Robyn Ochs, Ed.M. is a speaker and consultant on issues related to sexual orientation, gender and identity through an interdisciplinary and intersectional lens.
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- B.A., Language and Culture (Latin American Studies), State University of New York, Purchase
- C.S.S., Administration and Management, Harvard University
- Ed.M., Harvard University
1985 – Present: Robyn has spoken at more than 500 colleges, universities, conferences and public events in Australia, Canada, Costa Rica, Cuba, Denmark, the United Kingdom (England, Scotland and Wales), France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Portugal, and the United States.
Robyn has keynoted numerous conferences, including Bay Area Youth Summit; BECAUSE Conference; Campus Pride Summer Leadership Camp; Common Threads Youth Empowerment Retreat; European Bisexual Conference; Harvard Gender & Sexuality Convening; International Conference on Bisexuality; IvyQ Conference; Mid-Atlantic LGBTQA Conference; Midwest Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender & Ally College Conference; the Northeast LGBT Campus Conference, Out & Equal Workplace Summit, Out on the Prairie; Out in the Middle of the Wheatfield; Out on the Palouse, Pink Mountain Conference; SUNY Pride Conference; True Colors Conference, UK BiCon; and several other regional LGBT conferences. She also speaks to community, youth, senior, corporate and professional groups.
Robyn has taught college courses at Massachusetts Institute for Technology, Cambridge, MA (1991); Tufts University, Medford, MA (1992-2003); and Johnson State College, Vermont (2002). Courses included:
- Transgressing Binaries: Sex, Gender, Race and Sexual Orientation
Recent decades have seen a dramatic rise in the visibility of those who challenge existing binary categories of sex (male and female), gender (masculine and feminine), race (in the United States, primarily black and white), and sexual orientation (gay and straight). This class studies the experiences of multisexuals, non binary people, intersexuals, and self-identified biracial and multiracial people–among others–using novels, films, short stories, essays, guest speakers, poetry and autobiography. Theoretical readings are used to frame discussions.
- History, Community, Politics: Emergence of Sexual Minority Voices in the U.S. (aka. “The Gay Agenda”)
What is today’s “gay agenda,” and how has it changed over time? Are there multiple agendas, even within each identity group? This course explores the emergence of sexual minority communities and visibility in the United States, from the 1940s to the present. We look at issues such as same-sex marriage, debates about inclusion/exclusion of subgroups, the creation of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender spaces, and cultural self-representation with a focus on marginalized voices within sexual minority communities. Do gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people have common concerns or a unified voice? Guest speakers, documentaries, short stories, poetry, legal documents, mission statements, newsletters, newspapers, and theoretical texts frame discussion.
- Identity/Politics: Contextualizing Bisexuality
She also serves a keynoter and educator in residence at Campus Pride Summer Leadership Camp, a week-long leadership institute for LGBTQ and ally college students (2012- the present); and on the faculty of the Expanding the Circle Conference, a program sponsored by the California Institute for Integral Studies designed for academic deans and administrators, faculty and faculty development specialists, student life professionals, campus counselors, students, and non-profit professionals who seek to advance LGBTQ issues and concerns in the academy (2013, 2014). She is also a guest speaker at Camp Lightbulb, a summer camp for LGBTQ youth (2015-the present).
For 26 years, Robyn worked as an administrator at Harvard University where she was co-founder and co-chair of the LGBT Faculty and Staff Group (2008); an active member of the Trans Task Force; co-founder and facilitator of LBTQ Lunches, a monthly lunch series for lesbian, bi, queer and trans women faculty and staff; and a Faculty Adviser to Harvard’s undergraduate student LGBTQ organization, currently called QSA.
Board of Directors
- MassEquality (2004-2016). President of C(3) board of directors 2013-2015. Chair of Governance Committee 2015-2016.
- Boston Bisexual Women’s Network. Co-founder (1983) and treasurer (1988-present).
- Harvard University LGBT Faculty & Staff Group. Past co-chair. Current Retiree Representative.
- Harvard Gender & Sexuality Caucus, past board member.
- Commissioner, Massachusetts Commission on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Youth (2013-2015).
- SpeakOut (Boston’s GLBT Speaker’s Bureau) (1980s).
- Journal of Bisexuality
- Journal of Feminist Scholarship
- Queer Foundation
- Campus Pride
- Listed on the Advocate‘s list of “50 States, 50 Heroes,” May 10, 2017
- Named by Teen Vogue as one of “9 Bisexual Women Who are Making History” on March 25, 2017.
- 2016 “Fabulous Five” award by North Shore Pride, Salem, MA.
- Bisexual Book Awards: In 2015, RECOGNIZE: The Voices of Bisexual Men won in the categories of Best Anthology; Best Non-Fiction and Best Writer; RECOGNIZE was also a finalist for a 2015 Lambda Literary Award
- PFLAG’s Brenda Howard Memorial Award, February 2012
- Harvard Gay & Lesbian Caucus Lifetime Achievement Award for Advocacy on the Harvard University Campus, Cambridge, Massachusetts, June 2009
- National Gay & Lesbian Task Force Susan J. Hyde Activism Award for Longevity in the Movement, Denver, Colorado, January 2009
- The University of Massachusetts Stonewall Center Continuing the Legacy of Stonewall Award, Amherst, Massachusetts, May, 2007
- Reinaldo dos Santos Memorial Award for Bisexual Activism, Sidney, Australia, March 1997
- Super Bi Award at International Conference on Bisexuality – Stonewall 25 Celebration , New York City, June 1994
- Unity and Diversity Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Lesbian, Gay & Bisexual Community, Amherst, Massachusetts, 1985