J. Daniel Ford is presenting Political Organizing in the Sex Positive Community. Check out his J. Daniel’s bio here.
How do you see yourself as a catalyst for change?
I am a catalyst for change because I empower others to find their voice as an activist and facilitate their efforts to be forces for positive change.
Who or what was a catalyst for you?
My first catalyst was the 2004 elections. I struggled to believe that after the previous four years our country had voted for another four years of the Bush administration. That is what led me to get involved in politics as an activist and then a professional operative. Through my work in politics I then met many people who, either through their activities or by facing down obstacles of institutional prejudice, inspired me to continue working to create positive and progressive change.
What do you feel are some of the biggest challenges or concerns facing us in the field of sexuality right now?
I feel the biggest challenge facing the field of sexuality right now is the eagerness with which many parts of our society embrace an ignorance of sexuality coupled with the pervasive believe that sexuality is something that should be considered primarily in a negative light. This creates a society that is disinterested in education and growth regarding the subject of sexuality.
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?
I am excited about the strides made in the last year regarding equal rights regardless of a persons sexuality. This can be seen not only in the number of states that now allow same sex marriage, the Supreme Court’s ruling regarding the Defense of Marriage Act, and most recently in New Jersey’s ban on conversion therapy. Additional movement in the area of the rights for transgender people has been mostly positive; one notable place this is true is Philadelphia where the Mayor has committed to making Philadelphia an inclusive city for people regardless of sexuality or gender identification.
Why do you feel it is important to bring the topic of your session, Political Organizing in the Sex Positive Community, to CatalystCon West?
I feel that the topic of Political Organizing is an important one to be considered for the sex positive community and for sexuality educators because, even as positive change is occurring, there is tremendous pushback from many parts of the community. This can be seen in many state laws regarding sex education in schools, an example of this is a North Carolina law that requires health teachers to lie to students regarding the effect of abortion. Indeed, looking around our country and the world, we can see many positive changes for the world of sexuality but many causes for concern as well. The best way to combat these causes for concern is an organized effort to engage in public education efforts coupled with the finding of a political voice which can impact legislators, courts, and other policy makers throughout the nation.
Share one unknown (or little known) fact about yourself.
One of my favorite hobbies is cooking, usually without the benefit of a recipe, and I would love to compete on the cooking show Chopped.