re constantly being mocked, teased, and harassed for being bi and this parade was our way to shout ‘we are here, we exist, and we are proud’.”
Support from the rest of the LGBTQ+ is so low that the majority of attendees that did not identify as bi+ were mostly “hetero partners who came out to support.”
In an article by Yanir Dekel, co-founder of the Bi/Pan/Poly Forum Miki Zaidel says that he believes “a parade on Bisexual Day of Visibility is much needed at this time…not only in France and Israel, but all over the world.” Miki goes on to discuss the lack of representation of the bisexual community in various forms of media and entertainment. “Even when there’s a character that has been identified as bisexual, that charcter is usually disregarded as ‘actually’ a lesbian or straight person who ‘experiements’.”
In response to concerns about what the parade will do to the LGBTQ+ community as a whole Miki says “We are not trying here, at least in our view, to separate or differentiate [….] but to mark bisexul day visbility.”
Omer hopes that next year’s parade will have a higher turnout of bisexuals and their gay and lesbian allies.
Photos in slideshow by Omer T, and Ann Liberzon