September 23 is Celebrate Bisexuality Day! I’m actually gay, not bi, but decided to celebrate it anyway by compiling this list of bi women both current and historical who kick some serious butt.
I know that a lot of bi people feel invisible, even within the LGBTQ+ community and that that’s extremely hard, so here’s my message to all the bi collegiettes out there: I hope that, after reading this list, you have a few more women just like you to look up to.
1. Frida Kahlo
As you probably already know, Frida Kahlo was a Surrealist painted whose art explored what it was like to be female, Mexican and disabled. But did you know that she slept with the women her husband Diego Rivera had been with, just to get back at him? And that she had an affair with actress Josephine Baker?
2. Brenda Howard
Known as the “Mother of Pride” for her efforts in organizing a parade to commemorate the first anniversary of the Stonewall riots. She was also active in numerous groups such as the New York Area Bisexual Network, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights and ACT UP. If anyone ever tries to tell you that bi people are “basically straight” and therefore not welcome at Pride, feel free to throw her name in their face.
3. Marlene Dietrich
Dietrich referred to the underground lesbian/bi scene during the golden age of Hollywood as her “sewing circle.” I swear I’m not making this up. She was known for her androgynous fashion choices and is also rumored to have had an affair with her greatest film rival, Greta Garbo.
4. Angelina Jolie
When asked in 2003 if she were bisexual, Jolie responded: “Of course.” She is not only a fantastic actress and humanitarian, but a good present-day reminder that being with someone of another gender, instead of the same one, doesn’t make you any less bi.
5. Virginia Woolf
As an English major… I have FEELINGS about Virginia Woolf. If you haven’t read her fiction and essays yet, I highly recommend you pick them up the very next chance you get. Be sure to check out her love letters to the writer Vita Sackville-West, too: “I always have such need to merely talk to you. Even when I have nothing to talk about — with you I just seem to go right ahead and sort of invent it.” SWOON.
6. Josephine Baker
I fully intend to write a YA novel – or maybe a series of novels – about all of Baker’s many exploits. From her time as a spy during WWII and her affair with Frida Kahlo to her work for the Civil Rights Movement and her career as an actress, she was one endlessly fascinating lady.
7. Eleanor Roosevelt
Yep, this First Lady was bi. During her husband’s 1933 presidential campaign, Roosevelt fell in love with Lorena Hickok, the Associated Press reporter assigned to cover her. They apparently wrote daily 10- to 15-page letters to one another! #relationshipgoals
8. Kristen Stewart
“You’re not confused if you’re bisexual. It’s not confusing at all. For me, it’s quite the opposite,” Stewart said in an interview earlier this year. Honestly, I couldn’t help feeling a sense of pride these past few years, as she gradually came out and publicly discussed exploring her identity.
I’d like to end this list with a quote which I just love from bi activist Robyn Ochs: “I call myself bisexual because I acknowledge that I have in myself the potential to be attracted – romantically and/or sexually – to people of more than one sex and/or gender, not necessarily at the same time, not necessarily in the same way, and not necessarily to the same degree.”
Happy Celebrate Bisexuality Day, collegiettes!