How Did Queer ASL Start?

In 2009 as Zoée Montpetit became more involved in the Victoria BC (traditional territory of the Lekwungen People) queer communities - they realized they were the only signing Deaf Queer in the circles they were in. With that in mind, Zoée created a free drop-in bi-weekly ASL club, held in their living room, for their friends (and their friends), as a way to improve their communication access. Zoée quickly recognized the need for safer spaces for queer & trans folk to learn ASL and how the results can really benefit Deaf Queer signers.

When Zoée moved to Vancouver (unceded Musqueam, Tsleil-Waututh, and Squamish territory) in 2011, they started to develop and offer weekly Queer ASL branded classes for the Vancouver 2SLGBTQQIA+ communities. The classes were held at their home again then eventually transitioned over to a small variety of locations around the city through partnerships with organizations such as Gallery Gatchet, SFPIRG, PeerNet, BRYC, etc. In 2015, Zoée started training Deaf Queers to become instructors.

Currently Queer ASL is composed of a group of Deaf 2SLGBTQIA+ instructors across Canada and USA, four level classes (101 – 104), and is held fully online during the pandemic with the goal of offering both online and in-person classes eventually.

To learn more about our classes, please visit our classes page.