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BiNet USA

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BiNet USA is a national bisexual/pansexual civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States. It was founded to formalize communication between U.S. bisexual groups founded in the decades after the birth of the modern LGBT rights movement.

As an umbrella organization and a voice for bisexual, pansexual and fluid people in the United States, BiNet USA's mission is to facilitate the development of a cohesive network of bisexual communities, promote bisexual visibility, collect and distribute educational information regarding bisexuality and encourage participation and organizing on local and national levels.[1]

Programs and campaignsEdit

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

CampaignsEdit

  • 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.
  • 1995: Developed a media packet that helps generates the groundbreaking Newsweek cover story on bisexuality
  • 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
  • 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.

Policy initiativesEdit

  • Bisexual Health Initiative (2007): participated in the development of the report "Bisexual health: An introduction and model practices for HIV/STI prevention programming"[1] in conjunction with the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force & Fenway Community Health, including the "Bisexual Health Timeline"[2].
  • 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.

Conferences (partial list)Edit

History and structureEdit

Tracing its roots back to the 1987 march on Washington, the group further coalesced in 1990 when BiPol[3] 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.[4]

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. 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] [6], the bisexual community suddenly came under a new attack [7] 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[8] and claimed to have "solved" the "problem of bisexuality" by declaring it to be non-existent.

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.[9]

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.

StructureEdit

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 advise and consent of the members of the Standing Committees and the various Regional Representatives.

Current leadershipEdit

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit


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