Sunday, March 28, 2010

BECAUSE 2010 - It's Time!!!

The BECAUSE Conference is the premier weekend event for bisexuals, queers, non-mono-sexual, bi-curious, questioning, and all others, regardless of sexual or gender identity. This conference is open to everyone! BECAUSE draws people from throughout the Midwest and beyond to attend the various educational workshops, get active in the community, and enjoy the connections. We welcome you to be a part of an entertaining, educational, and enlightening weekend!

The 2010 BECAUSE Conference is being held at Hamline University from April 16-18. Highlight include keynote addresses from Amy AndrĂ© and Beth Zemsky, a conference wide panel titled It’s Time: Perspectives on Bisexuality Past, Present and Future, and our annual Cabaret event on Saturday evening.

For more details on the conferencehousing information and/or to register for this unique conference go to BECAUSEConference.org. Feel free to contact BECAUSE at BECAUSEonference@gmail.com with any questions or go to the Facebook group at facebook.com/BECAUSE.Conference.


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Save the date! April 16-18, 2010. It's Time!

Help us spread the word by posting our flier around town! Download it here:
http://www.becauseconference.org/CONFERENCEDOWNLOADS.html

Stay up to date on BECAUSE:
Google Group: groups.google.com/group/BECAUSE-conference
Facebook: facebook.com/#/BECAUSE.Conference
Twitter: twitter.com/BECAUSEConf

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Queering the Census

What is the only thing on earth that could possibly be cooler
than a YouTube video with slam poet Kit Yan in it? A YouTube
video with Kit Yan and BiNET's own vivacious VP, Faith
Cheltenham, in it!!!

As you can see from the video, it is that time again, the time
once every 10 years when we get to stand up and be counted so
that money and votes get sent to our districts. Under Bush, even
if a same-gender couple listed themselves as married, this was
changed to unmarried partner. Now, people can list themselves as
they are, so the fact that there ARE millions of married same-
gender couples across the US, and the sky is NOT falling, can be
recorded.

You can read exactly how to do it here:

http://ourfamiliescount.org/faqs/

If you want to Queer the Census even futher, you can sign the
petition at the Queer the Census Website:

http://www.queerthecensus.org

You can also get a sticker from them to put on the back of your
Census envelope when you mail it in.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Constance and her Prom dream date

We all dream of our Senior Prom, of the wonderful person who will be on our arm, of how good we will look, of how great that night of a lifetime will be …. But for Constance McMillen, of Itawamba County Agricultural High School, that dream has turned into a nightmare, simply because her dream date was a young woman, and what she wanted to wear was a tuxedo. First the principal of the school told her she could not bring who she wanted, nor wear what she wanted, and then, when Constance enlisted the aid of the ACLU, and a letter was sent on her behalf, he cancelled the entire prom.

At first Constance was frightened that she would be so hated and blamed that she was afraid to go back to school, but very bravely, she is back in school. The ACLU is rapidly working to fight now for the whole class to have their prom, since the prom is April 2nd.

If this does not work, many groups and people have stepped in to fund and run an alternate prom, but have been asked to funnel their efforts throught this group, which still needs help with donations:

http://mssafeschools.org/index.html

You can also join the Constance McMillen fan page on FaceBook:

Let-Constance-Take-Her-Girlfriend-to-Prom

She has made a very sweet thank-you video on YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zBeZ5E2R99w

but trolls are posting hateful comments on it. If you have a YouTube account, please go in and thumbs-down their comments and mark them as spam. This way the comments become invisible.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

A Community Unites (Part II)

For the beginning of this story, please read “A Community
Unites” (below). The very quick summary is that bisexual
and Lesbian Valentine’s Day related products were being
promoted via Twitter. Somehow this got twisted into our
saying “Lesbians are bisexual” by either the leader of
the Lesbian Mafia or someone posing as her, even though
we have saved the Twitter logs and we never said that.

We were unaware of The Lesbian Mafia before this flame war,
but that got us listening to their podcasts. In the confusion
of the mass spam attack on us they mounted, we thought their
podcast:

http://thelesbianmafia.podomatic.com/player/web/2007-03-17T19_40_33-07_00

was mocking us for being offended (it is not, it was their very first
podcast). However, since that podcast (start listening at about 24
minutes) also states “All bisexuals are whores.” (They are)
straight one day, do both the next, the next day a llama.”
“(I find them) repulsive,” “disgusting,” and their
lives are “a circus,” many of us wrote in to ask her
podcasting service to have that podcast removed.

BiNET USA then began to get letters from our allies saying that
they were getting threatening letters implying some harm if they
continued to support us.

“To Whom it Maybe Concern,

Are you aware that BinetUSA use the Internet as a platform to
Cyber bully, stalk, harass and abuse, gay bash women with sexist
woman-hating threats? They have been trolling me for over 2
years and and spend much of their time gay/woman/racist
bashing me by creating multiple accounts online calling me
sexist epithets like "stupid white bitch." At one point
they were talking about me dying. Twitter has shut down a
few of their accounts but this person is mentally ill and
continues to create new accounts to cyber stalk, harass,
bully, threaten, spam, abuse.

I am keeping this email that I have sent you on file. I
would like for you to be aware of your associations

and how they affect your organization if you
support them."


To set the record straight:

BiNET USA was not even aware that the Lesbian Mafia existed until
Feb. 13th, 2010.

BiNET USA did not even have a Twitter account until May, 2009.

If a person receives a tweet s/he does not like, all they have to
do is block the sender. THERE IS NO WAY YOU CAN BE CYBER
BULLIED ON TWITTER WITHOUT YOUR CONSENT. We have one
and only one Twitter account. However, since The Lesbian
Mafia’s very first Podcast was highly offensive to bisexuals,
and she admits in later podcasts that she bi-bashes, it is
quite likely that she gets angry tweets from bisexuals.
She may be confusing those with tweets from BiNET USA.

As time progressed, Cowtown Bisexual did put up a thoughtful
post about times that a woman might identify as Lesbian while
behaving as bisexual:

Lesbians are not bisexual unless they are

This person posted comments to the Cowtown Bisexual blog, and
tried to post comments on our blog personally threatening our
programmer: “And be very careful before you take to Cyber
Bullying while hiding behind your computer screen like the
coward that you are. If you didn't know laws have been passed
and every move you make on the internet is tracked. My buddies
know everything about you honey. Eeeeeeverything about your
present, your past, your location....eeeeeverything.”


As you can see from reading the previous blog, we explain it was
all a mistake, we never said “Lesbians are bisexual.” But that
did not stop her. Apparently she was warned by her podcast
administrator to stop the personal threats (from a follow-up
letter when one of our alert friends asked her to provide a name
and substantiation for her accusations): “he can spread false
accusation about me on my own threat to my listeners is hurting
my program and of course affecting possible advertising, my
higher up already messaged me about it.”
So now she is
going after BiNET.

To summarize: we never said Lesbians are bisexual, although any
thoughtful person will acknowledge that there are no hard and
fast rules about sexual orientation and gender identity. We only
send out tweets about articles, products, shows, etc., that might
be of interest to the bisexual and LGT community. We only have
one person who tweets for us, so we don’t really have time to
do anything more than that. With only one person doing it, it
can hardly be considered to be spamming. We have a huge amount
of saved twitter logs of whoever this is being viciously
personally insulting to people up to and including our
beautiful woman of color Vice President, Faith:

"THIS IS A RACIST BLOG!!! STOP BEING A RACIST!!!
WOULD YOU LIKE TO WHIP WHITE PEOPLE YOU RACIST!!!"

"EWWWW!!! WHY THE HELL YOU GONNA POSE STANDING
NEXT TO PRETTY PEOPLE?" and lots more of the same.


I doubt they can provide one single instance of an actual BiNET
person even being rude. However, if she does not wish to receive
Twitter promoting bisexual merchandise, etc. again she simply
needs to block the BiNET twitter feed.

Finally, our bi allies who have received these emails and passed
them on to us have been incredibly supportive, so once again this
has brought the larger bi community closer together. And the final
irony of this all is that it started when we were promoting bi and
Lesbian Pride bracelets made by a young Lesbian sister, just
because we like her and were trying to help her. So because we
were inclusive and tried to help a Lesbian, a Lesbian group
is in an all-out war against BiNET?

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Hear Directly from the Voices of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell”

Congressman Jim Moran (D-VA) will convene a press conference to spotlight the human impact of the military’s Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT) policy. The event will feature a number of service men and women who will share their personal experiences under DADT. It will bring together Congressional leaders and a range of groups and individuals – all committed to the responsible, speedy repeal of this antiquated policy. Following the brief presentation, press will have the opportunity to interview featured speakers as well as representatives from groups at the forefront of the repeal movement.

What:               Press Conference on “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell”  

When:              Wednesday, March 3rd at 12:30pm (media availability directly after presentation)

Where:             South Congressional Meeting Room (CVC 217), U.S. Capitol Visitor Center  Map

Who:                Members of Congress, military service members, and other stakeholder groups

Speakers:         U.S. Representatives Jim Moran, Mike Honda, Lois Capps, Jerrold Nadler, and Jared Polis

U.S. Navy Capt. Joan Darrah, U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. David Hall, U.S. Coast Guard Bronwen Tomb, U.S. Army Officer Jon Powers

Learn about Congressman Moran’s work to repeal DADT at www.moran.house.gov
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I look forward to hearing these stories in the news, it's nice to see folks are interested in putting a human face on an unjust policy. - Faith Cheltenham, VP BiNet USA