BiNet USA

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BiNet USA
BiNet USA Logo.png
BiNet USA logo
Formation 1990
President
Faith Cheltenham
Website www.binetusa.org
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BiNet USA is a nonprofit national bisexuality organization whose mission is to "facilitate the development of a cohesive network of bisexual communities, promote bisexual visibility, and collect and distribute educational information regarding bisexuality. To accomplish these goals, BiNet USA will provide a national network for bisexual organizations and individuals across the United States, and encourage participation and organizing on local and national levels." [1] It is the oldest national bisexuality organization in the United States.[1][2]

Programs and campaigns[edit]

Some of the work the organization has been involved in include:

Campaigns[edit]

  • 2008: Under the slogan "Vote Against Hate in 2008," partnered with Rock the Vote to successfully reach out to and register people from its constituent communities and encourage participation in the American electoral process.
  • 1993: Played a key role in the successful national campaign to include "Bi" in the March on Washington for Gay, Lesbian and Bi Equal Rights and Liberation[citation needed]
  • Organizes an Ally Campaign, educating and holding ally organizations accountable for their actions (1998)
  • After the 1991 bisexual anthology Bi Any Other Name: Bisexual People Speak Out was forced to compete in the Lambda Literary Awards under the category Lesbian Anthology, BiNet USA led the Bisexual Community a multi year campaign eventually resulting in the addition of a Bisexual category, starting with the 2006 Awards.[citation needed]

Policy initiatives[edit]

  • Bisexual Health Initiative (2007): participated in the development of the report Bisexual health: An introduction and model practices for HIV/STI prevention programming[3] in conjunction with the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and Fenway Community Health, including the Bisexual Health Timeline.[4]
  • Bisexual Rural Initiative (1996): Initiative to reach out and determine specific needs of bisexuals in rural areas.
  • Bisexual Youth Initiative (1995): a survey was developed and sent out to organizations nationwide serving GLBTQ youth. The survey report was published and sent to agencies, offering assistance in improving services.[citation needed]

Conferences (partial list)[edit]

BiNet gathering

History and structure[edit]

BiNet USA meeting

Tracing its roots back to the 1987 march on Washington, the group further coalesced in 1990 when BiPol convened the first National Bisexual Conference in San Francisco. At that time a conference track was dedicated to creating a national organization. The following summer the North American Bisexual Network was formalized in Seattle. Later its name would change to BiNet USA to coincide with the group becoming a nonprofit organization.

In its first decade BiNet USA worked on a variety of campaigns, national policy initiatives and hosted/co-hosted a number Conferences. Moving into its second decade, BiNet USA, like many other US charitable organizations, was hit hard when funding dried up in the wake of the 9/11 attacks on the US mainland in September 2001.[citation needed] It was forced to lay off its paid staff and roll back its plans for new office space.

Faced with these new economic and logistical realities, BiNet USA begins to focus more of its efforts on Internet activism using the Internet as an organizing tool for community growth. It uses an "800" phone number, its Website, a MySpace Page, Facebook Group and its very active ListServ, established using Yahoo Groups to facilitate communication between various and disparate bisexual, pansexual and fluid communities and activists nationwide.

In 2005, after a period of progress marked by growing acceptance in both the larger LGBT & straight communities,[5] the bisexual community suddenly came under a new attack [6] promulgated by the publication of a study entitled “Sexual Arousal Patterns of Bisexual Men” by the controversial researcher J. Michael Bailey. This study allegedly "proved" that bisexual men did not exist. With little critical examination, various media celebrities and outlets jumped on the band-wagon [7] and claimed to have "solved" the "problem of bisexuality" by declaring it to be non-existent, at least in men.

Working with other established LGBT institutions such as the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force GLAAD, the Bisexual Resource Center as well as newer ones such as Bialogue, BiNet USA moved to co-ordinate a national response to this threat to the well-being of the bisexual community. It has now revitalized and updated its 'Rapid-Response Spokesperson Team' and now monitors and responds quickly to media portrayals of the bisexual community.

Starting in 2008 under the leadership of its then president Wendy Curry, who is herself a software engineer, BiNet USA greatly expanded its use of Internet activism taking advantage of the flowering of a variety of Social networking venues including the popular Live Journal Blogging tool, Myspace and Facebook products.

In September 2009, BiNet USA expanded its board of directors, making Gary B. North the new president.[8]

In October 2009, BiNet USA endorsed the National Equality March and helped organize a contingent of several bisexual groups that participated in the march.[9]

Structure[edit]

BiNet USA is chartered as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in Florida and is headquartered in the Washington DC suburb of Arlington, Virginia. Decision making is by consensus by the Board of Directors with the advice and consent of the members of the Standing Committees and the various Regional Representatives.

Current leadership[edit]

BiNet USA Board of Directors [10]

Faith Cheltenham, President

Luigi Ferrer, Vice-President

Gary B. North, Treasurer

Morgan Goode, Secretary

Chiquita Violette

Stacey Langley

Volunteers

Jim Larsen, Scott O’Malley

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "All About BiNet USA including the Fine Print". BiNet USA. Retrieved 2013-08-16. 
  2. ^ Summers, Claude J. (2009-10-20). "BiNet USA". glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Culture. glbtq, Inc. 
  3. ^ [1][dead link][dead link]
  4. ^ "BiNet USA". BiNet USA. Retrieved 2013-08-16. 
  5. ^ "New York Area Bisexual Network: A Brief History of NYC's Bisexual Community". Nyabn.org. 2001-07-12. Retrieved 2013-08-16. 
  6. ^ "Bialogue Taking Action: Countering attempts to invalidate bisexuality". Bialogue.org. 2005-10-09. Retrieved 2013-08-16. 
  7. ^ [2][dead link]
  8. ^ "BiNet USA's Blog: BiNet USA Expands Board of Directors". Binetusa.blogspot.com. 2009-09-15. Retrieved 2013-08-16. 
  9. ^ "BiNet USA's Blog: [BiNet USA]: National Equality March Washington DC October 10-11 2009". Binetusa.blogspot.com. 2009-09-15. Retrieved 2013-08-16. 
  10. ^ BiNet USA. "About Binet Usa &Laquo; Binet Usa « Categories « BiNet USA". Binetusa.org. Retrieved 2013-08-16. 

External links[edit]