"WHO ARE WE???" = "WHY WE'RE HERE!"
Our Goal: Be Bi - Be Happy!
in our sixth year we at the Bi MEN NETWORK as they say "have come a long
way baby!" - INDEED. When we first started in late 1998, just a handful were
here. Then in February 1999 we launched Bi-MEN-USA - just 100 hardy bi married
men who embraced the Internet and a moderated news group/mailing list as a fine
way for bi guys to share - to vent - to express themselves - and help find ourselves
and to help us find our way. At that time our motto was - and is - "You are
NOT alone!" - and every day some poor guy was joining who had been struggling
in isolation with no one to share with - no tips - no camaraderie - no benefit
of burdens and worries shared - consequently burdens lightened and worries put
in better perspective if not worries allayed or even put to rest.
I. THE PAST - WHERE WE'VE BEEN - WHERE WE'RE GOING!
are estimated to represent 10 to up to 20 percent of the adult population - equal
in size if not twice the size of the gay and lesbian communities. We live in the
shadow of modern society largely by choice and by preference and sadly are very
little understood. And, unfortunately - bisexuality is not only misunderstood
but is often met with unease, fear and even hostility.
live in the shadows and prefer to protect and even enjoy their privacy - SADLY
- in the decade or two before the Bi MEN NETWORK (and similar groupings of bisexuals
emerged in the late 1990's) - the only example of bisexuals that were studied
or readily available for interviews or research were UNHAPPY or EMOTIONALLY or
MENTALLY CHALLENGED individuals. Such bi men and women were in so much pain that
they sought out professional help or were so whacko that they would let the cat
out of the bag! NO happy bisexuals will typically seek out or need professional
help - why should they and ruin a good thing by gabbing with Barbara Walters,
Oprah Winfrey, or some gay or straight journalist even if they sought them out!
This is especially true of the "SCHOLARLY" and "EXPERT"
work and studies done by psychiatrists and psychologists and also sociologists
and even sexologists - in the 70's and 80's - who were astute enough to discern
that bisexuality was indeed another and a legitimate sexual minority - but only
STUDIED unhappy bisexuals and/or bisexuals who were truly "damaged goods"
for the most part. Other than such research and studies - one of the only open
books in this earlier period was a bi magazine "ANYTHING THAT MOVES"
out of San Francisco that only served to promote the misconception that all bisexuals
are wantonly promiscuous indeed fornicate with "ANYTHING THAT MOVES".
This publication like Bi Net USA - has fallen by the side - and in my view another
failed model, a poor exemplar for the bi worldwide community, a wrong standard
Fortunately the 1970's and 1980's led first to great sexual
freedom and liberation - and then to great sexual honesty.
II. THE GAYS
- the 70's and 80's -their STANDARD BEARERS - NOT the proper ROLE MODELS for Bisexuals!
After the STONEWALL RIOTS - our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters
overall marched straight out of their closets and eventually right down MAIN STREET
or FIFTH AVENUE or MARKET STREET or SANTA MONICA BOULEVARD in their festive PRIDE
PARADES across North America and now across the world. Many gays and to a lesser
extent Lesbians want to be open about their sexual orientation - and this is NOT
the case with most bisexuals - especially happy bisexuals.
America there were dozens of openly gay bars, adult bookstores, and bathhouses
in every major North American city. Gay Community Centers sprouted in most every
major North American city - save San Francisco - where until recently the community
was so fractious they could not even open such a center! Gay Community Centers
with time became Gay and Lesbian Centers - then GLBT Centers and soon to be GLBT
and P - polyamory - and Q centers - Queer.
Maybe one fine day even the
new, trendy METROSEXUALS will join the sexual minority party and parade!
The GAY PARADIGM - which emerged as a result of this desire for being OPEN - was
often confrontational to the larger straight community with a certain "WE'RE
QUEER and WE'RE HERE!" element in far too many areas of America. In the gay
era before AIDS the fact of life was that the gay community was hijacked by the
THREE B'S who made a killing - and also ultimately killed off thousands if not
millions of gays. They are the BARS, the BATHS, and the BOOKSTORES. Their agenda
was to make FILTHY LUCRE and they did so rapaciously for years and years. Gay
communities in these early years - including their activists and journalists became
dependent on these deep pockets but they too were all too often caught in the
thrall of the 3 B's AGENDA - even hidden agenda - SEEK BUT DO NOT FIND.
Even today the "beau ideal" of the American gay community is some twenty-something
twink or hunk or military type - portrayed again and again for decades endlessly
and all but mindlessly. This beau ideal type can never be snared and brought home
to one's bed - save at a hefty price (escorts and models or trade) - much less
to one's life and family! Billions have been and will continue to be made on the
backs and knees of these 18 to 25 year olds who are then cast off for next year's
"model". Nothing is sadder than meeting a middle-aged towel boy at a
gay bath or spa who was once "somebody."
The NOT so secret
moneymaking agenda of the POWERS THAT BE in the gay community - the 3 B's and
their legion of co- conspirators was "SEEK BUT DO NOT FIND". Gay men
HAD to go out as often as possible to the bars, the baths or the bookstores -
as they might be missing out on something or someone. Even if they found someone
it was and is all too often a one-night stand if not a 15 minute standup. One
gay friend recently admitted to me he had not had horizontal gay sex since the
AIDS epidemic was full-blown (i.e. two decades). While many gay men do find long-term
committed relationships - as the new Gay Episcopal Bishop of New Hampshire - far
too many will regale you with Elizabeth Taylor-esque tales of their 13 husbands
and numerous affairs - few lasting more than a season or two. BUT - the 3 B's
want gays "to seek but do not find" - to be good consumers - good customers!
I attended University of California's Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco
in the early 70's and one openly notorious homosexual law student openly proclaimed
that his small gay bar and its 11 long-term regular patrons who cashed their every
paycheck there paid his way through law school. He admitted that over two dozen
such "regulars" were openly feted at all major holidays and their every
birthday to keep them as "regulars".
Even to this day - the GAY
PARADIGM - the GAY COMMUNITY is still trying to shirk this "seek but do not
find" rigid pattern. Unlike many HAPPY BISEXUALS - gays and even many Lesbians
- are still under this spell - notwithstanding that even the major gay mecca cities
San Francisco and New York closed the gay baths - gay bars are half in number
or half full today -yet the adult bookstores - and videos - and pornographers
are richer than ever - harvesting a new crop of young twinks and studs for their
15 minutes of fame every season of every year until the end of time.
Things - largely due to AIDS as well as a maturing gay and lesbian community -
have changed and are changing - but this post STONEWALL era led to the emergence
of the B in this GLBT equation and the failed bisexual models that early on entered
the GLBT arenas in North America.
III. HERE COME THE BI's to join the GLBT EQUATION - & the early Failed Bi
Finally, after this gay party and parade - then gay + lesbian
party and parade - was far along - here cum da bisexuals!
were not well known much less understood. The only STUDIES and RESEARCH done was
in boring tomes and scholarly texts and research papers STUDYING UNHAPPY or TROUBLED
BISEXUALS willing to go under the microscope or even the knife! Happy bisexuals
then and now LARGELY prefer to remain in the shadows and do not have the "be
queer and be here!" attitude or lifestyle.
The first bisexual activists
to come forward - wanted to join the Gay and Lesbian Community - SO WRONGLY they
embraced this exuberant - "We're queer and we're here!" philosophy.
Sadly all too often many bisexual activists were gays or lesbians who HAD BEEN
bisexuals and were NOW at ease in the gay and lesbian milieu. While they "had
been there and had done that" - they often no longer understood that most
bisexuals do NOT want, need or care for being openly bisexual.
these early years - we had: Bi ACTIVISTS - many who were now openly gay or lesbian
+ EXPERTS - who had studied unhappy if not troubled bisexuals - and for a publication
"ANYTHING THAT MOVES" and for a national organization Bi NET USA. The
activists are still here - some strong in some areas - others gone with the wind
- and thankfully some NEXT GENERATION bisexual activists who are more truly in
tune and in touch with what bisexuals want and who they really are. The old EXPERTS
are being replaced by "new experts" like our own Sheldon Lewin at www.bi-men-therapy.com
<http://www.bi-men-therapy.com/> and William Burleson - author of "Bi
America" from Haworth Press - see his website at www.bi101.com <http://www.bi101.com/>
and others. "ANYTHING THAT MOVES" and Bi Net USA have been put to bed
or are in disarray - and new, "next generation" replacements are emerging.
IV. THE NEXT GENERATION BISEXUALS - new role models - Bi MEN NETWORK -
"Be Bi = Be Happy!"
So now that is where we come in - Who are
we? Why are we here? We are here for the HAPPY bisexuals as well as the unhappy
bisexuals. IF you arrive here troubled, anxious, fearful and isolated - hopefully
with time you come to better love yourself and accept yourself. Even upon arrival
here you quickly realize that indeed: "You are NOT alone!"
Bi Men need to talk with others similarly situated. And as our Mission Statement
proclaims we believe they are often better served to mingle with - romance and/or
bed other bi men. THE WORST SCENARIO for bi married men is to keep it bottled
up for decades and end up like the bi-curious married man next door in "American
Beauty Rose" who makes his wife and son miserable and then kills the man
next door (Kevin Spacey) who he luridly imagines is having a bi male affair with
The Bi Men Network provides a haven and safe harbor for our
membership worldwide. Many benefit from our HOME PAGE - at www.bimenorg
- and our chat rooms there without ever even joining a Bi Men group. Bi Men need
to be open to someone - even if it is just HERE at the Bi MEN NETWORK. We openly
discuss the problems bi men face - as "To Tell or Not To Tell" - safe
and safer sex - the range of sexual and relationship options for bi men - and
Just WHO are the happy men here? As we repeatedly say here
- there are infinite shades of grey at Bi Men Network. The happy bi men member