Robyn Ochs

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Robyn Ochs
Robyn Ochs Front.jpg
Robyn Ochs
Born 1958
San Antonio, TX USA
Organization Boston Bisexual Women's Network, Bisexual Resource Center, BiNet USA, MassEquality
Movement LGBT Rights/Bisexual Rights
Spouse(s) Peg Preble
Awards Susan J. Hyde Activism Award (2009); Harvard Gay & Lesbian Caucus's Lifetime Achievement Award for advocacy on the Harvard University Campus (2009); Reinaldo dos Santos Memorial Award for Bisexual Activism (1997); PFLAG's Brenda Howard Award (2011)
Notes
editor of the Bisexual Resource Guide, Getting Bi: Voices of Bisexuals Around the World

Robyn Ochs (born 1958) is an American bisexual activist. She is a professional speaker and workshop leader. Her primary fields of interest are gender, sexuality, identity and coalition building. She is the editor of the Bisexual Resource Guide and the coeditor of the anthology Getting Bi: Voices of Bisexuals Around the World. Ochs has appeared on a number of television talk shows, including Donahue, Rolanda, Maury Povich, Women Aloud, Real Personal, Hour Magazine and The Shirley Show, to discuss issues relating to bisexuality. She has also been in Seventeen and Newsweek.

Ochs teaches courses on topics including LGBT history & politics in the United States, the politics of sexual orientation, and the experiences of those who transgress the binary categories of gay/straight, masculine/feminine, black/white and/or male/female.[1] Her writings have been published in numerous bisexual, women's studies, multicultural and LGBT anthologies.[2]

She is the niece of late folk singer Phil Ochs.

Ochs helped found the Boston Bisexual Network in 1983, and the Bisexual Resource Center in 1985.[3] Ochs worked at Harvard University from 1983 until she retired in 2009. In 1987 The East Coast Bisexual Network established the first Bisexual History Archives with Ochs’ initial collection; archivist Clare Morton hosted researchers.[4] The group became the Bisexual Resource Center in 1993.[5]

In 1997 she received the Reinaldo dos Santos Memorial Award for Bisexual Activism.

In 2002 she delivered the first bi-focused keynote during the National Association of Lesbian and Gay Addiction Professionals.[6]

In 2004 and in 2007, she keynoted the Midwest Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender Campus Conference, the largest gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender student conference in the United States. Ochs is a graduate of the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

On 17 May 2004, the first day it was legal for same-sex couples to marry anywhere in the United States, Ochs and her long-time partner Peg Preble were among the first same-sex couples to get legally married.[7] Ironically, in an example of exactly the type of bisexual erasure she has spent much of her life fighting against, Ochs was publicly misidentified in the press as a lesbian.

Ochs has served on the Board of Directors of MassEquality, Massachusetts's statewide equality organization, since 2004.

Ochs is a co-founder of the Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Faculty and Staff Group at Harvard University and served as co-chair in 2008-2009.

In 2009 at the Creating Change Conference the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force awarded Ochs the Susan J. Hyde Activism Award for Longevity in the Movement. As she presented the award Creating Change Director Sue Hyde told Ochs: “We hear your clear voice, we see your staunch advocacy and we respond to your loving insistence that our movement includes all of us.”[8]

Also in 2009, Ochs received the Harvard Gay & Lesbian Caucus's Lifetime Achievement Award for advocacy on the Harvard University Campus.

Ochs received the 2011 Brenda Howard Award at the Queens NYC PFLAG chapter's annual awards luncheon on February 5, 2012.[9]

She co-edited the 2014 anthology Recognize: The Voices of Bisexual Men with H. Sharif Williams.

The book Timelines of Bisexual History by Jane Collins, published in 2014, is dedicated to her.

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