Bisexuality 101 with Robyn Ochs — a night of learning and acceptance

A Night with Robyn Ochs addresses misconceptions about sexuality and other social issues


Robyn Ochs interacting with the audience, asking them what they took away from her presentation that evening. [Max Jackson | Photo Editor]

Bisexuality 101, an event with American bisexuality activist Robyn Ochs, was held Monday night in an effort to teach attendees about the different types of sexual orientation, how bisexuality is negatively portrayed in society and in the media, and why the stereotypes need to be abolished.


“The purpose was to celebrate complex identities, to celebrate our uniqueness, and to celebrate and shine a light on middle sexualities. I want to create an environment where everyone can feel celebrated and understood,” said Ochs.

The event, hosted by the FAU LGBTQA Resource Center, allowed students to get together and talk about the issues that pertain to students of all sexualities, addressing common misconceptions of bisexuality, like being “half-gay, half-straight,” “not really gay,” and “confused.” The discussion also centered around society’s perception of gender roles and how hard it is to be accepted with the stereotypes that follow.

The discussion was divided into four subsections: “Tip of the Iceberg” and “Pull of Binaries,” which challenged gender and sexuality binaries, and “Ignorance”and “Erotophobia,” which defined concepts that sent mixed messages about what sexuality is in today’s society.

“I thought it was a wonderful experience and it made me realize things about my sexuality that I didn’t know before,” said theatre major Michel Rose Jimenez.

Students were able to discuss their feelings and share their experiences with being stereotyped. They raised questions and traded stories about feminism, sexuality, equality and gender roles. Students also brought up concepts such as minority stress — the stress that minority groups undergo in society — and how it affects those in the LGBTQA community.

Students were able to pin their sexualities on a lined continuum, showing how sexuality can be so different and not just one specific type. It showed that the students had different ways of defining themselves and not everything boiled down to one specific concept.

“We must be able to confront ignorance and those who silence and oppress our truth with love and understanding. We cannot beat hostility with hostility, we fight ignorance and hostility with love,” explained Graham Brown, president of the Dream Defenders.