A new LGBT history Mmuseum exhibit, “Biconic Flashpoints: 4 Decades of Bay Area Bisexual Politics,” opening in San Francisco, explores some of the important points of bisexual history from the last 40 years. In honor of this amazing exhibit, here are some more major moments in bisexual history.
1966 - Bisexual activist and bi icon Stephen Donaldson, or “Donny the Punk” as he was better known, founded the Student Homophile League at Columbia University and New York University; the first gay student group. A former lover of gay rights icon Frank Kameny, Donaldson fell in love with a woman and wrote that he, "took a lot of flak from the leaders of other homophile organizations for being bi.” Before dying of AIDS in 1996, Donaldson was active in the bisexual, pacifist, veterans and prisoners rights movements.
1967 - Margo Rila and Frank Esposito established the Sexual Freedom League, a rap group for bisexuals in San Francisco.
1968 - Bi Alliance begins at the University of Minnesota. It offers groups for women, for men and a newsletter.
1969 - In New York City, Brenda Howard (known as the ‘Mother of Pride’) conceived and coordinated the first anniversary of the Stonewall riots. The annual New York City Pride march then spawned Pride marches around the country and the world.
1972 – Bill Beasley, veteran of black civil rights movement was the core organizer of the first Los Angeles Gay Pride March and is active with Gay Liberation Front. In 1994, board members of the San Francisco Gay and Lesbian Freedom Day Parade, bisexual leaders Matthew L. Le Grant and Bill Beasley succeed in changing the organization's name to include bisexual and transgender.
1973 - Woody Glenn is interviewed as an out bi activist on a National Organization for Women radio program on WICC in Bridgeport, Conn.
1974 - Dr. Fritz Klein co-founded the Bi Forum in New York City with his friend Chuck. Klein later founded the American Institute of Bisexuality, created the Journal of Bisexuality and introduced the Klein Sexual Orientation Grid in his book, “The bisexual option: A concept of one-hundred percent intimacy.”
1975 - Jeff Davidson founds the Bisexual Group in Philadelphia.
1975 - Activist Carol Queen comes out as bi and organizes GAYouth in Eugene, Ore.
1976 - Harriet Levi and Maggi Rubenstein found the San Francisco Bisexual Center. The Center offers social events, counseling services, a newsletter, speakers bureau and sponsors a bisexual contingent in the annual San Francisco Gay Pride march. Rubenstein goes on to co-found three major sex education institutions in San Francisco including the Glide Memorial Church's National Sex Forum, the San Francisco Sex Information Hotline and the Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Sexuality.
1977 – Latino Bisexual activist Alexei Guren founds the Gay Teen Task Force (now known as Pridelines Youth Services) in Miami as a response to Anita Bryant’s antigay “Save Our Children” campaign.
1978 - A. Billy S. Jones co-founds the National Coalition of Black Lesbians and Gays in Washington, D.C. Bisexual and transgender people are included in its bylaws, mission and outreach.
1978 – Scott Bartell and Gary Lingen found the group One to Five, a social and support group in Minneapolis/St. Paul. Grassroots bisexual communities grow with Midwest support groups, including Bi Married Men (Detroit suburbs) and Chicago’s Bi Ways.
1979 – Abilly S. Jones-Hennin, serves as logistics coordinator for the first National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights.
Oct. 14, 1979 - On the same weekend, Jones-Hennin co-organizes the Third World Conference to draw attention to LGBT people of color. Audre Lorde delivers the keynote speech.
Special thanks to Lani Ka'ahumanu, Bialogue, and the New York Area Bisexual Network for data collection.