1. How do you see yourself as a catalyst for change?
Creating more opportunities for meaningful conversations about sex is one of my primary motivations for doing the work that I do. We’re all familiar with this paradox: sex is on every billboard while at the same time most people don’t have their basic sex ed needs met. I want to hear more discussion about pleasure and communication. I keep this intention in mind when I teach workshops, write articles, and when I facilitate Sex Geekdom events.
2. Who or what was a catalyst for you?
I have been fortunate in having several generous mentors in this field. My first mentor, sex educator Ivy Chen, was the one who showed me I could make a living in this field. She’s been a tremendous inspiration to me. Last year, I wrote a piece about her for National Mentorship Month.
3. What do you feel are some of the biggest challenges or concerns facing us in the field of sexuality right now?
I know that many people in our field struggle with getting paid for their work. When you’re working independently, it can be difficult to balance accessibility to your teaching while also making a living wage. I’m heartened to see that there are more sex ed entrepreneurs (like Francisco Ramirez) sharing their business savvy with the larger community.
4. 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?
In the last year, I’ve noticed more meaningful and helpful discussions about consent cropping up. I’ve been reading an increasing number of examples of what “yes means yes” looks like and what actions we as a community can take to support consent culture.
5. Why do you feel it is important to bring this topic Living With A STI to CatalystCon East?
With one in three people acquiring an STI in their lifetime, the fact that there is so much stigma surrounding such diagnoses is shockingly out of step with reality. While there are many inspiring public health campaigns working to overcome stigma, there are still health promotion messages that use shame as the tool to spread awareness. We can do better.
6. Share one unknown (or little known) fact about yourself