Happy Bi Pride Day!
September 23rd is the annual day that acknowledges the bisexual community. It has been called a lot of different names over the year: Bisexual Awareness Day, Bi Pride Day, Bisexual Visibility Day and Celebrate Bisexuality Day.
Personally, I like the versions that are about pride and celebration rather than visibility and awareness. It might seem like a minor shift in language but I think it redirects the focus of the day in an important way. Visibility and awareness are absolutely important, but they can also make the day about non-bisexual people. It is a day for non-bi people to learn about bisexuality. Instead, celebration and pride bring bi folks to the center. It becomes a day for us to be proud of this aspect of our identity.
Bisexual stories are often left out of pop culture. We get straight characters and gay characters but we still rarely get bi characters. And that’s true across all types of media: TV shows, movies and books. This makes it even more important to promote the bisexual stories that we do have. Good news for readers of superhero comics though. DC Comics recently announced a new bisexual character: Batman’s sidekick, Robin! Tim Drake, who is the third character to wear Robin’s mask and cape, recently came out in the sixth issue of Batman: Urban Legends.
Comics played an important role in 20th century queer art and storytelling. In honour of Bi Pride Day and the newly out Robin, enjoy the art and storytelling of these graphic novels featuring bisexual characters.
No straight lines : four decades of queer comics edited by Justin Hall
With this ground-breaking volume, Justin Hall documents the history of queer comics. Largely separate from the mainstream comics industry, queer comics (sometimes called comix) existed mostly in underground gay newspapers, punk zines, and more recently, online. These independent publications provide an uncensored look into the everyday lives of queer creators.
Sugar Town by Hazel Newlevant
If you’re in the mood for a short, sweet queer romance, this is the book for you. Sugar Town is a bisexual, polyamorous story that follows Hazel as she navigates the wonderful and complicated waters of having a boyfriend and a girlfriend—both of whom are also dating other people.
The big book of bisexual : trials and errors by Elizabeth Beier
The real-life stories of Elizabeth Beier’s experiences exploring what it means to be a bisexual woman. After a long-term relationship with a man comes to an end, Elizabeth begins dating women for the first time, with varying degrees of success. This relatable story will have you laughing and crying, and possibly cringing a little with second-hand embarrassment.
Baopu is a serialized webcomic that follows a young, queer immigrant as they search for belonging and identity. Although it is a fictional story, it is based on the creator’s own experiences as a queer person who was born in China and now lives in the United States. This book features fan-favourites that were previously published online, as well as brand-new comics.
John Constantine’s identity as a bisexual man has been DC Comics canon since the 1990s. For a long time though, references to his sexuality were mostly subtle. In this relaunched series, Constantine is back to work as an occult detective. And he is unquestionably bisexual.
Loki: Agent of Asgard. Volume 1, Trust me by Al Ewing and Lee Garbett
The God of Mischief is working as a one-man secret service for Asgard, and using all his best tricks to accomplish the missions that the All-Mother sends him on. In this Loki solo series, creators Ewing and Garbett also clearly establish Loki as both bisexual and gender fluid.
This is certainly not an exhaustive list. Did I miss any of your favourite bisexual comics or graphic novels?
Happy Bi Pride everyone!