bi and gay men symbols Weekend Getaways for Bisexual Men
from the ‘Bi Men Network’
By Adam Borders

bi and gay symbols

Weekend Getaways for Bisexual Men
From the ‘Bi Men Network’
By Adam Borders
March 19, 2011 News Article

It has been said that the information age is the best thing that has happened to the bisexual, lesbian, gay and transgendered community. A person can be as open or as closed as they like—providing their name and location–even age and email address. If a person is less open, providing a “handle” in lieu of a name with no other details at all is enough to begin talking to other like minded people. For bisexual men especially, this forum allows for wider spread communication and even to find friends and allies. It is this technology that has allowed me to talk with the founder of the Bi Men Network—Stewart McCloud.“I was in Oceanside near Camp Pendleton [in 1988 or 1989] with a little beach cottage and met many Marines and some sailors who were bi or bi-curious. Many denied they were bi or bi-curious.” McCloud says of the beginnings of the Bi Men Network. In those days he ran what would become the Bi Men Network without a name as a local, peer based group, helping other struggling bi men as much as possible—though that was to change. “It started out one on one and then [when] I was between jobs in Long Beach and had a $100 WebTV (and still do have a WebTV) I founded Bi Men USA and that got it going.”

Got it going is a bit of an understatement. The Bi Men Network now boasts a website for each State in the U.S. and every major nation outside the U.S. with the biggest groups being in the U.K. and the Philippines. The Bi Men Network’s mission (in part) is to provide “a quality “haven” and “safe harbor” for today’s bisexual and bi-curious males and our gay male and bi couple friends worldwide.” After thirteen years and 250,000 members the Bi Men Network is most frequently visited site for Bi Men. The website offers more than just a newsletter and exclusive email list—the Bi Men Network homepage offers links to an exclusive Travel Desk that helps Bi men meet with other Bi men in their area and “Mac’s Back Room” provides the users the links to more “mature” content while keeping it separated from the “meat and potatoes of what Bi Men Network has to offer. “I would love to have a nice whistle clean website with no adult banners or sales as an affiliate if I were wealthy and could do so.” McCloud says of his decision to include adult advertising, “however, we would not have to take adult ads if the public would be even a tad generous. There is no bisexual organization I have met to date who [sic]can thrive on public contributions. On the other hand, I think it helps our guys that I vouch for our vendors and will not tolerate anyone cheating or mistreating our guys. They rely on me. I do not make referrals or recommend anyone lightly and it has been this way for now over a decade here at Bi Men Network.”

In that decade the Bi Men Network has seen many successes—some personal. When asked what he was most proud of McCloud spoke of the diversity and community of his organization—how the men have been there for each other. A school teacher who was “outed” by his teenage son, lost his family when his wife could not cope with his bisexuality and was forced to leave town when a local Church ostracized him–he was left living out of his car with one set of clothes to wear. His salvation came from the community of the Bi Men Network. “We raised emergency money for him.” McCloud says, “We got a money order to him over a Super Bowl weekend and into a motel and some new clothes until he got on his feet and got to cash one of his own paychecks!”

The Bi Men Getaway weekends are also an achievement McCloud is proud of, “A big milestone for me was the Bi Men Big Weekend we did in Las Vegas which was our biggest ever event and was in a ballroom in a big downtown Vegas hotel with a penthouse house suite and was [an] A+ event (before this latest bad recession) and had about a hundred total attendees. Guys came from all over. That is harder to do now [with] the costs involved and the economy.” McCloud refuses to let a recession stop him, however. This summer he is taking the Bi Men Getaway Weekends on the Road in a series of conventions from May to October (see the list below). Each getaway will be tailored to the bi men of their community and is to include both informative and recreational activities. “I poll the paid attendees for each event and find out what they want on each city’s program so the events have a customized aspect for the attendees. Basically the morning is my program about the Bi Men Network and being bi in today’s world and Be Bi and Be Happy with some additions/topics that the group seem to want to talk about and any other guys who are speakers. The afternoon session is show and tell sharing where each guy who wants to is free to reveal as little or as much about himself as a bi or bi-curious man and any concerns he has and to seek the ideas and input of the group – and most men find this very healing and helpful. It is often the first time like AA or NA where they have opened up about their bi – side.”

Facilitating events like this is nothing new to McCloud who has been facilitating discussions with Bi Men for over twenty years—first with the American Institute of Bisexuality and Dr. Fritz Klein—inventor of the Klein Grid. “Over the years, the men have always told me the best thing was the weekend of bonding, brotherhood and camaraderie. Just having fun and being yourself with no societal boogey men and being free and open and no guilt/worries. For many attendees across the country this can be the first time ever in their lives that they have ever been in a room where they were fully accepted and well understood.” Made up of guest speakers, discussion and support groups as well as a Poker Tournament and various cocktail parties, it is truly a series of weekends geared to bi men. More than that however—it is providing an invaluable service to a community of bi men—something McCloud is very aware of.

About the Contributor: Adam Borders (Contributing Writer):
Adam Borders is a Contributing Writer and writes about bisexual male topics
and enjoys contributing to our Entertainment section, particularly on Torchwood.

from May to October 2011.
Pick and choose! Attend one or more!

See the updated Schedule here:

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