This captioned video, featuring Deaf Gay Ace Gilliam, is part of the “I’m from Driftwood” series of stories by LGBTQ people.
After watching the video, we tracked down Ace for a mini-interview. He’s now 21 and still calls Las Vegas home.
Planet DeafQueer: Tell us a little bit about how you came to participate in this video project.
Ace: I was approached, via message, by the I’m From Driftwood Project. I don’t remember exactly what turned them my direction, but I think it had something to do with my American Idol audition for season 10.
Planet DeafQueer: What has the response been like since the video was released?
Ace: I have not received a crazy response from the video, but I have been recognized more by the LGBT community. I was recognized by the Huffington Post, which convinced The PFLAG group of Bakersfield, California to let me speak at one of their meetings.
Planet DeafQueer: You don’t sign in the video. Do you sign at all? Are you more comfortable voicing rather than signing?
Ace: Oddly enough, I do not know sign very well. I was directed more towards speech therapy. I do feel much more confident speaking as opposed to ASL.
Planet DeafQueer: Inquiring minds want to know, are you single?
Ace: Yes, I am single (that made me blush for some reason).
Planet DeafQueer: What do you currently do?
Ace: I am currently trying to live the dream and become either an actor or possibly a singer. I have my career goals, but my biggest dream is to become some sort of advocate for the LGBT community and I hope to inspire those that stick out because even though they feel different they need to know they are different because they are special, and not unimportant to our society in any way.