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BiNet USA is an American national bisexual rights organization founded to formalize communication between the loose network of bisexual groups and individuals that had developed in the USA over the decades following the birth of the modern LGBT Civil Rights movement that began with the Stonewall Rebellion.
As an umbrella organization and a voice for bisexual people in the United States of America, it is the mission of BiNet USA to facilitate the development of a cohesive network of bisexual communities, promote bisexual visibility, collect and distribute educational information regarding bisexuality and encourages participation and organizing on local and national levels.
Programs and campaigns[edit | edit source]
Some of the work BiNet USA has been involved in includes:
Campaigns[edit | edit source]
- Plays 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 (1993)
- Develops a media packet that helps generates the groundbreaking Newsweek cover story on bisexuality (1995)
- Organizes an Ally Campaign, educating and holding ally organizations accountable for their actions (1998)
- in 1991 after the groundbreaking bisexual Anthology Bi Any Other Name: Bisexual People Speak Out was forced to compete in the Lambda Literary Award's under the category "Lesbian Anthology", led the Bisexual Community a multi year struggle that eventually culminated with the addition of a Bisexual category starting with the 2006 Awards. (2006)
Policy initiatives[edit | edit source]
- Bisexual Youth Initiative (1995): a survey is developed and sent out to organizations nationwide serving GLBTQ youth. The survey report is published and sent to agencies, offering assistance in improving services.
- Bisexual Rural Initiative (1996): 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 & Fenway Community Health, including the "Bisexual Health Timeline".
Conferences (partial list)[edit | edit source]
- 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)
- 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)
- Co-sponsor of the Transcending Boundaries Conference (2005) (2006)
- 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, Kingston RI USA in July of 2008.
History and structure[edit | edit source]
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 of 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 focuse more of its efforts on Internet activism using the Internet as an organizing tool for community growth. It uses a "800" phone number, it's Website, a MySpace Group and its very active ListServ, established using Yahoo Groups to facilitate communication between various and disparate bisexual communities and activists nationwide.
In 2005, after a period of progress marked by growing acceptance in both the larger LGBT & 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 people did not exist. With little critical examination, various media celebrities and outlets jumped on the band-wagon and claimed to have "solved" the "problem of bisexuality" by declaring it to be non-existent.
Working with 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 it's 'Rapid-Response Spokesperson Team' and now monitors and responds quickly to media portrayals of the bisexual community.
Structure[edit | edit source]
BiNet USA is chartered as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in Florida and is based in Arlington, Virginia. Decision making is by consensus by the Board of Directors with the advise and consent of the members of the Standing Committees and the various Regional Representatives.
Current leadership[edit | edit source]
- Wendy Curry, President
- Margaret Rood, Secretary
- Luigi Ferrer, Board Member
- Gary B. North, Acting Treasurer
See also[edit | edit source]
- Bisexual community
- bisexual erasure
- International Conference on Bisexuality
- Transcending Boundaries Conference