As Deaf queers, we have seen a lack of access in queer spaces. Queer ASL classes were created as an attempt to bring awareness and form bridges between deaf & hearing queer folks.
We created the Queer ASL program in order to offer safer spaces for queer and transgender folks to learn American Sign Language due to the fact that many queer and trans people can feel uncomfortable in ASL classes. Folks can end up feeling singled out or oppressed, amongst many other things such as lack of access, conflict of politics, financial barriers, and so on. In addition, queer and trans Deaf folks often experience discrimination in workplaces and barriers with employment. Queer ASL addresses this by creating paid jobs for Deaf queer & trans folks who wants to teach ASL. We provide training by having folks come watch us teach and then once the next cycle comes, we mentor these people as they start teaching the courses.
How Queer ASL offers a more accessible & safe space:
- The Signing naturally curriculum is modified to be anti-oppressive and queer & transgender positive.
- We create homework videos that feature our local signing queer community instead of using Signing Naturally videos.
- Deaf & HOH queer & trans folks are prioritized and increasing access for these folks is top priority.
- Class cost is offered on a suggested sliding scale donation of $70 – $100 per student.
- Classes are only held in spaces that are wheelchair accessible and scent reduced.
- The classes are only taught by Deaf queer & trans folks.
- We always work on increasing access & safety.