Steve Gustafson is presenting Sex in the Media: From Pitch to Print; What Does Sex Really Sell? Check out Steve's bio here. How do you see yourself as a catalyst for change? In my writing and social media, I speak to a wide demographic. I'm an example to many and I never abuse that by trying to coerce someone to believe as I do. As a writer my job is to present the story or interview and let the reader draw their own conclusion. I don't take negative feedback or an opposing opinion personally and that has helped me establish dialogue with people who normally wouldn't stop, listen, and ponder about change. Who or what was a catalyst for you? I was blessed to have parents who gave me the guidance to explore things on my own and make my own decisions on things. Free from any judgment or insistence from them that I had to think a certain way or be prejudiced in my beliefs. Do they always agree with me? No. But they are always supportive and their influence has been crucial in my happiness. What do you feel are some of the biggest challenges or concerns facing us in the field of sexuality right now? The east answer is closed-mindedness. As religious and political groups move to limit our choices, people are quick to sink into their comfort zone and say nothing. It's only with open communication and listening to other views that we can really make progress. Yelling over one another doesn't change opinions or teach you something. Debates have become more about waiting for the other person to finish so you can tell them that they're wrong. It's time to do away with the negative stigma sexuality certain people have and move forward. What do you feel are some of the most important/valuable positive changes that have been made in the world of sexuality in the past year? While common sense is dying in some areas, in others, there is hope. Some changes aren't directly related to sexuality but they show a change in attitude that will bring a waterfall effect. Things like the legalization of gay marriage, increase in sales of sex toys, the mainstreaming of adult films, and the media covering more sexual topics in the news. Why do you feel it is important to bring the topic of your session, Sex in the Media: From Pitch to Print; What Does Sex Really Sell?, to CatalystCon East? The media is one of the most important and powerful tool when it comes to shaping the audience's mind. What most people don't understand is the process the news takes before it reaches their eyes and ears. They don't know the pressures news sites deal with to get page hits and readers. Every story has a back story and the journey is fascinating. Share one unknown (or little known) fact about yourself. I still hold on to my dream of one day posing for Playgirl! Learn more about all our amazing speakers here. Register for CatalystCon East here.