A bisexual flag-raising today at city hall signified the importance of acceptance, even within the LGBTQ2+ community.
The multi-pink and blue flag representing the bisexual community is now flying outside Barrie City Hall to signify Bisexual Awareness/Bi Visibility Day.
Barrie Pride executive director David Bradbury says the special day has been around since 1999 and has grown each year. It's even more important to celebrate due to a "bi-erasure" culture that exists within the gay community.
“Unfortunately, we see bi-erasure in our own queer community, from people who should know better,” Bradbury told BarrieToday. “The message just has to get across that being bi is a thing and needs to be shown some love and acceptance.”
Bi-erasure is when bisexual people aren't accepted by either the gay or straight communities.
Bradbury also spoke about the effects of COVID-19 shutdowns and how an already isolated community feels even more so now without being able to take part in the annual Barrie Pride parade.
“I think it's the same toll that everyone feels, that feeling of being disconnected or not having that togetherness,” he said. “Pride parades are such a big part of being proud of who we are, because they have always allowed us to come together and celebrate it.
"But having these flag-raisings — as small of an act as they may seem — are a great way for us to stay proud.”
Coun. Keenan Aylwin, who was on-hand for today's event, told BarrieToday he was also concerned by many of the negative mental health aspects affecting the LGBTQ2+ community lately
“Bi-erasure is happening in our community and elsewhere, and it can have a very negative impact on someone," Aylwin said. "Bisexual people’s identity is often discounted or erased as not being real and being told they’re either gay or they’re straight.
“It is unacceptable and it really invalidates people's true identity.”