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Has Bi organizing gone the way of TV Guide?

Once upon a time, every "tv watching" home needed a TV Guide. It told you what was on at what time. Without it, you were forced to stand by the tv and manually switch between channels until you found something good.
Eventually, cable companies added a scrolling guide, which morphed into a searchable guide.
There was no longer a need for a paper guide.

Similarly, there was a time when bisexuals were isolated, lacking in references, depictions in the media, or acceptance by the larger glbt community. Bi organizing grew out of a need for a generation of self identifying bisexuals to find out about
ourselves, to connect with others who felt the same way, to create a large enough presence to be taken seriously by the glbt community.


These days, there are whole libraries of bi themed books, dozens of discussion groups online, myspace, facebook, yahoogroups.
We have bi characters in film and on tv. And almost all major glbt organizations have out bisexuals on staff.

We set out to do what we meant to do. We're now at a crossroads. Do BiNet and other national bi groups step back and become merely a directory for other bi groups? Do we serve solely as a 501c3 placeholder for smaller bi groups to fundraise through?
Or do we retire?


We are run currently by the same generation who saw the original need for bi activism/organizing. We are lacking perspective
to make these decisions on our own. We desperately need people willing to join the board volunteer 5 or so hours a week and
help us steer BiNet into this century.


We can't seem to find anyone. Is that our answer? Is it possible - with war, the economy, health insurance, famine, and all
the other issues today, when compared to the current level of bi acceptance... that people's volunteer hours are better spent elsewhere? If that is the case, are we fooling ourselves by keeping this going?
Do we need to step back and let BiNet go away? Keep the listserv and let all else die? Eventually, the few remaining board members will fade away and the decision will be made.

Comments

softfruit
Feb. 20th, 2008 09:30 am (UTC)
This intrigues me a little in that over in the UK we're just getting on to the "let's have a national organisation" stage, despite on paper being in a better position legally and such. Up til now the closest we come is Bi Community News magazine, which has been described to me as "the members newsletter of the UK bis membership organisation we don't have".

I think it's more to do with the credibility of a national voice to the pink and non-pink media, and that there are some things where a national body would help: economies of scale in producing general bi info for Prides and other outreach spaces for example.

It might be that BiNet is suffering that natural ebb and flow that we all know from group running; or perhaps it's reached the end of its cycle enough and you need some time without a national body until fresh energy is there to make it happen. But I guess 501c3 status takes some achieving (I have no idea) and you have to think about whether maintaining a body with that status saves the next wave of activist energy from needing to do the paperwork, or holds it back on a "we can't start a national body, someone's already doing that" basis.

Or maybe US-wide organising is just too geographically large a scale, in the same way we don't have an EU-wide body?
nyabn
Feb. 20th, 2008 10:20 am (UTC)
comments from the peanut gallery . . .

Or maybe US-wide organizing is just too geographically large a scale, in the same way we don't have an EU-wide body?

the US has other large and very successful national LGBT Groups including two (competing liberal and conservative) general groups and a group representing the transgendered community, etc.

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in any event please come join the new listserv Local_Bi_Group_Leaders, all people who lead any sort of bi group anywhere and can get along in English language urged to join
softfruit
Feb. 20th, 2008 07:55 pm (UTC)
On the latter point, I'm already there - just a little quiet as it's got a bit too navel-gazing for me and not enough of the Running Groups Successfully stuff.