Feb 262013

Harper Jean Tobin is presenting Sex and Sexuality from a Trans Perspective. Check out Harper’s profile here.


Harper Jean Tobin

How do you see yourself as a catalyst for change?

In my day job, I work to change public policy while setting an example as an out polyamorous, kinky person in my field. In the rest of my life, I work to change lives and communities as an ally, friend, mentor, and occasional writer and speaker.

Who or what was a catalyst for you?

Working for the Oberlin Sexuality Information Center in college, which introduced me to new avenues for education and activism and fed a lifelong passion for spurring conversations about sex.

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

As a dabbler in the field, I will leave this question to the experts, except to say that perennial challenges of American puritanism, intersecting oppressions and gender, sexual, racial and other lines, quick-fix popular culture, and lack of supports for lifelong sexual literacy persist.

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?

What seems like a big jump over the last year or two in public discussions about topics of consent, relationship structures, and less common sexual practices – albeit often within narrow or distorted parameters – has created some new opportunities and challenges. The prospect that many more Americans will have consistent access to routine health care in the coming years also underscores the importance and continuing challenge of improving health care providers’ roles in promoting sexual health and healthy sexuality.

Why do you feel it is important to bring this topic [the topic of your session] to CatalystCon East? 

Because the ways our culture thinks about gender and bodies in relation to sexuality can get in the way of… well, everything, and having nuanced conversations about the hows, whys, and well-what-thens is important for trans folks and our partners and allies as we build relationships and communities, negotiate sex and share sex-positive spaces.

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

I cut my teeth as a writer and activist working on a zine about radical activism and DIY culture with a bunch of punks, geeks, and anarchists in my high school days in Louisville, KY.

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

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