Robyn Ochs is a speaker, activist, and the editor of the 42-country anthology, Getting Bi: Voices of Bisexuals Around the World, the Bi Women Quarterly and the brand new anthology, REC*OG*NIZE: The Voices of Bisexual Men. Her essays have been published in numerous bi, women's studies, multicultural, and LGBQ anthologies, and she has taught courses on LGBT history and politics.
An advocate for the rights of people of all orientations and genders to live safely, openly and with full legal equality, Ochs's work focuses on increasing awareness and understanding of complex identities, and mobilizing people to be powerful allies to one another within and across identities and social movements.
In addition to speaking at colleges, conferences, workplaces and youth groups in the US and beyond, Robyn co-founded Harvard University's LGBT Faculty & Staff Group and its Trans Task Force, and served as adviser for its LGBTQ student group, and she is currently a board President at MassEquality, her statewide social justice-focused LGBTQ equality group.
Framing Sexuality and Identity
It would be an understatement to say that identity and sexuality are complicated. What do recent studies show about how people self-identify? What does this data reveal or conceal? In this experiential workshop we will employ several workshop exercises to deepen our own understanding of sexual orientation labeling. Included in our focus will be identity journeys over time; emerging identities; the complex interaction between gender identity and sexual orientation labels; and the effect of our individual location (including nationality, geography, age, race, religion, and more) on how we identify. Interested participants will be given the opportunity to share their own favorite tools for teaching about these issues.
Getting Bi: Unpacking Bi-erasure and Creating a Culture of Inclusion
A 2011 Williams Institute Report found that half of the LGB population self-identifies as bisexual. And recent research points to disparities in health risks, with bisexual individuals engaging more often in high-risk behavior and demonstrating poorer health outcomes. Yet there is little direct attention given to this population on campuses or by LGBT advocacy organizations. In this interactive half-day session, we will review existing research and explore various definitions of bisexuality and other labels claimed by people who occupy the space between the binaries. We will look at some of the challenges to understanding and representing this often-overlooked segment of the LGBT community and brainstorm strategies for supporting bisexual people on our campuses.