What happens when you take a ton of sex educators from around the country (and then some), and put them in a hotel in DC for three days to talk about what they do? Catalyst Con. Obviously.
Catalyst Con is a conference created to inspire exceptional conversations about sexuality. It is about reaching out and stimulating those who attend to create those important conversations in their own communities, changing how we as a society talk and treat sexuality. It is about stimulating the activist that is within all of us and sparking transformation in the way our friends, neighbors, children and even politicians discuss one of the most important aspects of humanity.- CatalystCon.com
I had been excited to go to Catalyst for ages, but I had never had the chance, so when Lotus Blooms decided to send me, I was super excited, and incredibly nervous. I was thrilled that I had someone going with me for emotional support (Thanks Colva!), because I’d never met most of these people-though I stared at their Twitters and websites like my life depended on it. I almost felt as though I didn’t deserve to be there among some of the biggest names in sex education. However, the people were incredible. It was amazing to put faces to names and Twitter handles. The people who create, attend, and work on Catalyst should feel incredibly proud to be bringing something this important to the community. It was intense, it was heartwarming, and it was an incredible networking opportunity.
Unfortunately, due to a sprained ankle, I only went the first two days. This means that I will not be addressing the closing keynote. If you were looking for closing keynote information, check out this blog post by PositiveStyleBlog!
I absolutely got a lot out of CCon during the first two days. I met a lot of amazing people, got some new friends, and have a thousand new ideas running through my head. Unfortunately, I was left feeling bothered, like I was missing something, because most of those new ideas weren’t from panels I went to, and I felt that the panels I was able to attend were pretty lackluster (with the exception of Dr. Hernando Chavez’s panel, and Tristan Taomino’s Bootcamp). I was left wondering which of the panels I missed could’ve been more challenging. I found that rather often, instead of inspiration and ideas on how to create change, many of these panels gave me information I already knew and had access to. My head was spinning when I realized what it was that bothered me.
I felt that Catalyst Con East 2014 was missing
the dialogue that would actually spark change in the industry.
I wanted to go to a conference that would fill me full of new, shiny ideas that I could use to create a dialogue to actually create change. I wanted to find people with a different opinion than one that I held, who would give me something to think about, and consider. I wanted a challenge. That’s really what it is, that piece that I was missing. I wanted more. I expected more. I expected Catalyst to truly do what it said and spark change. I wanted more conversation, more dialogue, and more radical statements and topics that challenged me to think about how to be better as a sex educator and a person.
I walked away from Catalyst Con feeling elated, excited, and disappointed. The one thing Catalyst really did for me was inspire *ME* to be the radical change, and create the dialogue that I want to see in the community. The disappointments I felt about Catalyst Con, left the future in my hands, and the hands of those who felt similarly, to get people talking and create a better community, conversation, and ultimately, a better Catalyst Con.
-The Frisky Fairy