Bi-Bash Celebrates International Diversity

This might have flown right under the radar, but yesterday was the ninth-annual Celebrate Bisexuality Day!

And what better way to show Toronto's colours than the Bi-Bash, in its third year, where several hundred boys and girls who love boys and girls crammed Goodhandy's on Church St. last night to watch an off-beat variety show.

"There's growing to be more and more but you can really can't find something bisexual-specific," organizer Cheryl Dobinson of the Toronto Bisexual Network said last night. "There's a bit of this and that."

This year, the three-hour variety show featured fab burlesque troupes, Cinnamon Hearts, Jon Pressick and WikiD, bringing brrrrains together with brawn with their zombie burlesque act.

The setlist also included musical performances by MEA, Tomboyfriend, and Snoovy, spoken word artists Annanda DeSilva and Susan Tarshis and hula hoop dancing by Circus Alchemy.

"Does bisexuality day mean that anyone who is bisexual gets a free drink?" lead singer Ryan Kamstra joked.

The Bi-Bash is also a common and safe venue where bisexuals can meet.

Three United States bisexual rights activists, Wendy Curry of Maine, Michael Page of Florida, and Gigi Raven Wilbur of Texas, came up with the concept on Sep. 23, 1999 as a call for bisexual people and their families, friends and supporters to recognize and celebrate bisexuality, bisexual history, bisexual community and culture, and the bisexual people in their lives.

"Ever since the Stonewall rebellion, the gay and lesbian community has grown in strength and visibility," Wilbur said. "The bisexual community also has grown in strength but in many ways we are still invisible. I, too, have been conditioned by society to automatically label a couple walking hand in hand as either straight or gay, depending upon the perceived gender of each person."

According to the Wikipedia entry, this celebration of bisexuality in particular, as opposed to general LGBT events is also a response bi-folks being marginalized in both the straight and queer communities.

"It now features event such as discussions, dinner parties and dances in Toronto and a large masquerade ball in Queensland, Australia. At Texas A&M University, the week featured discussion panels and question-and-answer sessions. Princeton University celebrates this day each year by throwing a party at its LGBT Center. It has also been celebrated in Germany, Japan, New Zealand, Sweden and the United Kingdom."

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