Mo Beasley is presenting PRIDE & Prejudice – Confronting Homophobia in Communities of Color. Check out Mo’s bio here.
1. How do you see yourself as a catalyst for change?
I pose the more challenging questions of life and sexuality through speaking, teaching, and live performance. Questions such as, “how do you re-define, manhood, culture, sexuality…existence for the 21st Century and beyond?”
2. Who or what was a catalyst for you?
I have 3 significant catalyst that have lead me to places like CatalystCon.
Being a teen cast member of a Planned Parenthood theater troupe (Y.E.T. Youth Expression Theater) was a catalyst that showed me the power of art as change. “Thank you for showing me suicide is not an option”, was an anonymous note left on a road box after one of our shows. That moment changed my life. Lead me down this road of art and activism as my way life. As a way to enrich and enlighten others.
A 6’7″ gay white cowboy from Kansas who was a mentor of mine after graduating college with a theater degree, was also a catalyst for me. He taught me the art of Love as action while teaching me to stage manage shows from regional theater to Broadway. We have a standing deal to check our respective communities when they use the “N” or “F” word in our presence. “Where’s the Love in it?” was the question he always asked me when I was about to blast someone for fucking up on the job or attacking me in my personal life. Dr. King and Ghandi were guiding forces in his life and work. I adopted their techniques by association.
My “Uncle Rueben” a street corner philosopher/hustler/wise man/father-figure/no good nigga who scared me straight when I attempted to adopt the drug trade as a career. “You Don’t belong out here in these streets. You’re talented. You supposed to do something else. Go do it!! …before I cave in your chest!” I’m here at CatalystCon because of his belief in me.
3. What do you feel are some of the biggest challenges or concerns facing us in the field of sexuality right now?
Ignorance is, and will always be, our biggest challenge. Patriarchy runs a close second; OR as the seed of ignorance. Anything counter to the sexual acceptance of Men of Power and Privilege is demonized in western, and eastern society.
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?
13 states legalizing gay marriage
Athletes coming out of the closet, publicly.
5. Why do you feel it is important to bring this topic PRIDE & Prejudice – Confronting Homophobia in Communities of Color to CatalystCon East?
The issue of Homophobia in communities of color is an urgent issue that lives way under the radar of sexuality rights and activism. Black and Hispanics make up the majority of poor people in America and their LGBTQ children are even poorer because they are cast out of their homes/families when their sexuality is revealed, or uncovered. Our homosexual family members are being killed and persecuted in alarming numbers. Way too often its members of their own family. We MUST shed the brightest light on this problem, in hopes of being a catalyst for greater acceptance.
6. Share one unknown (or little known) fact about yourself
I was raised as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. With my oratory and literary skills, my family thoroughly expected me to become an Elder in the faith. My mother continues to pray away that “sex stuff”, and support of gays.
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