Skip to main content

Catalyst Con 2015 Opening Keynote complete with gluten-free pasta and salad.

Catalyst Con opening keynote image credit @dalliances
Monday we returned home from Catalyst Con East in Washington DC and it was an amazing conference. Catalyst gathers together the top voices in sex education, therapy, research, among other disciplines to spend two days discussing human sexuality. This year the conference opened with a discussion between Francisco Ramirez, Kristin Beck, Dr. Melanie Davis, and Rachel Kramer Bussel, moderated by Lynn Comella.

This year opening keynote focused on fostering diversity within the sex-positive communities. Looking around the convention, it is not exactly the most diverse group of people. Attendees and panelists may have a broad range of sexual orientations, gender identities, and even abilities, but are overwhelmingly white. It seems this discussion was part of last year's convention, too. But it was good that they are at least attempting to have the conversation.

The conversation tended to focus on positivity and being inclusive, which is a step, but doesn't do enough. Ignacio Rivera added to this conversation with the most insightful comment, basically stating that it isn't enough to attempt to invite diversity into the community, but to actually engage with existing minority communities. Go to their events and give to their communities.

Despite a bit of frustration over the diversity question bringing up too many of the same ideas, there were still so many insights shared. Francisco Ramirez talked about the rights of all people to be sexual, including the homeless and Dr. Davis talked about the difficulties faced by getting messages of sex positivity to the elderly. And there was a much appreciated discussion of the importance of self-care in a  field where too many appear to be working without much financial compensation.

But the biggest surprise of the night was the announcement from Kristin Beck of her intention to run for Congress. She was probably the most positive and optimistic when it came to offering solutions for reaching out to those outside of the sex-positive community.

The most frustrating moment came when Hedwig asked about the place for anger when uncovering the structural injustices that exist in the community. Suggestions were all about the personal processing of feelings of anger, instead of ways the community might work to dismantle the cultural structures of oppression, but that's America for ya. We are slow to catch on to issues of class, income inequalities, etc and the solutions offered always involve personal betterment when we probably should all attempt to run for office.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Horror?

From Blogger I apparently have no clue what a horror movie is. Or at least, when the challenge rolls around and I take the leap and attempt to watch 31 horror movies, I suddenly feel as if I have no idea what that means. There are times when it is obvious that a movie is horror; Friday the 13th, Halloween, Texas Chainsaw Massacre . Once I dive into the challenge, I begin to question whether the movies I'm seeing really count. This year, I've seen Buried, Carrie, Clean, Shaven, Nosferatu (1922), Scanners, Sisters , and I sell the Dead . Nate protested Sisters, saying DePalma's movie about a pair of disturbed Siamese twins isn't a horror movie. And he has a point, but how is one supposed to choose movies without having seen them before to really know whether they are horror? Especially since I'm only using the challenge to catch up on movies that I should see because they are classics and to re-watch a few others that need to be revisited. But picking the

My attempt at Filmspotting's Top 5 List

I just finished listening to Filmspotting podcast, episode #296, and I've been inspired to begin a small project. My concept of great cinema has changed now that I live in a place with so many choices. When I lived in Anchorage, I primarily saw movies at the local Art House, Capri Cinema. Rand, being an out gay man, tended to show a lot of GLBT cinema as well as the better known independent/art house films. The years I lived in Columbia, I watched more mainstream film and really, just about everything that came to town that sounded at all interesting. But in Seattle, the choices are overwhelming by comparison. Sometimes I'll see a classic film, or a film with a lot of buzz, and there are a lot of foreign language films, because of the wide variety of cinema I have access to, I am now a very devoted fan of Asian cinema. The filmmakers in Hong Kong, Korea, China, Japan, Thailand are incredible. And this isn't at all limited to the genre films that have made Asian film

Dennis Nyback's Super Secret Pre-Code Musical Lallapalooza Big Magilla Thrilla Festival, Friday

Currently, at T he Grand Illusion Cinema , Dennis Nyback is presenting a different program each night as Dennis Nyback's Super Secret Pre-Code Musical Lallapalooza Big Magilla Thrilla Festival and I was able to attend the first night. The films were not announced in advance, but on Friday, they were all from 1930 and presented as they would have been at that time, beginning with a newsreel, trailer, animated short, a short film and finally the feature. I will just admit now that I am not knowledgeable of film history. Essentially, my film school has occurred in the cinemas at movies that are current, with the exception of an occasional archival screening, but thanks, in part, to The Celluloid Closet, I am a bit familiar with the Hollywood's history of self-censorship via the Hays Code and today, with the MPAA rating system. And it has been interesting to read about what had to be taken out of scripts, if a movie were to be produced post 1934. I was aware that homosexuality wa