5th January 1948: Sexual Behavior In The Human Male

Alfred Kinsey’s “Sexual Behavior In The Human Male” was published at the start of 1948. One of the landmark texts in modern understanding of sexuality, it followed extensive interviews with men across the USA and its findings about sex and sexuality were considered outrageous at the time. The oft-quoted “1 in 10” figure for homosexuality is derived from that 1948 report.

Kinsey plotted sexuality on a scale from 0 to 6 where 0 indicated exclusive heterosexuality and 6 exclusive homosexuality; 1,2,3,4 and 5 were gradations between and can be seen as different experiences of bisexuality.

Explaining his scale, Kinsey wrote:

“Males do not represent two discrete populations, heterosexual and homosexual. The world is not to be divided into sheep and goats. It is a fundamental of taxonomy that nature rarely deals with discrete categories […] The living world is a continuum in each and every one of its aspects”

Five years later he released a similar report about women’s sexuality.

 

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1st September 1994: Manchester bis unite

After London Bi Group closed, BiPhoria inherited the crown as the longest-running bi group in the UK

Now one of the most high-profile bi groups in Britain, BiPhoria formed thirteen years to the day after the UK’s first bi group had started in London.

In 1994, Manchester already had a well-established pairing of a bi men’s group and a bi women’s group which met on different days in the city’s Sidney Street Lesbian & Gay Centre. Following that summer’s BiCon conference, members of the two groups came together to form a new group unbounded by gender: indeed that had been the original aim when the bi men’s group had formed in the 1980s.

The name is a play on the words “bisexual” and “euphoria”, and its MiXed CapiTals style was common in bi groups of that era. The name originally also specifically included an exclamation mark, which was quietly dropped in the internet age since biphoria!.org.uk wouldn’t have worked as a web address.

As well as the Manchester women’s and men’s bi groups there were similar groups in many other cities at the time – however, in the ensuing decade each of those folded (often to be replaced by new groups later on). So at nearly 18, BiPhoria is now the longest-running bisexual group in the UK to still be meeting.

Beyond its core social & support group role the group has also published the 2003 report on bi needs in the city, and 2011’s Getting Bi In A Gay/Straight World booklet. More here.

 

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June 1972: The Ithaca Statement

A Quaker group, the Committee of Friends on Bisexuality, issued the “Ithaca Statement on Bisexuality” following their first gathering in June, 1972. It is named after the city in New York state, USA, where the meeting was held.

It is thought to be the first statement specifically on bisexualityby any religious body, and is supportive of bisexuality and challenging of biphobia. It was published in US lesbian & gay magazine The Advocate.

One of the challenges posed in the Statement was:

Are Friends aware of their own tendency to falsely assume that any interest in the same sex necessarily indicates an exclusively homosexual orientation; and to further falsely assume that interest in the opposite sex necessarily indicates an exclusively heterosexual orientation?

As Bisexual Index spokesman Marcus Morgan observed at a meeting in London this week organised by Kairos – forty years on that is still one of the most central challenges in bisexual visibility and acceptance.

 

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April 2010: Orlando Jordan, out bi wrestler

OBCN magazine coverrlando Jordan is a professional wrestler.

He came out as bisexual in April 2010, proudly waving the bi flag on TNA Wrestling’s “Impact” programme. After leaving TNA, who chose to call him “eccentric” and “bipolar” rather than bisexual, he’s moved on to Australia’s AAW promotion, and is their current World Heavyweight Champion.

He appeared on the cover of the August 2010 issue of Bi Community News.

 

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27 October 1998: “Ron on the Common”

The Secretary of State for Wales resigned on 27 October 1998 following what he would later call a “moment of madness” that led to him being mugged by a man he had met on London’s Clapham Common. The Common was a well-known meeting place for men looking for casual sex with other men.

Caerphilly MP Ron Davies was at the peak of his political career: an MP since 1983, now a cabinet member of the New Labour government which had taken power 18 months earlier. He had steered the creation of the devolved Assembly for Wales and despite the Clapham Common scandal went on to be elected as member for that town in that Assembly in 1999.

He came out as bisexual to a hostile press and stood down as MP in 2001, but his political career was not over: he’s now an elected councillor and sits as Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Planning on Caerphilly’s local council.

 

 

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