Heather Brewer is presenting How the Sex-Positive Community Can Bring Healing and Growth to Our Country. Check out her bio here.
How do you see yourself as a catalyst for change?
I have a lot of optimism about people’s ability to grow, and I work to let that be contagious in the way that passion can be. I’m very big on focusing on resources and connection, which I firmly believe is the best source for change. I’m also adept at navigating tricky social situations. My familiarity and comfort with interpersonal dynamics affords helpful insight, and helps people to land in a clearer, calmer, and more fruitful place.
Who or what was a catalyst for you?
In regards to becoming a sex therapist, what often comes to mind is this conversation I had in high school with some of my friends. I can never remember how it started, but the topic of masturbation was being skirted around, and I decided to just disclose that I did indeed masturbate. Each of our reactions was this complex mix of astonishment, relief, and excitement, and it left me with a really potent desire to discuss it more. And to get other people to discuss it. The desire to do so had obviously been getting squelched for all of us, and it was so easy to just name it and get things rolling. I realized that sex is really important to most people, but that most people don’t talk about it. The absurdity of that, the disparity, fuels me. I am deeply motivated to close that gap.
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?
I think what’s happening to our concepts of gender is hugely important. It’s forcing to the front and center the uselessness of putting limitations on self-understanding and expression. It’s been working against us for a very long time, and we’re finally dismantling it, which I believe is representative of our burgeoning emotional intelligence. I think that as understanding of the gender spectrum spreads, so will our understanding of the infinite complexity of human expression. That will afford a whole lot of beautiful opportunities.
What do you feel are some of the biggest challenges or concerns facing us in society and the field of sexuality today?
I suspect that the progress we’ve been able to make thus far in this century has a whole bunch of people scared shitless, and I think they’re reacting in the way terrified people do: with fury and violence. Because a lot of those people were already oppressors (often unwittingly), it’s too easy to continue to see them that way and to miss their very real vulnerability. Privilege often results in a lack of self-reflection and insight. That quickly becomes a disadvantage when your privilege begins to wane. So I think we’re facing the enormous challenge of having to extend empathy to them alongside continuing to protect ourselves and working to create true, lasting, stable equality.
Why is your CatalystCon presentation topic importation to you?
I can feel how very capable this community is of having an epic impact on what’s happening right now in our society, and I’m eager to show others what I’m seeing. We are the ents, and the world needs us to venture outside our sacred forest.