Feb 222013

Francisco Ramirez, MPH is presenting Entrepreneurial IQ: 10 keys to designing an unconventional career in sexuality. Check out Francisco’s bio here.


Francisco RamirezHow do you see yourself as a catalyst for change?

We are all radiant sexual beings with unlimited potential. Yet, society often steps on our sexual selves and quiets us unnecessarily. And perhaps just as often, we quiet ourselves and our own voices. I know I sometimes do. (In fact, I get scared all the time.) But when I’m feeling strong enough, I find the courage to say, “f— it,” and I push through whatever’s holding me back. I see part of my role in life to inspire others to identify whatever beliefs and fears might be holding them back from being their sexually fabulous selves, and to then say “f— it” as well.My team and I use various platforms–primarily television and online media, but also trainings, research, advocacy work, a mobile app, and chats with strangers on park benches in New York–to promote sexual well-being for all people. My core belief is that we all have a right to lead sexually healthy, fulfilling lives, however we choose to define them. And I will battle ’til the end to see this happen.

Who or what was a catalyst for you?

Sue Johanson–my inspiration for talking sex on TV! Margaret Cho. Dan Savage. UC Berkeley. Carol Queen. Good Vibes. The Rachel Maddow Show–that is how broadcast and hosting should be done! And everyone who comes to see me at Free Sex Advice in the park: these New Yorkers are constant proof to me that human beings are capable of taking great risks and finding even greater payoffs.

What do you feel are some of the biggest challenges or concerns facing us in the field of sexuality right now?

No hesitation on this one. That people in the US (and around the world) are still not in agreement that we should have gender equality as an agreed upon baseline. This is bananas. That some people believe that the lives and livelihood of some human beings are somehow more valuable, worthy than others astounds me. If we can’t agree that we all should be afforded the same rights how can we ever 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?

So many! I’m particularly encouraged by what I see at my work at the UN. In recent months, the UN General Assembly passed a resolution against extrajudicial executions inclusive of sexual orientation and, for the first time, gender identity. Also, the UN Human Rights Council passed the first resolution endorsing rights inclusive of sexual orientation and gender identity.

And then, one year ago, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon declared this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qtxU9iOx348.

Why do you feel it is important to bring the topic of your session, Entrepreneurial IQ: 10 keys to designing an unconventional career in sexuality, to CatalystCon East?

So many of us sit on our dreams. But when you really want something, when you really have a dream, there’s a good reason why. If I can inspire just one person to create the next big thing in sexuality, I am elated.

Share one unknown (or little known) fact about yourself.

I start every morning at 4:00am, salsa dancing around the apartment in my pj’s while listening to Celia Cruz. ¡Azúcar!

Learn more about all our amazing speakers here. Register for CatalystCon East here.

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