Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2018-11-14
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



CatalystCon holds first-ever Midwest conference
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Carrie Maxwell, Windy City Times

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

The sexuality-focused event known as CatalystCon took place at the Hyatt Regency O'Hare in Rosemont, Illinois, April 1-3. This was the first time the conference has visited the Midwest since it began in 2012.

CatalystCon is, according to its website, "a conference created to inspire exceptional conversations about sexuality. It's 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's 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."

Sexuality activist Dee Dennis founded the conference hoping that more people would embrace a healthy, fun, safe and shame-free sex life. Dennis explained that she was excited to bring the conference to the Chicagoland area this year.

Sex educators, sexologists, sex workers, writers and activists were among the many conference presenters. Forty plus workshops were offered, including one focused on HIV/AIDS—Getting PrEPared and two focused on the LGBT community—Yes All Genders: How to Normalize and Include Trans Bodies and Pleasure in Adult Sex Ed and Queer and Trans Sexual Health.

Andy Duran ( Good Vibrations educational outreach and affiliate manager ), Bryanna Jenkins ( Baltimore Transgender Alliance executive director ) and Jackie Rednour-Bruckman ( Good Vibrations executive vice-president ) were the featured speakers at the Queer and Trans Sexual Health workshop.

Jenkins, who identifies as a heterosexual Black trans woman, noted that she founded the Baltimore Transgender Alliance because she saw a need for this type of organization in her city. She explained she will be stepping down as executive director because she'll be moving to Chicago this summer to attend law school.

As for what she hoped people will get out of the workshop, Jenkins said "especially for transgender and gender non-conforming people, that they feel comfortable with their bodies and with their gender and sexuality."

Duran, who identifies as genderqueer, has worked at Good Vibrations for 11 years. He said, "it's important to talk about the sexuality aspect of transgender identities because it's an area that's often neglected when talking about transgender people."

Rednour-Bruckman, who identifies as genderqueer and as a trans butch dyke, has done this work for many years. She's produced sex education how to guides, porn and performs under the name Jackie Strano. Rednour-Bruckman noted that her kids call her momma and her wife calls her daddy. She explained that her intention with this workshop was to "advocate for compassionate healthcare access" on all fronts.

The panelists all agreed that the top four unsafe areas for transgender and gender non-conforming people are bathrooms, the medical environment, prisons and relationships.

Duran explained that he's not on hormones, hasn't had any surgeries and hasn't done anything to transition from being born a woman. He noted that he has Polycystic Ovary Syndrome ( PCOS ), which means his body doesn't produce the requisite amount of female hormones so as a result he got facial hair, his voice deepened and he developed other male traits. Duran said that at first his current partner didn't know he was transgender so he had to disclose this for the first time within a relationship.

Rednour-Bruckman explained that it was important to have her breasts removed because that's where she experienced her gender dysphoria. She noted that before the surgery she would always have her top covered and now that's not an issue.

"We call them my $10,000 nipples. … I do have sensation there and this is a new thing for me. … Pleasure is your birthright," said Rednour-Bruckman.

Rednour-Bruckman noted that before she found her current doctor, her doctor visits weren't positive experiences. Due to the negative experience she had with medical people in the past, it made her think about how transgender and gender non-conforming people without access or privilege get the treatment they need.

"Real women get prostate exams," said Jenkins. "With trans rights at the forefront things are going to change and get better. As these rights and privileges begin to emerge we're all going to age and what is that going to look like … The hardest part is getting the community on board. To remove the internalized transphobia that makes us not want to associate with our transness or queerness because we have so much invested in assimilating and that can kill us as we age … We have to remove the stigma we create for ourselves because I believe medical professionals have no choice but to follow our lead … We have to unlearn the binary that's a part of our culture."

Duran said medical professionals need to hear transgender and queer people's stories and what makes their bodies unique. He noted he's encountered doctors who go overboard in showing they are allies when all he wants from them is a prescription.

Jenkins said doctors need to create an inclusive environment and be open and guided by their LGBTQ patients.

Rednour-Bruckman explained that Good Vibrations is partnering with local colleges and medical professionals in the Bay Area to provide training around these issues. She said the key things medical professionals can do when they see any patient are: listen to the patient and ask a first disarming question in a nice, compassionate way to put the patient at ease.

"It's time to join together and use our intersections to create and shape the type of world we want to live in," said Jenkins.

"If I have to report a doctor, it's too late," said Duran.

A Q&A session followed the presentation.

See and for more information .

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Gay News

Weiss psychologist earns WPATH award 2018-11-14 - Weiss Memorial Hospital's Randi Ettner, Ph.D., received the Distinguished Education and Advocacy Award from the World Professional Association For Transgender Health ( WPATH ...

Gay News

Erie marks success in HIV-suppression rates 2018-11-14 - BChicago-based Erie Family Health Centers announced in late October that it had reached its highest-ever success rates—about 93.4 percent—in HIV-positive patients achieving suppressed ...

Gay News

Komen raises $600K during October 2018-11-14 - Throughout October, Komen Chicago raised more than $600,000 during this year's Breast Cancer Action Month. These funds come in large part from Komen ...

Gay News

The National LGBT Chamber of Commerce honoring Heels & Hardhats 2018-11-14 - The National LGBT Chamber of Commerce ( NNGLCC ) will be honoring several organizations during the 2018 NGLCC National Dinner—including local company Heels ...

Gay News

The Merion offers an LGBT-inclusive senior living experience 2018-11-14 - Nestled three short blocks away from Lake Michigan in downtown Evanston, the Merion offers older adults a place to live and thrive while ...

Gay News

THE AMAZON TRAIL Going to the doctor 2018-11-14 - "Visiting the doctor doesn't have to be all gloom and doom," said my sweetheart. "We can make it fun." Remember the all-powerful, usually ...

Gay News

PFLAG's Northern Illinois chapter holds 'Positivity' conference 2018-11-13 - PFLAG Northern Illinois held its fall conference, "Power of Positivity: Time to Thrive," Nov. 10 at Southminster Presbyterian Church in Arlington Heights. Among ...

Gay News

AMA policy supports services for LGBTQ survivors of intimate partner violence 2018-11-13 - CHICAGO — While intimate partner violence ( IPV ) can occur between heterosexual or same-sex couples, efforts to address this public health problem ...

Gay News

Nationwide coalition of LGBTQ groups supporting Affordable Care Act outreach 2018-11-12 - WASHINGTON, DC — Out2Enroll announced today the expansion of its nationwide coalition of 70 national, state, and local LGBTQ and allied organizations committed ...

Gay News

Diane Robinson talks Chicago Voice Center 2018-11-07 - When Diane Robinson became a certified Fitzmaurice Voicework teacher in 2010, she decided to take that knowledge and start the Chicago Voice Center ...


Copyright © 2018 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.








About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.