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20 bisexual stars and activists who’re living loudly, proudly and making the world a better place

Emma Powys Maurice September 16, 2020
Bisexual Awareness Week: 20 bi stars making the world a better place

Billie Joe Armstrong, Halsey and Frank Ocean are just a few bisexual icons we're celebrating this week (Jakubaszek/Emma McIntyre/Jason Merritt/Getty)

It’s Bisexual Awareness Week, so what better time to celebrate the lives and achievements of our favourite bisexual icons?

Bisexuals represent approximately 40 per cent of the LGBT+ community, yet all too often their sexuality is overlooked, ignored or misrepresented thanks to bi-erasure and the unhealthy stereotypes it’s couched in.

Bisexual Awareness Week or #BiWeek is about educating people on the obstacles bisexuals often face, accelerating acceptance and showing the world just how diverse bisexual people and their communities really are.

So, without further ado, let’s give these 20 brilliant bisexuals the recognition they deserve.

Wendy Curry, bisexual rights and animal rescue activist.

Wendy Curry put bisexuals front and centre as the president of BiNet USA, the oldest national bisexual support network in the United States. It’s thanks to her and her fellow bisexual activists, Michael Page and Gigi Raven Wilbur, that we celebrate Bisexual Awareness Week every September.

Halsey, singer, songwriter and activist.

Since her rise to fame in 2015, Halsey has been outspoken about her bisexual identity, constantly confirming and reaffirming it within public view.

She continues to fight for bisexual representation in music and even released several songs about being bisexual in her albums, including a duet with Lauren Jauregui called “Strangers”.

Halsey at the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards at Prudential Center on August 26, 2019 (Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/WireImage)

Billie Joe Armstrong, Green Day singer.

In a 1995 interview he told The Advocate: “I think I’ve always been bisexual. I mean, it’s something that I’ve always been interested in. I think people are born bisexual, and it’s just that our parents and society kind of veer us off into this feeling of, ‘Oh, I can’t.’ They say it’s taboo.

“It’s ingrained in our heads that it’s bad, when it’s not bad at all. It’s a very beautiful thing.”

Evan Rachel Wood, actor, model and musician.

The Westworld star first came out as bisexual in 2011 in an interview with Esquire magazine, and has since used her platform to advocate for bisexual awareness.

“Bisexual people are the largest single group within the LGBT+ community, yet we are hardly recognised,” she tweeted during 2015’s Bisexual Awareness Week. “I can assure you that whatever ‘straight privilege’ I sometimes get accused of having, gets erased by #biphobia.”

CeCe McDonald, trans activist.

CeCe McDonald is a trans woman who spent 19 months of her 41-month prison sentence in a men’s prison for the death of a white supremacist she killed in self-defence.

Her inspiring story was told in FREE CeCe!, a documentary by Laverne Cox, who campaigned for her release. Since being freed in 2014 Cece co-founded the Black Excellence Tour, where she and others talk about mass incarceration, sexuality, violence, and the struggle of being black and trans in today’s society and political climate.

Alan Cumming, actor, comedian, singer, writer and filmmaker.

The award-winning Scottish-American actor has countless films, TV shows and plays to his name, but is perhaps best known for his performance as Eli Gold in The Good Wife.

He discussed his sexuality in an interview with The Advocate in 2015: “My sexuality has never been black and white; it’s always been grey. I’m with a man, but I haven’t closed myself off to the fact that I’m still sexually attracted to women.”

Alan Cumming at the Tony Awards
Bisexual Awareness Week: Alan Cumming at the 2015 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall (Getty)

Kristen Stewart, actor and filmmaker.

The 29-year-old Charlie’s Angels star previously endured a long struggle understanding her identity, but is now comfortably bisexual and keen to express her sexuality through her work.

“You’re not confused if you’re bisexual,” she told The Guardian in 2017. “It’s not confusing at all. For me, it’s quite the opposite.”

Hafsa Qureshi, Stonewall Bi Role Model of the Year 2019.

Qureshi works in recruitment support for Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service in Birmingham, part of the Ministry of Justice (MoJ). She proudly promotes diversity and inclusion by sharing her experiences as a BAME, LGBT+ Muslim woman as well as someone who has a disability.

Frank Ocean, singer, songwriter, rapper, record producer and photographer.

Although Frank Ocean hasn’t explicitly labeled himself as bisexual, the singer and songwriter wrote a letter on his Tumblr in 2012 addressing his sexuality, revealing his first love was a man.

“I was 19 years old. He was too,” he said. “We spent that summer, and the summer after, together. Everyday almost. By the time I realised I was in love, it was malignant. It was hopeless. There was no escaping. No negotiating with the feeling. No choice. It was my first love. It changed my life.”

Robin Ochs, teacher, writer and activist.

Robyn Ochs is an educator, speaker, grassroots activist, and editor of the Bi Women Quarterlyand two anthologies: the 42-country collection Getting Bi: Voices of Bisexuals Around the World and RECOGNIZE: The Voices of Bisexual Men.

Her writings have been published in numerous anthologies of bisexual, women’s studies, multicultural and LGBT+ works.

Stephanie Beatriz, actor and star of Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

The Argentine-American actress is best known as detective Rosa Diaz in the comedy series Brooklyn Nine-Nine, portraying a character whose bisexual coming out story mirrored her own.

Beatriz wrote about her sexuality for a powerful essay in GQ in 2017, shortly after she got engaged to fellow actor Brad Hoss. “I’m choosing to get married because this particular person brings out the best in me. This person happens to be a man. I’m still bi,” she said.

Bisexual Awareness Week: 20 bi stars making the world a better place
Stephanie Beatriz for GQ (@iamstephbeatz / Instagram)

Lili Reinhart, actor.

The Riverdale star came out as a “proud bisexual woman” in her Instagram stories earlier this year as she announced she was attending LGBT+ for Black Lives Matter protest in California.

She later explained that she knew “full well that I was attracted to women from a young age”, but kept it a secret because she feared the media would accuse her of faking it to get attention.

Kyle Schickner, producer, writer, director, actor and bisexual rights activist.

Kyle Schickner is the founder of FenceSitter Films, a production company devoted to entertainment for women and sexual and ethnic minorities. While in college he formed BIAS (Bisexuals Achieving Solidarity), the first college bisexual rights group in the US.

Auli’i Cravalho, actress and singer.

Cravalho made her acting debut as the voice of Moana in the 2016 Disney animated film. She went on to star in the NBC drama series Rise and the Netflix drama film All Together Now.

The 19-year-old came out earlier this year in the smoothest way possible: through the words of Eminem.

Nichi Hodgson, award-winning journalist, author and activist.

Hodgson writes for the Guardian, the BBC and Sky News, commenting on gender, civil liberties and technology issues. Her 2017 radio show, Being Bisexual, explored the intricacies of a bisexual identity within the LGBT+ community. It also saw Hodgson’s own mother come out to her as bisexual on air.

Rita Ora, singer and songwriter.

In May 2018, Ora posted a heartfelt message on Twitter in which she explained the inspiration behind her new single “Girls,” which features Cardi B, Bebe Rexha and Charli XCX.

“Girls was written to represent my truth and is an accurate account of a very real and honest experience in my life,” Ora tweeted. “I have had romantic relationship with women and men throughout my life and this is my personal journey.”

Margaret Cho, comedian, actress, fashion designer and author.

Margaret Cho has many talents but she’s best known for her stand-up routines, through which she critiques social and political problems, especially race and sexuality.

She described her sexuality an interview with Out Magazine, saying: “I like the term ‘queer’ too. But I think ‘bi’ is more elegant. ‘Bisexuality’ feels good. It’s perfume ads… it’s very elegant.”

Margaret Cho
Margaret Cho (Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images for David Lynch Foundation)

Anna Paquin, actor.

True Blood star Anna Paquin came out as a proud bisexual in a PSA for the Give a Damn Campaign aimed at promoting gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender equality by simply saying: “I’m bisexual, and I give a damn.” She later questioned what all the fuss was about.

Ron Suresha, editor, anthologist, and creative nonfiction writer.

Ron Suresha is a three-time Lambda Literary Award finalist, and is considered an authority on emergent queer masculinities, focusing on the subcultures of gay and bisexual male Bears and of male bisexuality.

His anthology of poetry written by and for men of the bear community, Hibernation and Other Poems by Bear Bards, was named a Rainbow Book Award winner in both the LGBT+ Poetry and Bisexuality categories.

Tyler, the Creator, rapper, musician, songwriter, producer, actor and visual artist.

The multi-talented entertainer has generally declined to define his sexuality, but his raps include lyrics about his attraction to both men and women. Throughout his Grammy-winning album “Igor,” for example, Tyler grapples with the end of a same-sex relationship.

“I like girls,” he told GQ in 2019. “I just end up f**king their brother every time.”

Bisexual Awareness Week: 20 bi stars making the world a better place
Tyler, The Creator (Getty)

More: Auli'i Cravalho, bi erasure, bisexual, bisexual awareness week, Bisexuality, evan rachel wood, halsey, Kristen Stewart, stephanie beatriz

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