#BiWeek win: You spoke, Dear Prudence listened

Following GLAAD's campaign and public outcry urging Dear Prudence columnist Emily Yoffe to improve her advice to bisexual readers, Slate's syndicated writer did just that this morning.

Slate's weekly live chat with advice columnist Emily Yoffe, sparked much anger around the internet when she advised a bisexual woman to keep her identity "private" and equated the woman's identity to "plushophilia" (an erotic interest in stuffed animals), getting "turned on by being a dominatrix," and to "not [being] by nature monogamous."

GLAAD publicly critiqued Yoffe's seeming insensitivity to the bisexual community and perpetuation of anti-bi stereotypes. GLAAD repeatedly reached out editors at Slate and Slate Outward, as well as Yoffe, herself, urging them to improve their coverage and knowledge of bi-related topics. The Advocate took note of GLAAD's efforts, and the story caught wind with Jezebel, Mic, XO Jane, Autostraddle, and more.

Finally, Yoffe got the message about affirming and recognizing the bi community, and passed it on to a reader this morning:

Q. Coming Out, Again: I’m 33 and for most of my life have considered myself gay. I came out to my family when I was in my early 20s and they were very supportive. I’ve had two long-term boyfriends, the last one for almost six years. After he and I split (early last year), I had a lot of support from my best friend and co-worker, who is a girl. I found myself becoming attracted to her and we actually started dating a few months ago and it’s going great! One problem: I don’t know how to introduce her to my family and explain the situation to them. My brother and his wife made a pretty big deal over telling my nieces and making sure they knew I liked boys and that it was OK.

A: If you feel ready to introduce your new love to your family, you should just be straightforward: “I’m seeing someone I want you to meet. Her name is Isabelle. Yes, it came as a surprise to me, too.” The situation apparently is that you are bisexual. Your family is open-minded and supportive, so surely they will being able to cope with the news that you have found someone you really care for, no matter what your partner’s sex. [Emphasis added]

Though the reader did not use the word "bisexual" to identify himself, Yoffe is to be credited for acknowledging bisexuality as a lived identity and encouraging visibility in safe spaces.

Today marks the 15th annual Celebrate Bisexuality Day, which is part of #BiWeek, a seven-day campaign to draw attention to the public policy concerns of bisexual people while also celebrating the resiliency of bisexual culture and community. Bi erasure is often connected with many social and physical disparities the bi community must confront. Coming out can bring visibility where there once was erasure.

Check out 8 things you didn't know about the bi community and learn more about bi erasure here.

From September 21-27, join GLAAD in recognizing the bisexual community for Bisexual Awareness Week, including Celebrate Bisexuality Day on September 23. Check out the new ways for bi, trans, and ally communities to get involved every day.

Join the conversation today by tweeting #BiWeek!

You can learn about the bi community, bi erasure, notable bi figures, and find resources for media at glaad.org/biweek2014 and more at bisexualweek.com.