Category: Robyn Ochs

Myths About Bisexual People Aren’t Just Wrong — They’re Dangerous:

I always knew that women are at a higher risk of sexual assault and relationship violence … But what I didn’t know is, we are more vulnerable to violence depending on our sexual orientation. And bisexual women are particularly at risk…

Nicole Johnson a psychology professor at Lehigh University was researching sexual violence victimization when she noticed a trend: bisexual women experience more harm … she argues that three factors make bi women more likely to be abused. 

  1. First, cultural stereotypes portray bisexual women as constantly sexually available, regardless of our consent.
  2. Second, high rates of substance use across the LGBTQ community leave us vulnerable to violence.
  3. Finally, biphobic harassment—being targeted especially for our identities—ups our risk.“

“These disparities are the result of having to exist in hostile and toxic social environments,” says Robyn Ochs “They’re not a result of our identities” too often, people blame bi identity for what is, in reality, preconceived notions about bisexual people that promote society-wide discrimination. This focus on discrimination is called the minority stress model “Living under stress is exhausting,” says Ochs. “It’s not good for our health.”

One stressor that bi women face, as Johnson found, is harmful stereotypes about our sexuality It’s a reality faced by bisexual women in American culture, and it’s called hypersexualization “People often mistake someone coming out as bisexual as a sexual invitation,” says Ochs…


Preserving Bi Women’s History

Bisexual activist and scholar Robin Ochs just announced the successful conclusion of a project she has been working on for 7 ½ years in collaboration with Amy Benson of Harvard University’s Schlesinger Library.

Back issues of Bi Women (now the Bi Women Quarterly) (1983-2009) and of North Bi Northwest (a publication of the Seattle Bisexual Women’s Network) are now archived and available via Harvard University’s Schlesinger Library. They have been digitized, and are searchable and available to the public.

Here’s the press release from Harvard’s Schlesinger Library:

Boston is home to the longest-lived bisexual women’s periodical in the world. Bi Women Quarterly, a grassroots publication, began in September 1983 as a project of the newly-formed Boston Bisexual Women’s Network.

Staffed entirely by volunteers, and containing essays, poetry, artwork, and short fiction on a wide range of themes, Bi Women Quarterly provides a voice for women who identify as bisexual, pansexual, and other non-binary sexual identities.

Robyn Ochs, editor of Bi Women Quarterly since 2009, donated the only complete collection of this publication to Schlesinger Library several years ago with the agreement that it would be preserved, and digitized in a searchable format. The digitized collection at Schlesinger covers the years 1983 to 2010.

We are delighted to announce that this project is complete, and this resource is now available to researchers and to the general public through Harvard’s catalog.

Making the voices of bi women accessible will hopefully provide researchers primary material with which to begin to fill this gap.

Issues of Bi Women Quarterly from 2009 to the present can be found online a These more recent issues will be added to the Library’s collection in the near future.