Queer ASL is a queer & transgender positive environment with a focus on creating a more accessible, affordable, and safer space for folks who want to learn ASL in Vancouver, BC.
Queer ASL focuses on introducing American Sign Language and Deaf culture to queer & transgender learners in Vancouver, BC. This involves learning the alphabet, finger-spelling, facial expressions, vocabulary, and grammar structures. At home, students access homework videos that feature the local queer signing community and a collection of Deaf culture information such as identity politics, cultural norms, history, current topics and issues, etc. The courses have a voice-off policy in order to both be respectful of signing spaces and to immerse ourselves in a signing environment. People who complete Queer ASL classes are able to carry basic conversations with signing queer folks and have a better understanding of the deaf/signing community. So far, we offer up to three levels – you can learn more about what each level covers over here.
The courses are taught through using powerpoints, videos, demonstrations, dialogue practice via partners and groups. All instructors are deaf and queer. Deaf queer guests (often folks featured in the homework videos) at times visit to provide additional perspectives and show students how we all have different signing styles. By having guests, this allows both signing queers and Queer ASL students become familiar with each other, thus building a bridge.
We generally start a new cycle of classes in Jan, March, May, Sept, and Nov. To keep an eye on upcoming classes, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to our mailing list. Also, liking our facebook and keeping an eye on our events can be helpful.
Our Deaf Queer Instructors
Our classes are taught by Deaf queer & trans folk for various reasons such as creating working opportunities for folks who may experience barriers & discrimination in workplaces and creating safer spaces for both the students and instructors. At times, we have substitute instructors who are Deaf allies to the community.
Zoée Montpetit created Queer ASL in 2009 in order to increase access in queer communities they were a part of. They have been teaching & organizing Queer ASL classes & workshops ever since 2009.
Our suggested donation sliding scale covers 8 sessions, all class materials, and weekly homework. The donations goes toward the growth and sustainability of Queer ASL, paying the Deaf Queer instructors, and covering rental fees for some of the spaces we use. However, nobody is denied access due to not donating for whatever reasons.
Location & Access Information
Our classes are held at various locations every cycle – please visit this link for current location & access information.