Bi/Net USA, The Bisexual Network of the USA Inc.
|Legal status||501(c)(3) nonprofit organization|
|Headquarters||Arlington, Virginia, U.S.|
|North American Bisexual Network|
|Part of a series on|
|Attitudes and discrimination|
BiNet USA (officially Bi/Net USA, The Bisexual Network of the USA Inc.) is an American national nonprofit bisexual community 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. BiNet USA provides national network for bisexual organizations and individuals across the United States, and encourages participation and organizing on local and national levels." They claim to be the oldest national bisexuality organization in the United States.
Programs and campaigns
Some of the work the organization has been involved in includes the following.
- 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.
- 1998: Organizes an Ally Campaign, educating and holding ally organizations accountable for their actions.
- 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", and Directed by Desire: Collected Poems, a posthumous collection of the bisexual poet June Jordan's work, had to compete (and won) in the category "Lesbian Poetry", BiNet USA led the bisexual community in a multi year campaign eventually resulting in the addition of a Bisexual category, starting with the 2006 Awards.
- 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.
- Bisexual Youth Initiative (1995): a survey was developed and sent out to organizations nationwide serving LGBTQ youth. The survey report was published and sent to agencies, offering assistance in improving services.
- Bisexual Rural Initiative (1996): Initiative to reach out and determine specific needs of bisexuals in rural areas.
- Bisexual Health Initiative (2007): participated in the development of the report Bisexual health: An introduction and model practices for HIV/STI prevention programming in conjunction with the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and Fenway Community Health, including the Bisexual Health Timeline.
Conferences (partial list)
- with the Bisexual Resource Center and the Washington, DC-based Alliance of Multicultural Bisexuals co-sponsor the largest US bisexual conference to date with over 600 people in attendance. (1993)
- Hosts the First National Institute on Bisexuality and HIV/AIDS (1998)
- Co-sponsor of the Transcending Boundaries Conference (2005) (2006)
- With the Lambda Literary Foundation and New York City's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Services Center co-sponsor of the "Big Bi Book Weekend" including "Bi Lines: A Celebration of Bisexual Writing in Reading, Music and Culture" a fund-raising event to benefit the Bi Writers Association (2007)
- With the Bisexual Foundation et al. co-sponsor of the International Conference on Bisexuality (1994) (1998) (2004) (2006) when held in the United States. A member of the standing committee that is currently planning the 10th ICB to be held on the campus of the University of Rhode Island in July 2008.
History and structure
Tracing its roots back to the 1987 Second National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights, 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. This first conference was attended by over 450 people from 20 states and 5 countries, and the mayor of San Francisco sent a proclamation "commending the bisexual rights community for its leadership in the cause of social justice", and declaring June 23, 1990 Bisexual Pride Day.
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 U.S. charitable organizations, was hit hard when funding dried up in the wake of the 9/11 attacks on the US mainland in September 2001. 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, website, MySpace page, Facebook Group, and 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 and straight communities, the bisexual community suddenly came under a new attack  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 bandwagon 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 LiveJournal, MySpace and Facebook.
In 2014, BiNet USA declared the seven days surrounding Celebrate Bisexuality Day to be Bi Awareness Week, also called Bisexual Awareness Week. The week begins the Sunday before Celebrate Bisexuality Day.
BiNet USA was incorporated as a nonprofit organization in Florida on February 14, 1994. It has 501(c)(3) status. Its headquarters are in 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.
- Faith Cheltenham, President
- Juba Kalamka, Vice President
- Denise Penn, Secretary
- Lynnette McFadzen, Treasurer, Emeritus
Claims of copyright of bisexual pride flag
On April 28, 2020, BiNet USA president Faith Cheltenham claimed via the organization's Twitter account that they own sole copyright to the bisexual pride flag, stating that they would be restricting the flag's use without direct authorization. The tweets subsequently received many critical responses, including questioning the validity of a copyright claim, as previous documentation had established the flag as being within the public domain. Their original Twitter account was deactivated on April 29, 2020, and a new account was made and pointed to by Cheltenham.
On April 29, 2020, Dr. Lauren Beach gave a statement on her Twitter in which she stated that, as a board member, she was not consulted about BiNet USA's decision and that she does not agree with it. A day later, she confirmed that the board had an emergency meeting on April 30, 2020, and that a statement is to be released soon. On May 1, Faith Cheltenham released a statement prepared by the BiNet USA's board onto the official blog page, as well as tweeting it from the, now reactivated, official Twitter account. Also on May 1, Beach stated she had resigned from the board. Two days later, Cheltenham posted a statement that she had asked Juba Kalamka to be president of BiNet and that he would do so as of January 21, 2021. The same day, BiNet USA posted a statement that began "As of May 2020, BiNet USA CEASES AND DESISTS OF ALL USE OF THE BISEXUAL PRIDE FLAG".
In November 2020, Cheltenham announced that she would retain control of the organization and identified as a conservative. She stated that she "and all bi content" would no longer be on mainstream social media.
- Bisexual American history
- Bisexual community
- Bisexual erasure
- Creating Change Conference
- Bisexual Resource Center
- "BiNet USA The Bisexual Network of the USA Inc," Tax Exempt Organization Search. Internal Revenue Service. Retrieved April 29, 2020.
- "Our Board". BiNet. Retrieved April 29, 2020.
- "BiNet/USA, The BiSexual Network of the USA Inc." Florida Division of Corporations. Retrieved April 29, 2020.
- "All About BiNet USA including the Fine Print". BiNet USA. Archived from the original on 2019-01-20. Retrieved 2013-08-16.
- Summers, Claude J. (2009-10-20). "BiNet USA". glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Culture. glbtq, Inc. Archived from the original on 2014-02-20.
- Miller, Marshall; André, Amy; Ebin, Julie; Bessonova, Leona (2007). "Bisexual Health: An Introduction and Model Proactices for HIV/STI Prevention Programming" (PDF). National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Policy Institute, The Fenway Institute at Fenway Community Health, BiNet USA. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 27, 2007.
- "Timeline: The Bisexual Health Movement in the US". BiNet USA. Archived from the original on October 22, 2019. Retrieved June 10, 2007.
- "BiNet USA". BiNet USA. Archived from the original on 2019-02-07. Retrieved 2019-08-11.
- "New York Area Bisexual Network: A Brief History of NYC's Bisexual Community". Nyabn.org. 2001-07-12. Retrieved 2013-08-16.
- "Bialogue Taking Action: Countering attempts to invalidate bisexuality". Bialogue.org. 2005-10-09. Retrieved 2013-08-16.
-  Archived April 19, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
- "BiNet USA's Blog: BiNet USA Expands Board of Directors". Binetusa.blogspot.com. 2009-09-15. Retrieved 2013-08-16.
- "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.
- "Bi Brigade presents: Bisexual Awareness Week! - Proud Queer (PQ Monthly - Daily Online)". PQ Monthly. Archived from the original on September 25, 2015. Retrieved September 17, 2015.
- "Second annual Bisexual Awareness Week to held Sept. 20 – 26; events across U.S. and online". LGBT Weekly. February 14, 2011. Archived from the original on September 21, 2015. Retrieved September 17, 2015.
- "Angry African Girls United - LGBTQIA+ Holidays for the remained of the year". Angryafricangirlsunited.tumblr.com. March 17, 2014. Retrieved September 17, 2015.
- BiNet USA [@BiNetUSA] (April 28, 2020). "The copyright of the flag is solely BiNet USA's; it does not belong to any one founder and no founder can approve its use without the President and/or board approval. And yet @Target where can we send a letter? Cause you sell #biprideflags too? Where is our cut?" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- Beach, Lauren [@laurenbbeach] (April 29, 2020). "I want to clarify these are the views of #BiNet President @thefayth, who also was the person tweeting this content earlier today from the now-defunct BiNet twitter. I do not share the view that #BiNet owns or should seek to license the #bisexual pride flag" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- "This Organization Wants to Be Paid for Use of the Bi Pride Flag". www.out.com. April 29, 2020. Retrieved April 29, 2020.
- Bollinger, Alex (April 29, 2020). "A group is threatening legal action & demanding payment for use of the bisexual pride flag". LGBTQ Nation. Retrieved April 29, 2020.
- Mason, Jessica (April 29, 2020). "No, You Can't Copyright the Bi Pride Flag". The Mary Sue.
- Cheltenham, Faith [@thefayth] (April 29, 2020). "Talking to @binetcollective member about ensuring that folks know the true story of the pride flag for bisexuals; and the need to divest from support for pro profit work. To be clear this is an executive action I made as #BiNet President and remain in conversation with our board" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- Beach, Lauren [@laurenbbeach] (April 30, 2020). "The board has convened an emergency meeting today and will issue a statement after the meeting ASAP" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- "About the bisexual pride flag...: A statement prepared by the board of BiNet USA". BiNet USA. May 1, 2020.
- BiNet USA [@BiNetUSA] (May 1, 2020). "About the bisexual pride flag... A statement prepared by the board of BiNet USA. MYTH: The Bisexual Pride flag is open for use by everyone for any purpose, including the confederate flag" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- Beach, Lauren [@laurenbbeach] (May 1, 2020). "Update: A statement about the bisexual pride flag was posted on the #BiNet USA blog by Faith Cheltenham (link below). I am unsure if any additional statement will be forthcoming. I have resigned from the BiNet board" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- Cheltenham, Faith (May 3, 2020). "Statement by thefayth About the Bisexual Community".
I, thefayth, Faith Cheltenham, have asked Juba Kalamka to step up into the presidency of BiNet USA; he’s agreed to begin serving on January 21, 2021.
- Cheltenham, Faith (May 3, 2020). "Statement on Use of Bisexual Pride Flag". BiNet USA.
As of May 2020, BiNet USA CEASES AND DESISTS OF ALL USE OF THE BISEXUAL PRIDE FLAG
- "BiNet USA president to depart after claiming ownership over bi Pride flag".
- BiNet USA [@binetusa] (May 25, 2020). "We said what we said, again. BY MEMBERS OF THE BOARD OF BINET USA Last communication about this flag controversy: We strongly reject and refute any assertion that BiNet USA claimed, or ever claimed the bisexual pride flag" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- BiNet USA (May 25, 2020). ""We said what we said, again."". Twitter. Archived from the original on May 26, 2020. Retrieved December 19, 2021.
- Cheltenham, Faith (November 12, 2020). "Press Release". BiNet USA. Retrieved December 19, 2021.
- BiNet USA [@binetusa] (November 12, 2020). "...Official statement from Faith Cheltenham, ex" (Tweet) – via Twitter.