Big Men and Women on Campus
BY Neal Broverman
October 05 2011 2:00 AM ET
As Michael Moore showed us recently when he joked that Jesus was gay during a speech at Georgetown, some of the most interesting public discourse is happening on college campuses. Some of those discussions are being led by LGBT speakers who make the rounds at America's colleges and universities trying to talk some sense with our nation's young people (and make a buck while at it). On the following pages, the most prominent LGBT campus speakers tell us about the messages they're trying to convey. Many of these folks showed up in Campus Pride's Top 25 LGBT Favorites, an annual ranking of the best campus speakers.
Robyn Ochs: "Professional Bisexual"
"I consider myself a 'professional bisexual,' meaning that I spend my days traveling around the U.S. — and sometimes beyond — speaking about bisexuality and other non-binary identities.
"I have programs on bisexual identity, on labels, on marriage equality, on being an ally, on self-care for activists. My favorite program is 'Beyond Binaries: Identity and the Sexuality Spectrum' in which we review how different researchers have tried to map the landscape of identity. Participants fill out one-page anonymous questionnaires, which are collected, shuffled, and re-distributed. Then, with each person in the room holding someone else's questionnaire and representing that person, we look at the data.
"I work with students as much to learn as to teach. One thing of which I am certain is that we are in a time of great cultural change. Change is not happening evenly — or in the same way — across this country, but it is happening. Much of what I learned growing up is no longer applicable, except as a history lesson. To be a good teacher, I have to listen, and meet people where they are. What I learn continually transforms and refocuses my work." More at RobynOchs.com.