Selected Quotes by Robyn Ochs

DEFINITION OF BISEXUALITY: “I call myself bisexual because I acknowledge that I have in myself the potential to be attracted – romantically and/or sexually – to people of more than one sex and/or gender, not necessarily at the same time, not necessarily in the same way, and not necessarily to the same degree.”

ON ACTIVISM: “Activists are cultural artists. They envision a world that does not yet exist, and then take action to create that world.'”

ON USING INCLUSIVE LANGUAGE: “Someone wrote on one of the email lists, ‘How many letters do we need to have?’ My response: ‘as many letters as it takes to ensure that everyone feels included.'”

ON OPPRESSION: “Some folks say that bisexuals are not oppressed because at least we are accepted by mainstream society when we are involved with members of the opposite sex. Agreed, society may like us when we show that piece of who we are. But conditional acceptance is not really acceptance at all. When we show our other side, our gay side, we suffer the same discrimination as other gay men and lesbians. We don’t lose only half our children in custody battles. When homophobia hits, we don’t get just half fired from our jobs (put on half time, perhaps?). We don’t get just half gaybashed when we are out with our same-sex lovers (“Oh please, only hit me on my left side. You see, I’m bisexual!’). We, too, get discriminated against because we are gay.”

ON COMMUNITY: “We are a homosexual community, but we are by no means homogeneous … May I live to see the day when we are secure and courageous enough to accept and celebrate one another and all of our similarities and differences. We have long been told by the ‘straight’ world that we are not acceptable, and many gay men and lesbians have long fought for the right to love whomever we choose, and to be accepted exactly as we are. Are we to deny others this basic human right?” – in Outlook, letter to the editor, Summer 1990.

ON COMING OUT: “When I finally began coming out to people I had the same feeling one has when, after a long hike, one takes off one’s backpack. I felt light and wonderful, and surprised, because I had never before realized just how much extra weight I had been carrying around.”

ON INCLUSION: “Inclusion is not about an entitled group of priviliged citizens deigning to open up the big door to let their inferiors in. Inclusion is about acknowledging what already is. When lesbian, gay, bi and transgender people insist on equal rights, respect and acknowledgement in the mainstream community, we do not ask as outsiders. We are pointing out that we are already here, we have been here for a long time, and we ask that our presence as citizens be recognized legally, culturally, and interpersonally. And as a bi-identified woman, I expect the same of gay men and lesbians. Bi and trans folks have long been part of what some call the ‘gay and lesbian community’ and what I call the ‘lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and ally communities.’ I’ve been active in my local community since the early 1980s, and I’ll continue to be here with or without anyone else’s permission. It would be a lot easier for me and for a lot of my bi and trans friends, as well as for my forward thinking gay and lesbian friends and allies, if conservatives – heterosexual and gay – would acknowledge what already exists. I’m sorry that some people have such a hard time accepting reality, but I am not going to disappear, or keep quiet, to make biphobic or homophobic people more comfortable. We’re here. Get used to it.”

ON THE MOVEMENT FOR MARRIAGE EQUALITY: “Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is credited with saying ‘The arc of history is long, but it bends towards justice.’ I believe that this is so. However, recent setbacks in the marriage equality movement have reminded me the that the arc may have a more gradual curve than I would wish. Nonetheless, in time we will achieve marriage equality in these United States. We must be patient. We must be persistent. We must remember that we are engaged in an historical struggle for justice and for equality.”

2 Comments on “Selected Quotes by Robyn Ochs

  1. Pingback: November 25, 2014 | Tiggy Upland

  2. Appreciate Robyn’s definition of bisexuality as the spirit of it is inclusive of “sex” as well as “gender.”

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