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Robyn Ochs (born 1958) is an American bisexual activist, professional speaker, and workshop leader. Her primary fields of interest are gender, sexuality, identity and coalition building. She is the editor of the Bisexual Resource Guide (published annually from 1990 to 2002), Bi Women Quarterly, and the anthology Getting Bi: Voices of Bisexuals Around the World. Ochs, along with Professor Herukhuti, co-edited the anthology Recognize: The Voices of Bisexual Men.

Robyn Ochs
Robyn Ochs Front.jpg
Robyn Ochs in 2008
OrganizationBoston Bisexual Women's Network, Bisexual Resource Center, BiNet USA, MassEquality
MovementLGBT Rights/Bisexual Rights
Spouse(s)Peg Preble
AwardsSusan J. Hyde Activism Award (2009); Harvard Gay & Lesbian Caucus's Lifetime Achievement Award for advocacy on the Harvard University Campus (2009); Reinaldo dos Santos Memorial Award for Bisexual Activism (1997); PFLAG's Brenda Howard Award (2011)

Ochs has appeared on a number of television talk shows, including Donahue, Rolanda, Maury Povich, Women Aloud, Real Personal, Hour Magazine and The Shirley Show, to discuss issues relating to bisexuality. She has also been in Seventeen and Newsweek.



Ochs has a Bachelor of Arts in Language and Culture, Latin American Studies from the State University of New York, Purchase.[1] Additionally, she has a Certificate of Special Studies in Administrative Management and a Masters of Education from Harvard University.[2]

Work in academiaEdit

Ochs teaches courses on topics including LGBT history & politics in the United States, the politics of sexual orientation, and the experiences of those who transgress the binary categories of gay/straight, masculine/feminine, black/white and/or male/female.[3] She has taught the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Johnson State College, and Tufts University.[4]

Ochs worked as an administrator at Harvard University from 1983 until she retired in 2009.[5] While there, she co-founded and co-chaired the LGBT Faculty and Staff Group, co-founded and facilitated the LBTQ Lunches, a monthly lunch series for lesbian, bi, queer and trans women faculty and staff, and served as the faculty advisor for QSA, Harvard's undergraduate student LGBTQ organization.[6]

Work as a bisexual activistEdit

Ochs helped found the Boston Bisexual Network in 1983, and the Bisexual Resource Center in 1985.[7] In 1987, The East Coast Bisexual Network established the first Bisexual History Archives with Ochs' initial collection; archivist Clare Morton hosted researchers.[8] The group became the Bisexual Resource Center in 1993.[9]

In 2002 she delivered the first bi-focused keynote during the National Association of Lesbian and Gay Addiction Professionals.[10] In 2004 and in 2007, she keynoted the Midwest Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender Campus Conference, the largest gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender student conference in the United States.

Ochs has served on the Board of Directors of MassEquality, Massachusetts's statewide equality organization, since 2004.

She has written frequently on bisexuality and LGBT rights and her writings have been published in numerous bisexual, women's studies, multicultural and LGBT anthologies.[11]

Awards and recognitionsEdit

In 1997 she received the Reinaldo dos Santos Memorial Award for Bisexual Activism.

In 2009 at the Creating Change Conference the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force awarded Ochs the Susan J. Hyde Activism Award for Longevity in the Movement. As she presented the award Creating Change Director Sue Hyde told Ochs: "We hear your clear voice, we see your staunch advocacy and we respond to your loving insistence that our movement includes all of us."[12]

Also in 2009, Ochs received the Harvard Gay & Lesbian Caucus's Lifetime Achievement Award for advocacy on the Harvard University Campus.

Ochs received the 2011 Brenda Howard Award at the Queens NYC PFLAG chapter's annual awards luncheon on February 5, 2012.[13]

On June 13, 2015, Ochs received the City of Cambridge's GLBT Commission's annual recognition award for her work as an educator and activist.[14]

Personal lifeEdit

On 17 May 2004, the first day it was legal for same-sex couples to marry anywhere in the United States, Ochs and her long-time partner Peg Preble were among the first same-sex couples to legally marry.[15] Ironically, in an example of exactly the type of bisexual erasure she has spent much of her life fighting against, Ochs was publicly misidentified in the press as a lesbian.[16]

She is the niece of folk singer Phil Ochs.

Selected bibliographyEdit


  • Getting Bi: Voices of Bisexuals Around the World, co-edited with Sarah E. Rowley (2005; second ed., 2009) (ISBN 0965388158)
  • Recognize: The Voices of Bisexual Men-An Anthology co-edited with H. Sharif "Herukhuti" Williams (2014) (ISBN 0965388174)

Anthologies (as a Contributor)Edit

See alsoEdit


External linksEdit