1. How do you see yourself as a catalyst for change?
I have always seen myself as an activist and a catalyst for change. I stand up in my everyday personal life, challenging assumptions, questioning the status quo, and refusing to participate in socially-acceptable behaviors that I find offensive. I refuse to stay quiet in order to “not rock the boat.”
2. Who or what was a catalyst for you?
Finding paganism and Goddess worship was a catalyst for me. I was recovering from an abusive and codependent relationship in which I was made to feel unworthy, and suddenly I found a spiritual path and a community that were much more in alignment with my inner values. I was especially moved by the idea that there could be a deity representative of myself. I found great personal power and comfort in connecting with these ideas.
3. What do you feel are some of the most important/valuable changes that have been made in our current society and the field of sexuality?
Some of the most important and valuable changes that have been made in our society around sexuality is the recognition of lesbian and gay rights (most especially the legal right to marry), and the increased awareness of gender identity issues and tolerance of gender-fluid individuals. The resurgence of feminism, the consent movement, and the ongoing discussions of the intersectionality of sexuality, feminism, and all other social justice issues are also vitally important for catalyzing ongoing positive change.
4. What do you feel are some of the biggest challenges or concerns facing us in society and the field of sexuality today?
We still need to do far more to protect people from governmental intrusion and control over their bodies and their sexual and relational choices. Bisexuals are still largely ignored and invisible. Polyamorous and other ethical non-monogamous folk still have no legal protections. Those who practice any form of BDSM or kinky lifestyle are still largely misunderstood and face enormous risks if outed. And our sexual education in schools still needs a major overhaul to become much more comprehensive and positive, not just fear based and abstinence based. Finally, sex workers of all types are still hugely at risk and I hope that someday soon that industry will be decriminalized and that sex workers will feel safe and respected.
5. Why is your CatalystCon presentation topic importation to you?
My CatalystCon presentation is titled, Kinky & Codependent. This topic grew out of my own need to understand the difference between being submissive and being codependent. I spent years unlearning the codependent behaviors that made my life miserable for a long time. And as I started developing a D/s relationship with my now-husband, I became concerned that the deep submission I fell into so naturally sometimes felt like codependence. I learned that there is a difference, and understanding that difference empowered me to embrace myself more fully, while also feeling assurance that my relationship was indeed a healthy one.