Award-winning educator, speaker, writer and grassroots activist Robyn Ochs will lead the interactive event “Beyond Binaries: Identity and Sexuality” on Tuesday, March 26 at Wilkes University. Ochs will speak at 6 p.m. in the McHale Athletic Center in the University Center on Main, 169 S. Main St., in Wilkes-Barre. The event is sponsored by Wilkes University’s Council on Diversity, Inclusion and Equity (CODIE). It is free and open to the public.
The program will explore the question of how we assign labels to our complicated experiences of sexuality. Using an interactive format, attendees will explore the landscape of sexuality. The session will explore a number of questions, including: Where do we fall on various sexuality continua? How do we label? How old were we when we came to our identities and to our sexualities? How asexual/sexual are we? How well do our friends/family members understand us? The program will expand your perspective and change the way you think about labels.
Ochs is the editor of Bi Women Quarterly and two anthologies: the 42-country collection Getting Bi: Voices of Bisexuals Around the World and RECOGNIZE: The Voices of Bisexual Men. An advocate for the rights of people of all orientations and genders to live safely, openly and with full access and opportunity, her work focuses on increasing awareness and understanding of complex identities, and mobilizing people to be powerful allies to one another within and across identities and social movements.
Her writings have been published in numerous bi, women’s studies, multicultural, and LGBTQ+ anthologies, and she has taught courses on LGBTQ+ history & politics in the United States and Canada, the politics of sexual orientation, & the experiences of those who transgress the binary categories of gay|straight, masculine|feminine, black|white &/or male|female.
Ochs was recently named by Teen Vogue as one of “9 Bisexual Women Who Are Making History.” A former Harvard University administrator, Ochs served for 12 years on the board of directors of MassEquality, Massachusetts’ statewide equality organization, and for three years on the Massachusetts Commission on LGBTQ Youth. She is the recipient of numerous awards, most recently Campus Pride’s Voice & Action Award, the Bisexual Resource Center’s Community Leadership Award, PFLAG’s Brenda Howard Award, the National LGBT Task Force’s Susan J. Hyde Activism Award and the Harvard Gender & Sexuality Caucus’s Lifetime Achievement Award. At the 2009 Creating Change Conference, the National LGBTQ Task Force awarded Ochs the Susan J. Hyde Activism Award for Longevity in the Movement.