A Brief Trip Thru Bisexual NYC's History
1969 - In June of 1969 a group of LGBT people tired of being pushed around forcibly defend their rights against police harassment.
The Stonewall Rebellion marks the symbolic origin of the modern LGBT Movement.
1970 - Bisexual activist and a stalwart at the Gay Activists Alliance (GAA) Brenda Howard coordinated the rally to commemorate the 1-month anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion and then creates the rally and march that celebrate the 1-year anniversary.
This became the annual New York City Pride March which spawned marches around the world.
Brenda also originates the idea for a week-long series of events around Pride Day, called Pride Week.
Most US states and many countries and cities around the world now celebrate Pride Day/Week annually, descended directly from those first marches and rallies in New York City which a Bisexual activist Brenda Howard coordinated and created.
1972 - The National Bisexual Liberation Group forms in New York. Within three years, more than 5,500 members in 10 US chapters receive what is probably the earliest bisexual newsletter, "The Bisexual Expression".
1975 - Bi Forum, a social, educational, and support group, forms in New York 'to encourage awareness of bisexual issues in a non threatening and non judgmental environment.' At its peak in 1980, Bi Forum has more than 200 active members and a mailing list of several thousand.
1982 - Tamara Bower founds the "Bisexual Women’s Network", which remains active until 1984 when she goes to Mexico for a year.
1986 - Bisexual activist Brenda Howard is active within the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights that passed the New York City law banning discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
1987 - As the Bisexual Community in the Tri-State area of New York City, New Jersey & Connecticut grows larger, more active, more diverse and organized, a need is seen to have a way to keep everyone informed on all the various facets of the community.
Taking as it's model the highly successful East Cost Bisexual Network (ECBN) headquartered in Boston, in 1987 the "New York Area Bisexual Network (NYABN) is formed.
The NYABN serves as a central communications network for Bisexual & Bi-Friendly Groups and Resources in the Tri-state area;
provides links to Regional, National, and International Groups and Events;
runs the Bi Community's centralized phone-line & PO Box;
helps new groups form;
hosts events of interest to the entire community and
coordinates arrangements for the Bi Contingent(s) at NYC's annual LGBT PrideFest and Parade each June.
1989 - BiPAC, the New York-based Bisexual Political Action Committee forms in 1989.
It's missions is to challenges biphobia where and when ever it is found.
In 1990 it runs a successful national letter writing campaign that challenges biphobia in the lesbian and gay community when it persuades a NYC Alternative Public High-School to remove an offensive workshop it offers called "Bisexual Men: Fact or Fiction?"
1990 - Out bisexual becomes an active member of Heritage of Pride (HOP) to promote bi-inclusion from within.
At the same time other out, proud & visible members of the bisexual community begin volunteering to fund-raise and assist at various HOP functions.
1991 - In January of 1991 the "New York Bisexual Women’s Support Group" is founded by Tamara Bower.
The group has since evolved into three (3) "daughter" groups to better serve various constituencies within the Bisexual Community.
1991 - Spearheaded by members of The Bisexual Women’s Group, the bi community holds a letter-writing campaign proposing The Lesbian and Gay Community Services Center make changes towards bi-inclusively such as changing the Center’s name and using bi-inclusive language in their newsletter and other literature.
1991 - BiPAC members marched with the Irish Lesbian and Gay Organization (ILGO) in the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade along with NYC Mayor Dinkins.
Mayor Dinkins compared the experience to walking in civil rights marches in Selma, Alabama.
BiPAC members continue to work with ILGO, some going to jail protesting their being banned from the St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
1992 - NYC Bi Activist Brenda Howard is among the main organizers of the the 1993 March On Washington for Lesbian Gay & Bi Equal Rights and Liberation.
Brenda, along with other national bi movement leaders, has successfully fought to get the word Bi into the title of the march.
1992 - BiPAC works in conjunction with other LGBT and progressive organizations on the “Children of the Rainbow” campaign, creating a manual for community members and activists who are fighting to keep the inclusive school curriculum.
In a foreshadowing of future political events, in 1993 a well organized & well funded coalition of extreme right-wing political interests and religious fundamentalists eventually have the curriculum tossed out and the School Commissioner who championed it is driven out of office.
1992 thru 1994 BiPAC begins another campaign proposing to Heritage of Pride (HOP) that the names of their Lesbian and Gay Pride events be changed to include Bisexual people.
BiPAC meets with gay community liaisons of several NY politicians, including the Mayor and Governor, requesting increased bi-inclusion and awareness.
BiPAC forms the Bisexual Speakers Bureau and performs speaking engagements at colleges, universities, the NYC Board of Education and NYC community organizations.
1993 - New York Bi Activist Sheela Lambert writes, produces, and hosts the first television series by and for the bisexual community. Bisexual Network successfully airs for 13 weeks on NYC Public Access Cable.
1994 - BiRequest a weekly social and moderated discussion group for bisexual and bi-friendly people from 18 to 80 begins meeting.
1994 - New York City hosts the Third International Bisexual Conference (3icb) in conjunction with the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion, the symbolic origin of the modern LGBT Movement.
About 400 people attend from at least five countries. The visible bisexual presence at the celebration signifies our link to the past: bisexuals fought in the Stonewall Rebellion of 1969, and celebrate the changes it has inspired in the present.
1996 - Bi community rallies around another proposal to HOP asking them to be more bi-inclusive which passes: but no action is taken.
Another out bisexual joins HOP for 2 years as an active Gay and Lesbian Pride organizer to promote the bi-inclusive agenda as a member.
2000 - Bisexual and trans activists come together to form the Coalition for Unity and Inclusion.
The Coalition succeeds in drawing support from directors of LGBT Community organizations and politicians as well as grass-roots bi and transgender community participation in their letter writing campaign, petition drive and feedback campaign asking the Lesbian and Gay Community Services Center to change its name to include Bisexual and Transgender people.
2001 - The Center was renamed and a new sign was unveiled on the front of the building on 12 July 2001 that reads: The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center.
2002 - Heritage of Pride renames their Lesbian and Gay Pride events which become the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride March, Rally, Festival and Dance in 2002.
2002 - Coalition for Unity and Inclusion beings work on convincing the NewFest Board to change the subtitle of their annual film festival to be more inclusive.
2004 - The NewFest Board changes the name of their film-festival from The New York Lesbian and Gay Film Festival to the New York Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Film Festival.
2005 - The New York Times publishes an article in it's Science Section based on a study conducted by a researcher with a dubious reputation and suspect data entitled "Straight, Gay or Lying?" in which it is claimed that Bisexual men do not exist.
The NYABN works with national Bisexual & LGBT groups to discuss what constitutes valid scientific research, the nature of discrimination as well as the concept of objective journalism with staff members at the New York Times.