Mo Beasley is presenting PRIDE & Prejudice – Confronting Homophobia in Communities of Color, Sex & Parenting: Sex Positive Parenting in a Sex Negative World and Opening Keynote Plenary Address: Sparking Communication in Sexuality, Activism and Acceptance. Check out Mo's bio here. 1. How do you see yourself as a catalyst for change? I try to 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 4 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, and myself.
- 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.
- Audre Lorde's essay, "Uses of the Erotic: The Erotic as Power". It is a guiding light in the creation and evolution of "Mo Beasley's UrbanErotika."
- 19 states legalizing gay marriage
- More and more atheletes/celebrities coming out of the closet publicly