Speaker Spotlight: Terri Clark

 CCON East 2013, Speaker Spotlight  Comments Off on Speaker Spotlight: Terri Clark
Mar 112013
 

Terri Clark is presenting The Silver Rainbow: Working with LGBT Seniors and What’s Your “Bi-Q”?. Check out Terri’s bio here.

 

Terri ClarkHow do you see yourself as a catalyst for change?

Sharing what has motivated and moved me to make a difference in my own life. 80% of success (ie, being a catalyst for change) is just showing up (Woody Allen). The Pareto principle (also known as the 80-20 rule, the law of the vital few) states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. (Wikipedia). How does this apply to being a catalyst for change? It means that 80% of success in making change is just showing up, but only 20% of the people do it (probably even less). Folks at CatalystCon East are in that 20% and ready to make change, especially as that change applies to the diverse field of sexuality.

Who or what was a catalyst for you?

One of my favorite quotes that inspires me as a catalyst is from Howard Thuman, theologian, educator, and civil rights leader. “Don’t ask what the world needs; ask what makes you come alive and go do it. Because what the world needs are people who have come alive.”

What do you feel are some of the biggest challenges or concerns facing us in the field of sexuality right now?

The societal values and norms that permeate our culture, media, policies, and laws that view sexuality as a narrow, heterosexist construct. Sexuality is a social construction and as such reflects the judgments of society. For example, our society assumes that older adults are asexual and without sexual desires, thus impacting their access to information about pleasure, intimacy, and safer sex. For those of us who identify other than male/female/heterosexual, we are often subjected to discrimination, prejudice, and numerous encounters of homo/bi/trans phobia. Our society has little tolerance and understanding of the variances within sexuality.

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?

CatalystCon East! Creating Change Conference (National Gay and Lesbian Task Force). Marriage equality cases being heard by the Supreme Court.

Why do you feel it is important to bring the topic of your session, The Silver Rainbow: Working with LGBT Seniors, to CatalystCon East?

Long overlooked and invisible in society at large, older LGBT people are beginning to emerge as a distinct community. 2012 is the first year our baby boomers are turning 65—our society is going to see dramatic growth of this age demographic and with that, growth in the number of LGBT folks. While LGBT seniors share many of the same aging related issues as their hetero counterparts, they also confront special challenges as well. LGBT seniors may face social discrimination due to their age as well as their sexual orientation or gender identity. Older LGBT people often experience homophobia, biphobia and/or transphobia when trying to access healthcare or elder care services. They may also confront age discrimination within LGBT community organizations.

Why do you feel it is important to bring the topic of your session, What’s Your “Bi-Q”?., to CatalystCon East?

Bisexual individuals are in many ways a hidden population. When recognized, bisexuality is often viewed as being part gay and part straight, rather than being its own unique identity. Further, bisexual individuals face not only discrimination confronting the LGT community because of their non-heterosexuality, but also resistance from the LGT community. Participants will increase their understanding of bisexuality and become savvy when working with the diversity of our sexuality.

Share one unknown (or little known) fact about yourself.

I am an avid cyclist and used to spend my summers leading bicycle tours. Highlights include riding from Maine to Florida and cycling 800 miles in 8 days throughout central Florida. I also enjoy hiking and climbed three CO “14-teeners” in three days.

Learn more about all our amazing speakers here. Register for CatalystCon East here.

Speaker Spotlight: Joan Price

 CCON East 2013, Speaker Spotlight  Comments Off on Speaker Spotlight: Joan Price
Feb 112013
 

Joan Price is presenting Talking Out Loud About Senior Sex. Check out Joan’s bio here.

 

Joan PriceHow do you see yourself as a catalyst for change?

I’m an advocate for ageless sexuality. My mission is to talk out loud about older-age sex – to help normalize it in our society, and to encourage my generation to maintain or reclaim sexual pleasure. When my book, Naked at Our Age: Talking Out Loud about Senior Sex, won the 2012 book awards from both the American Society of Journalists and Authors and the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists, I realized that my work really is becoming a catalyst for change.

Who or what was a catalyst for you?

Falling in love at age 57 with artist Robert Rice, then 64, was my catalyst. We had seven exhilarating and passionate years together until I lost him to cancer. It was because of our relationship that I switched my writing topic from health and fitness to senior sex.

What do you feel are some of the biggest challenges or concerns facing us in the field of sexuality right now?

We tend to think all’s right with the world when we’re together in an environment like CatalystCon, but out in the real world, there’s still a lot of ignorance and prejudice. I wish we could just celebrate whatever consensual form our sexuality takes and not judge each other.

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?

Each year gets better as we talk and write about sex and insist on our right to be exactly who we are. The Internet and conferences like CatalystCon make it easier for sex educators, sex activists, and sex-positive individuals to find each other.

Why do you feel it is important to bring the topic of your session, Senior Sex, to CatalystCon East?

Society tends to view seniors as sexless or as laughable if they are sexually active (or wanting to be). I want to lend my loud voice to counteract that view.

Share one unknown (or little known) fact about yourself.

I’m 69. People seem nervous about asking my age, as if I should be embarrassed about it. I assure you I’m not! (They’re also nervous about asking my height for some reason – I’m 4’10” on a good day. This only bothers me when I’m trying to reach something on the top shelf at the grocery store.)

Learn more about all our amazing speakers here. Register for CatalystCon East here.

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