Programs

General information:

All of Robyn’s programs are interactive 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.

In addition to 90-minute programs, Robyn also 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.

Email Robyn to discuss possible programs.

Robyn’s most popular programs:

Beyond Binaries: Identity and Sexuality – This program explores the landscape of sexuality, and how we “map” sexual orientation. How do we assign labels to our complicated and unique experiences? In this interactive workshop we will conduct an anonymous survey of those present, and look together at the data. Where do we fall on the sexuality continuum? How do we label? How old were we when we came to our identities and to our sexualities? In this fun and interactive program we explore different experiences of identity; the interplay between gender and sexuality; the complexities of attraction, and more.

Beyond Bisexuality 101 – What does it mean to identify as bi+ (bisexual, pansexual, fluid, etc.)? What are some of the challenges to recognizing and understanding the middle sexualities — an often overlooked segment of the LGBTQ community? However you identify, come to this lively and interactive program if you could use some tools for challenging ignorance, biphobia and bi erasure.

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, queer 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 and Sexual Orientations – Our teens and twenties are times of exploration, discovery and growth. For non-heterosexual students, this is a time when presumptive labels and sexuality are called into question. Robyn will discuss her work with teens and young adults, and share some of her observations and the lessons she has learned. Target audience: Versions of this program available for students, for faculty and staff, for those training to be teachers, social workers, medical professionals, etc.

More programs:

Deciphering the Alphabet Soup of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identities – LGBT. LGBTQ. LGBTQQIA. QUILTBAGS. Every day, it seems that there are more and more letters. What are some of the new labels? How are people using and experiencing sexual orientation and gender in 2017? And what do you need to know to be culturally competent in this area? Bring your questions, and an open mind.

So Many Bisexuals, So Little Visibility – Recent data shows a dramatic increase in the number of people identifying as bisexual or pansexual, and yet this population remains largely invisible. What’s going on? And what can we do about it?

Understanding Bisexuality: Challenging Stigma and Reducing Disparities Among College Students – Bisexual people face a number of health related disparities, including higher rates of suicidality and intimate partner violence than even their lesbian and gay counterparts. In this program we will look at the concept of minority stress as it relates to LGBTQ people and highlight disparities faced by bisexual people. We will challenge negative messages and stigma that surround the bisexual community, explore what it means to be bisexual, and discuss strategies for supporting bisexual students. Join us for this engaging and thought-provoking session!

Meeting the Health Needs of Bisexual Patients (for Health Professionals) – Bisexual people face a number of health-care related disparities, including lower access to health insurance, higher rates of certain types of cancer, and higher prevalence of intimate partner violence. This program explores what it means to be bisexual, and will help providers prepare to meet the needs of their bisexual patients, highlighting disparities faced by bisexual people, challenging negative messages and stigma that surround the bisexual community, and suggesting best practices for care.

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

Getting Bi: Unpacking Biphobia 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. We will explore various definitions of bisexuality and other labels claimed by people who occupy the space between the binaries, 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.

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.

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 workshop, and all are welcome.

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.

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? (This is an advanced-level discussion for LGBTQ activists)

Challenging Biphobia and Bi Erasure – Allies, bi folks, and others in the middle sexualities: join us as we explore the causes and effects of biphobia and bi erasure in our own lives. Let’s unlearn negative messages and misinformation and gain tools and tactics that will help us be proactive and fabulous rather than defensive! Join us for an interactive, entertaining and thought-provoking program.

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 taking care of ourselves while changing the world.

Talks:

Note: All talks are followed by a facilitated discussion.

What Do We Do After “I Do?” – The United States Supreme Court ruled on June 26, 2015 that the Constitution guarantees all people the freedom to marry. So what’s next? Are we done? (Spoiler alert: NO!)

Bisexuality, Feminism, Men & Me – How are the dynamics of same-sex relationships different from those of mixed-sex relationships? This provocative talk explores some of the intersections between the personal and the political, covering topics from body image to social sex role conditioning to heterosexual privilege.

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

Keynotes:

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

Beyond Binaries: Identity and Sexuality – This program (described above) makes a fascinating — and wholly nontraditional — keynote.

My Family Values: Lessons from a Generation of LGBTQ+ Rights Activism – Robyn Ochs draws upon three decades of experience as a 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 gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender rights. But this process of change is every uneven: in some places LGBT people have more civil rights than ever before; in others our progress is being rolled back. Both popular support and homophobia 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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