Getting Bi: Creating a Culture of Inclusion

Alison Izzi
Staff Writer
@alidancer17

Robyn Ochs
Photo courtesy of Joel Benjamin.

Every time the acronym “LGBT” or the terms “gay,” “lesbian” or “transgender” are spoken, a swell of varying reactions linger. Some have no reaction, others remain non-judgmental, others become excited, but more often than not, many become uncomfortable. They become angered, offended, or even afraid. But what happens when someone says they are bisexual?

Some individuals have a hard time grappling with bisexuality. They might wonder: How can it be real? How can you be attracted to both the same and the opposite sex?

Some communities are deciding it is time to stop judging and fearing and questioning- it is time to start learning. And Springfield College is one of them.

On February 1, 2016 in the Dodge Room at the Campus Union at 7 p.m., award-winning educator, writer and LGBT activist, Robyn Ochs will start the learning motion. The event Getting Bi: Unpacking Biphobia and Creating a Culture of Inclusion, has been organized by the Gender and Sexuality Alliance with seven different on-campus sponsors and invites all students, faculty, and staff to attend the two-hour event.

Ochs is well-known for her interactive and entertaining speaking events that help define and understand bisexuality, and introduce strategies to support bisexual people in the campus community.

A Springfield College study shows that 12.7 percent of 306 undergraduate students expressed some attraction to both genders. On a national scale that number is 1.8 of all Americans who identify as part of the LGBT community, which is higher than those that identify as lesbian or gay combined. These statistics prove that it is time to start talking. It is time to stop the assumptions that bisexuality means promiscuity and polygamist relationships, and start unfolding the invisibility that lies over the term.

Professor of Social Sciences Laurel Davis-Delano, one of the directors of Monday’s event, explains that there is a great amount of pressure around bisexuality to fit inside a certain box which results in those that identify as “bi” to come out with higher rates of problems due to oppression. This needs to change.

“I’m hoping for people that attend that it breaks down stereotypes and provides information on bisexual and non-binary identities, and gives a greater visual of bisexuality and people think about other ways to create a better climate for this community both on and off campus,” says Davis-Delano. “I hope it will disperse and have an impact to start a conversation.”

Understanding those in a surrounding community is what enlightens the spirit, mind, and body, so join Ochs and the Alliance for an entertaining and educational talk to help support your fellow Pride.

 

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