Bisexual activist, writer and speaker Robyn Ochs received the 2011 Brenda Howard Award at the Queens NYC PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) chapter’s annual awards luncheon on February 5th 2012.
The award is named after the late Queen’s resident and PFLAG member Brenda Howard, an important figure in the post-Stonewall LGBTQ Movement. Ms. Howard is know as the “Mother of Pride“ for her part in organizing the first Pride Parades and Celebrations that are enjoyed today world-wide. She was also a bisexual activist who help found and participated in many of the Bisexual Community’s local, regional and national institutions including BiNet USA and the New York Area Bisexual Network (NYABN). It is also the first award given by a major American LGBT organization that is in honor of an out bisexual member of the LGBTQ+ community.
Ms. Ochs originally a Queens native herself now resides in the Jamaica Plain area of Boston MA with her wife Ms. Peg Preble who accompanied her to the event. At the ceremony Ms. Ochs was introduced by bisexual activist Estraven Andrews, a former Board Member of BiNet USA s/he is also a founder the Bisexual Discussion & Support Group at The Loft, the LGBTQ+ Community Center for Westchester County NY.
In receiving the award Ms. Ochs joins a list of notable LGBTQ+ activist whose work on behalf of the Bisexual and greater LGBT Community(s) best exemplifies the vision, principals and community service exemplified by the late bisexual rights activist Brenda Howard and who serve as a positive and visible role model for the entire LGBTQ+ Community. Previous winners include: Larry Nelson Board Member of PFLAG Queens, webmaster for New York Area Bisexual Network and widower of the late Brenda Howard; Tom Limoncelli among whose many accomplishments are founding member of BiZone NJ, BiNet USA Regional Organizer from the Tri-State area, editor of New Jersey section of the Bisexual Resource Guide; Wendy Moscow longtime local queens bisexual activist, founding member of Lesbian and Gay Political Action Club of Queens, the Queens Lesbian and Gay Pride Committee and 2006 Grand Marshal of same; Wendy Curry then President of BiNet USA who among her many accomplishments was one of the creators of Bisexual Pride Day; Representative Micah Kellner first openly bisexual person elected to New York State Assembly; Lisa Jacobs a longtime bisexual rights activist, founder and then President of the Transcending Boundaries Conference.
Also among those also in attendance at the American Institute of Bisexuality (AIB) Table were: bisexual activist Paul Nocera a moderator of NYC’s BiRequest group, he also just completed organizing and running the Bisexual Suite at the 2012 Creating Change Conference in Baltimore MD; Brooklyn based bisexual author and speaker Dr. Aih Djehuti Herukhuti, the co-editor with Dr. Loraine Hutchins of ‘Sexuality, Religion and the Sacred: Bisexual, Pansexual and Polysexual Perspectives‘; PFLAG Queens Board Member and previous Brenda Howard Award winner Larry Nelson; bisexual and democratic party activist Stacey Langley; BiNet USA Board member Morgan Goode; and well know Brooklyn bisexual photographer and author Efrain John Gonzalez.
Lending it’s support to this important event was the American Institute of Bisexuality (AIB). AIB is an American charitable foundation originally endowed by pioneering bisexual rights activist, author and therapist the late Dr. Fritz Klein to encourage, support and assists research and education about bisexuality, through programs likely to make a material difference and enhance public knowledge, awareness and understanding about bisexuality.