LOS ANGELES — CatalystCon East, the sexuality conference held March 27-29 in Arlington, Va., hosted more than 350 attendees for seminars and workshops, according to founder and organizer Dee Dennis.
Created to inspire "exceptional conversations about sexuality," the event featured 40 sessions and workshops on topics such as body image, sex and aging, racial justice in sexuality education, and sex-positive parenting. It also included live podcast recordings in the CatalystCon Studio.
CatalystCon endeavors to unite sex educators, sex workers, public health professionals, writers, activists, and others with a passion for creating change, Dennis said.
During the CatalystCon East Opening Reception, Francisco Ramirez was presented with the Catalyst Award by Dennis.
“Receiving the Catalyst Award was unexpected, touching and above all, encouraging,” Ramirez said.
“Many of us working in sexuality function independently, rarely receiving formal praise of any kind, and many of us are attacked for doing the work we do. To be celebrated in a room among my peers and mentors was a uniquely humbling experience.”
CatalystCon returns to the West Coast Sept. 11-13, 2015 at the Los Angeles Marriott Burbank Airport. Rachel Kramer Bussel will be returning with her pre-conference erotica and sex writing workshops, and CatalystCon West will also feature the return of Tristan Taormino’s sex educator boot camp.
CatalystCon West is accepting speaker submissions until June 7. The conference welcomes anyone who has something to share and the desire to spark conversations about sexuality, activism and acceptance. To apply to speak at CatalystCon West, visit catalystcon.com/call-for-speakers.
“Interacting with participants at CatalystCon was a great reminder that we are stronger than the challenges we’ve experienced and the backlashes we’ve endured in our work,” Ramirez said. “More than ever, I feel encouraged to continue to be vulnerable and to take risks with my work. Attending CatalystCon reaffirmed my conviction to speak up around injustice — and more importantly — to continue listening to those around me.”