Speaker Spotlight: Xochiquetzal Duti Odinsdottir

 CCON West 2013, Speaker Spotlight  Comments Off on Speaker Spotlight: Xochiquetzal Duti Odinsdottir
Aug 192013
 

Xochiquetzal Duti Odinsdottir is presenting But Wait, There’s More! Exploring the Intersection of Race, Class, Ability and Sexuality and Desire. Check out Xochiquetzal’s bio here.

 

Xochiquetzal Duti OdinsdottirHow do you see yourself as a catalyst for change?

I think the key aspect of myself that makes me a catalyst is that I can’t stay still when I see something that needs to be challenged. It’s a privilege to live in a country that still allows for dissension even when voices are raised. I try to stand for what I believe is right and needs fixing, I work hard to ask the questions that need answers and provide space and resources for those who are willing to ask the very same of themselves.

Who or what was a catalyst for you?

My grandfather’s work with the early formation of the United Farm Worker’s, my upbringing as a person proud of her heritage and her country (despite it’s sometimes lack of respect for me) and my insistence in equity and equality among all motivate and push me for more, each and every time the same issues come around.

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

Right now, we’re seeing an explosion of information being disseminated, but I’m not seeing that information being checked for quality. We want to be able to talk to people who are interested in new and different avenues to explore their sexuality and find authenticity within niche communities, but there is a glut of information with no checks for accuracy. So we have half-truths floating around that someone considers canonical when that isn’t the case, and we don’t do a very good job of separating the ‘wheat’ from the ‘chaff’, so to speak.

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?

One of the key components to emerge in recent years is the willingness to embrace sexuality as another facet of the individual instead of as a thing apart from all the identifiers a person may use. We don’t leave our sexuality out of the way in a conversation about race, gender, ability, because these are all things that come into play when we are talking about taking our sexuality into our hands. These different facets are all part of what society sees, not just as pieces but as the sum of ourselves.

Why do you feel it is important to bring the topic of your session, But Wait, There’s More! Exploring the Intersection of Race, Class, Ability and Sexuality and Desire, to CatalystCon West?

We’ve reached a point in human sexuality where the ability to engage one another is happening at a level and rate we could not have imagined. Along that parallel, we are also coming into contact with people whose experience is a sharp contrast to our own and while we may feel attracted, we’re not sure if we are able to engage each other in a way that recognizes and honors those differences without creating discomfort or making a social faux pas. When we look at the entirety of a person (their ability, their past, their experiences as people from different backgrounds, etc.) we can learn more about ourselves; our wants and desires and still have a good time. But we have to be willing to engage in dialogue to do so, this presentation is hopefully going to help break through some of the trepidation people may have.

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

I’m a voracious reader across a wide range of genres.

 

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

Speaker Spotlight: Minister L. Renair Amin Covington

 CCON East 2013, Speaker Spotlight  Comments Off on Speaker Spotlight: Minister L. Renair Amin Covington
Feb 212013
 

Minister L. Renair Amin Covington is presenting PRIDE & Prejudice: Confronting Homophobia in Communities of Color. Check out Renair’s bio here.

 

Minister L. Renair Amin CovingtonHow do you see yourself as a catalyst for change?

I believe that as a African-American Lesbian Minister, my identities intersect in such as way that opens up the door for much dialogue. I believe that Voice is often attached to Purpose and when you choose to no longer be silent about your testimony, change can be heard.

Who or what was a catalyst for you?

I always believed in speaking up and out, however my catalyst happened about 10 years ago when I first moved to New York. After a series of unforeseen circumstances had led me to finding my own place, I realized that I had to share with others things that I believed had helped me through as well as things I believed people had misconstrued.

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

I believe one of the biggest challenges in the field of sexuality rests in the mindset around sexuality as a whole. There are still some topics that are off limits or considered taboo. Unfortunately, there are segments of people that believe that they have rights to what goes on behind the closed doors of others therefore instead of trying to understand, they are trying to control.

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?

I think the advancements around the subject of Gay Marriage is an important valuable change. It shows that people are starting to understand the normalcy of Same Gender Loving relationships and that we are no different and deserving of the same civil rights.

Why do you feel it is important to bring the topic of your session, PRIDE & Prejudice: Confronting Homophobia in Communities of Color, to CatalystCon East?

I feel it is important to bring this topic to the conference because as I said before it is important to dispel the myths that many already have about the Lesbian, Gay Bisexual, and Transgender community.

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

Everything is pretty known about me. LOL.

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