Robyn Ochs’ Programs


Robyn’s programs are interactive and dynamic and incorporate current research and ideas from the fields of psychology, sociology, queer theory, and women’s and gender studies in a manner that is accessible to a general audience. Her programs are not “one size fits all;” rather, Robyn will tailor her programs to meet your needs.

All of Robyn’s programs are interactive and engaging.

In addition to 90-minute programs, Robyn offers half- and full-day workshops, intensives, seminar and webinars, and mini-conferences. People of all genders and sexual orientations are welcome to all of the programs. Unless otherwise specified, all programs are appropriate for a general audience.

Email Robyn to discuss possible programs.

Robyn’s most popular programs:

Beyond Binaries: Identity and Sexuality – How do we assign labels to our complex experiences of identity? In this interactive program, we explore the landscape of sexuality, conduct a thought-provoking anonymous survey of those present, and look together at the data. How do we identify, privately and publicly? Where do we locate ourselves on sexuality and gender continua? How old were we when we came to our identities?  How a[sexual] are we? How well do our friends/family members understand us? This program will change the way you think about labels and deconstruct binary systems of identity.

Getting Bi: Bisexuality 101 & Beyond – What does it mean to identify as bi+ (bisexual, pansexual, fluid, etc.)? What are challenges to recognizing and understanding non-binary sexualities—the largest yet often-overlooked segment of the LGBTQ+ community? No matter how you identify, come to this engaging and interactive program if you could use some tools for challenging ignorance, biphobia, and bi erasure and finding bi+ joy.

All the Letters: Understanding LGBTQIA+ Identities & Experiences in 2022
How are people using and experiencing sexual orientation and gender in 2022? And what do you need to know to be culturally competent in this area? Bring your questions, and an open mind.

Loosening the Gender Girdle: How Gender Affects You – What does it mean to be “a man”? What does it mean to be “a woman”? What other options are there? We will look at the ways in which we are limited by a rigid and limited binary understanding of gender and explore how the politics of gender tie together the feminist, LGBTQ+, and transgender movements. Please join us and bring your gender with you.

The Changing Landscape of Identity: Understanding and Supporting Students of All Gender Identities & Sexual Orientations – Our teens and twenties are times of exploration, discovery, and growth. For an increasing number of students, this is a time when identity, sexuality, and gender are called into question. For LGBTQ+ youth, this can be a stressful and challenging time. Robyn will discuss her work with teens and young adults and share research, observations, and lessons learned.
Target audience: Versions of this program are available for students, for faculty and staff, for those training to be teachers, social workers, medical professionals, etc.

Programs for a general audience:

All the Letters: Understanding LGBTQIA+ Identities & Experiences in 2022 – How are people using and experiencing sexual orientation and gender in 2022? And what do you need to know to be culturally competent in this area? Bring your questions and an open mind.

Choosing to Label: What’s in a Name? – Bi, lesbian, gay, straight, queer, questioning, choose-not-to-label, etc. How do you decide which label to use? What do labels do? What don’t they do? Is it possible to avoid labels? What is the difference between ascribed labels and labels we choose? How can we manage our identities in order to get the maximum benefit with the minimum cost? Let’s think creatively and proactively about identity. This is a participatory program, and all are welcome.

Side Bi Side: Unpacking Biphobia and Bi Erasure and Creating a Culture of Inclusion – The Williams Institute estimates that half of the LGB population self-identifies as bisexual and/or pansexual. Recent research points to high levels of minority stress in this population, yet there is little direct attention given to this population. We will explore definitions of bisexuality and other labels claimed by people who occupy the space between and outside of the binaries, look at some of the challenges to recognizing and understanding this often-overlooked segment of the LGBTQ+ community and brainstorm strategies for supporting bisexual people.

Bisexuality: A Transnational Perspective – How does context affect our experience? Which are shared experiences of bisexuality, and which are culturally specific? Through reading and discussing excerpts from Robyn’s 42-country anthology, Getting Bi: Voices of Bisexuals Around the World, we examine bisexuality through a transnational and intersectional frame.
[This is an interactive presentation, excellent for classrooms. Readings will be selected to fit the specific needs and interests of participants.]

Bi+ History Most histories of the “LGBTQ+ community” are mostly about the G, with some attention to the L and, more recently, to the T. But bisexual, pansexual and others with non-binary sexualities – and the bisexual movement – have largely been written out of history. Robyn Ochs – an LGBTQ+ and, specifically, bi/pan/queer activist and educator since the early 1980s who has co-founded bi organizations, spoken on bisexuality (and more) at more than 500 campuses, in 15 countries, and at the White House – can help set the historical record straight bi+.

Embracing An All-And Identity in an Either/Or World – While any sexual orientation or gender identity comes with its own challenges, there are particular issues faced by people who identify as bisexual, pansexual, genderqueer, or who use other labels that defy an either/or interpretation of the world. Together we will examine these issues and devise strategies to create spaces that affirm complex and non-binary identities.

Expanding Our Circles – On our college campuses, many of us are in the process of re-imagining gender and sexual orientation. We’re creating social spaces with very different understandings than that of the world around us. But we can’t spend our entire lives inside these bubbles. We have to interact with the world around us. How do we share what we have learned with others? How do we expand our circles of safety?
Target audience: (This is an advanced-level discussion for LGBTQ+ leaders, and/or active members of campus LGBTQ+ groups)

How to Save the World AND Have a Good Time: Self-Care For Activists – Have you ever felt overwhelmed, unsupported, exhausted by your activism? Let’s come together to brainstorm strategies for sustainability and self-care as we work for change.

Programs for specialized audiences:

Meeting the Health Needs of Bisexual People – Bi+ people face health-related disparities, including higher rates of certain types of cancer and a higher prevalence of intimate partner violence than heterosexuals, lesbians, and gay men. This program explores the experience of identifying as bi+, and bi+ people’s experiences when seeking healthcare. This session will help health professionals better meet the needs of their bisexual patients through increased awareness and suggested best practices for care, and it will help bi+ people better advocate for their own needs.
Target audience: health providers or students in the health fields; bi+ people

Bisexual+ Youth: Challenging Stigma and Reducing Disparities – To paraphrase Kermit, “It ain’t easy being bi+.” Bi+ youth face higher rates of suicidality and intimate partner violence and are less connected to support and resources than their lesbian and gay counterparts. In this program, we will look at population and disparities data, with attention to the experiences of bi+ youth of color and the impact of holding multiple marginalized identities. We will explore messages and stigma that surround this community and clarify what it means to identify with a non-binary sexuality. Finally, the program will discuss strategies for supporting youth with multigender attraction.
Target audience: health providers or students in the health fields

Understanding Bisexuality: Challenging Stigma and Reducing Disparities Among College Students
Bi+ people (those who identify as bisexual, pansexual, etc.) comprise the largest segment of the LGBTQ+ population. While their experience overlaps with other members of the LGBTQ+ community, they face unique stressors and health-related disparities, including higher rates of suicidality and intimate partner violence than their lesbian and gay counterparts. To paraphrase Kermit, “It ain’t easy being bi+.” In this program, we will look at the concept of “minority stress” as it relates to sexual orientation and highlight disparities faced by bi+ college students. We will challenge negative messages and stigma that surround the bi+ community, explore what it means to identify as bi+, and discuss strategies for supporting bi+ students.
Target audience: faculty, staff, student affairs professionals or students

Working With Bisexual Clients – What are the unique mental health needs of young people who identify as bisexual? What does this label mean? How can mental health professionals and others who work with students best prepare themselves to meet these needs of those coming out as bisexual or embracing other labels of sexual fluidity.
Target audience: Mental health professionals and advanced students of counseling and/or psychology.

NOTE: Robyn also offers programs for the workplace.

Talks & Keynotes:

Robyn is a dynamic keynote speaker. Please consider inviting her to speak at your conference or event. Below are a few examples of potential keynotes:

Note: All talks are followed by a facilitated discussion.

Beyond Binaries: Identity and Sexuality – A modified version of this program (described above) makes a dynamic – and entirely non-traditional – keynote.

Transgressing Binaries: Activism & Academia – What are barriers that impede communication between the streets and the ivory tower? What value can campus and community activists bring to each other? How can we build effective bridges/coalitions?

My Family Values: Lessons from a Generation of LGBTQ+ Rights Activism – Robyn Ochs draws upon three decades of experience as an LGBTQ+ rights activist, candidly discussing some of the mistakes as well as successes of the LGBTQ+ movement. Where are we now? Where should we be heading?

Imagining Our Lives – We are living in a time of tremendous advances in LGBTQ+ lives. But this process of change is very uneven: in some places, LGBTQ+ people have more civil rights than ever before; in others, our progress is being rolled back. Both popular support and resistance/backlash are on the upswing. Words of encouragement for these challenging times.

… And More! 

  • Lavender Graduation Keynotes
  • Programs for the workplace
  • Webinars
  • Custom programs

Contact Robyn for more information.

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  1. Pingback: The Buzz: Life Beyond the Binary | The Inclusion Solution