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Blast from the Past: Day of Decision Protest 2009 Video

Day of Decision Protest Video – May 26, 2009 – San Francisco, CA

Footage from the May 26 march and rally in San Francisco protesting the California Supreme Court’s decision to uphold Proposition 8.


Black Screen with words: May 26, 2009 San Francisco, CA

[Protestor sign: An injury to One is an injury to All. Fight Bigotry. Overturn 8]

Day of Decision Gatherings

The day is nearly here! On Wednesday, June 26, 2013, we’ll learn the fate of the Prop 8 and DOMA cases currently before the U.S. Supreme Court. Rulings on these cases are expected to be announced at 7 AM (or shortly thereafter) tomorrow.

“Day of Decision” gatherings are currently being organized across the country to either celebrate or mourn the Court’s decisions. We’re hoping it’s all good news.

Boston Pride logo

Deaf Queers to Protest Lack of Accessibility at Boston Pride

A group of Deaf Queers and allies plan to protest the lack of ASL accessibility at Boston Pride today at 3 PM in front of the main stage.

“The time for action is now,” said Ayisha Knight-Shaw, a Deaf Lesbian who is organizing the protest. “[This protest is] in response to the blatant lack of preparation from the Boston Pride Committee to provide ASL interpreters.” 

Planet DeafQueer Tip: “View All”

We love the “View All” design look of our website. This design prominently displays thumbnail images of all recent posts. Unfortunately, all these images (which now exceed over 175!) together can sometimes load slowly in web browsers and mobile devices, and that’s no fun. As a result, we’re experimenting with some new, faster design options.

You can still “View All” (and all the latest posts at once) by simply clicking on the link by the same name on the left menu bar. If you haven’t visited Planet DeafQueer in a while, it’s a good way to quickly get caught up on what you’ve missed.


Seattle, WA: Transverse


Ryder presents a state show accompanied by a silent auction, and an after party to wrap up the fun evening. Come see a glimpse of the lives of various trans* folks, both hearing and deaf, on the stage.

Proceeds will go towards Ryder’s top surgery.

FRIDAY, MAY 24, 2013
7 PM

Hugo House
1634 11th Avenue
Seattle, WA 98122

FREE! Suggestion dontation $25

Wine/beer and non-alcoholic drinks & food provided!

Deaf-blind interpreters provided upon request. Send requests no later than May 17 to

ASL perforance with voice interpretation for ASL impaired.




The Trans 100 List

Our very own Drago Renteria is on the inaugural Trans 100 List!

This groundbreaking, first-of-its-kind, list is an “overview of the breadth and diversity of work being done in, by, and for the transgender community across the United States”.  It features pioneers, key leaders and movement-builders in the transgender community.

“The value of the work that is represented by the 100 people on this list is immeasurable,” said Executive Director of This Is H.O.W., Antonia D’orsay, about the Trans 100. “These people demonstrate the diversity, the determination, and the incredible triumph of spirit that informs all trans people, no matter where they are. This is just a glimpse of what trans people can accomplish.”

Download the Trans 100 List (PDF version)

Read more: 100 Amazing Trans Americans You Should Know


Trans 100

Washington, DC: ColorFEST

The 6th annual ColorFEST will take place at Gallaudet University on Saturday, April 13th, 2013

What’s planned:

Workshops: 1-4 PM
Location: SUB FLEX A & B
Ticket: $25 Combo Ticket (workshop and fashion show)

Fashion Show: 6-8 PM
Location: Kellogg Conference Hotel Assembly Room
Ticket: $15 at door (Fashion Show only)

Bash: 9 PM- 2 AM
Location: Receiving Dock
Hosted by the Rainbow Society
Ticket: ($10 in advance, $15 at door)

Registration Information (video)

Accessibility Information (video)

Registration Form

Tickets can be purchased from any ColorFEST committee member:
Derrick Behm
Liz Jarashow
Nur Abdulle
Daniel Walters
Ryssa Fleischer
Michael Sprouse
Morgan Eastman
Samantha Liddick
Samantha Bragg
Tiffany Putt
Tiasa Bera
Ashley Pappineau
JamieLee McGlivery


Rochester, NY: Northeast LGBT Conference

The Northeast LGBT Conference is taking place at the Rochester Institute of Technology from April 12-14, 2013 and is ASL interpreted.

Don’t miss the following:

Friday, April 12, 2013
— Austin Unbound (film)

Saturday, April 13, 2013
— “It’s a Deaf, Deaf World” presented by Barbara Holcomb
— “Hogwarts Syndrome” presented by Richmond and Dooling
— “Mentoring Deaf Queer Students” presented by Bryan Lloyd
— “Interfaith Experience” presented by Gravitz, Ryan, & Argestsing

For more information about the conference and to view the complete conference schedule, visit


Providence, RI: “The T in LGBT” at Brown University

“The T in LGBT: A Journey from Female to Male”

Presented by Drago Renteria & Jennifer Mantle

Date: April 10, 2013

Gallaudet LGBTQA Resource Center Coordinator Position Accepting Applications

Coordinator, LGBTQA

Department: Keeping the Promise
Job Number: HR-13018
Date Posted: 4/5/2013
Salary Range: $42,500 to $76,400
Status: Accepting applications

International Transgender Day of Visibility


Today is International Transgender Day of Visibility.

United We Dream Demands Apology from HRC

Yesterday QUIP leader, Jerssay Arredondo, was asked by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) to speak in front of thousands of people in front of the Supreme Court to repeal DOMA. Just before getting on stage he was told to not say he was Undocumented! —United We Dream

The YouTube auto transcription feature doesn’t do a good job of translating this video. We’ve provided a transcript below.

My Dream

“I have a dream that when I have my own children one day, I will be able to tell them that things used to be different back then; that not everyone could get married and they would try hard to fathom the idea of denying marriage to anyone, yet never truly understand the sad injustice we had.”  – Justin Jackerson, a 25-year-old Deaf Gay man living in Los Angeles, CA

Photo credit: Dylan Sue





Text: IF YOU HAVE food in your fridge, clothes on your back, a roof over your head and a place to sleep YOU ARE RICHER THAN 75% OF THE WORLD.

IF YOU HAVE money in the bank, your wallet, and some spare change YOU ARE AMONG THE TOP 8% OF THE WORLD’S WEALTHY.


If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the agony of imprisonment or torture, or the horrible pangs of starvation YOU ARE LUCKIER THAN 500 MILLLION PEOPLE ALIVE AND SUFFERING.


–Activists Against Hunger

It’s a no-brainer

“It is still kind of mind-boggling to see my marriage still up in the air, leaving it to nine justices to determine the legality of it.  I just hope that they do the right thing for once and all – it IS a no brainer, right?”  -Lisa Marie Wilson

Deaf Lesbians Noreen Yates and Lisa Marie Wilson were one of an estimated 18,000 couples to legally tie the knot in California prior to the passage of Prop 8.

Watch the “Yes to Love” mini-documentary.

Imagine a World Without Hate

Video images/text:

* Newspaper with heading: “Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., 84, Champions Immigration Reform:
* Anne Frank wins Nobel Prize for her 12th Novel
* Harvey Milk expands LGBT equality globally
* Daniel Pearl, 49, Journalist, wins Pulitzer for “Uncovering Al-Qaeda”
* James Byrd, Jr., 63, Japser, TX Resident Saves Young Girl from Burning Building
* Matthew Shepard, 36, Leads Anti-Bulling Coalition
* Yitzhak Rabin, 90, honored for nearly two decades of Israeli-Palestinian Peace

IF WE ALL STOOD UP to bigotry

WE COULD change history

IMAGINE A WORLD without hate

For 100 years the Anti-Defamation League has empowered millions to fight prejudice. Join us today.



Love, Not H8

Photo of DeafQueer Joseph JoJo Lopez of Las Cruces, NM. Photo by Adam Bouska.

More photos of DeafQueers and Allies against hate.



Hillary Clinton in Support of Marriage Equality

Video has English captions option.

Text for Blind/DeafBlind Visitors:


Chief Diversity Officer to meet with Faculty Senate

Announcement in Gallaudet’s Daily Digest:

Date and Time:
11 March 2013
4:00 PM – 4:30 PM

International Women’s Day

March 8 is International Women’s Day.  Learn more

Also check out: Celebrating 100 Years of International Women’s Day

Graphic credit: AECOM

Rochester, NY: “The T in LGBT: A Journey from Female to Male”

If you’re in Rochester, New York, don’t miss this presentation!

Safe Zone: Ally Training
“The T in LGBT: A Personal Journey from Female to Male”

An Interview with Mae Sellers

Check out this interview in the Washington Blade with artist Mae Sellers.

Gallaudet University

McCaskill Addresses Gallaudet Campus Community

[Chief Diversity Officer Dr. Angela McCaskill issued the following statement shortly after attending a Deaf LGBT event on campus.]

March 1, 2013

Dear Campus Community,

McCaskill Attends Deaf LGBT Event

“Awkward” and “uncomfortable” were what most people reported feeling upon seeing Gallaudet’s Chief Diversity Officer, Dr. Angela McCaskill, at the Deaf LGBT “The Unveiling: Community Needs Assessment Celebration” event that took place this evening at Gallaudet’s Ole Jim. This is the first Deaf LGBT-related community event McCaskill has reportedly attended since her reinstatement in January.


Flyer text:

TRANS*  I recently adopted the term “trans*” (with the asterisk) in my writing. I think you should, too. If it’s new to you, let me help clarify. Trans* is one word for a variety of identities that are incredibly diverse, but share one simple, common denominator: a trans* person is not your traditional cisgender wo/man.  Beyond that, there is a lot of variation.

LGBT Families of Color: Facts at a Glance

The intersection of inequitable laws, social stigma, and race-based discrimination collide in ways that create significant challenges for LGBT families of color. Children of color are more likely to be raised by de facto parents like grandparents, aunts, and other relatives, and are more likely to be raised by LGBT parents. Fact SheetAs a result, antiquated laws that only protect children with legal ties to their parents have a disproportionately negative impact on children being raised in LGBT families of color.

LGBT Families of Color: Facts at a Glance examines these families and the ways children living in LGBT families of color face disproportionate economic struggles, unequal access to health care, and dual burdens of social stigma and discrimination. It also provides a set of key recommendations for addressing these harms and inequities.

The brief, which is based on content from All Children Matter: How Legal and Social Inequalities Hurt LGBT Families, was produced in partnership with the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), Unid@s, the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA), and Fighting Injustice to Reach Equality (FIRE), an initiative of the Center for American Progress. Both reports were co-authored by the Movement Advancement Project (MAP), the Family Equality Council and the Center for American Progress.

Download the Fact Sheet

Source: Movement Advancement Project | Photo: Gil Foundation


Tips for Organizations

Alison Aubrecht of the Facundo Element offers some great tips and things to be mindful of for those who lead and participate in organizations. In ASL with subtitles.

Hurwitz Mentions LGBT Community in State of the University Address

On February 19, 2013, Gallaudet President T. Alan Hurwitz delivered a State of the University address to the Gallaudet community.  In his address titled, “Open the Gates Wide: Diversity and Inclusion at Gallaudet”, Hurwitz became the first sitting Gallaudet president to mention the LGBT community in a State of the University address.  Here’s what he had to say about our community:

Angela Davis: “The Indivisibility of Justice”

Internationally renowned author, educator and social justice activist, Dr. Angela Davis, spoke to a standing room only crowd at Gallaudet University’s Elstad Auditorium on Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2013.

Read article

Lavender Languages & Linguistics Conference

The 20th Lavender Languages & Linguistics Conference is taking place February 15 – 17, 2013 at American University in Washington, DC. Among the many workshops and presentations include:

First Person: I Am a Racist, Bigoted, Audist, Homophobe: Or “Why I Believe a Unified Dialogue Can Heal Our Community”

An Open Letter to the Gallaudet University Community

By Adam Bartley

The title of this writing may seem at odds with the Adam that many of you may know, but it is true. All this will be made clear in due course as I proceed with my thoughts on the need for Unified Dialogue to address LGBTQA students, faculty and staff concerns on campus. Let me first be clear at the outset on what I mean by Unified Dialogue.

Gender Grammar

Gender Grammer

Problem: “transgendered” (adjective)
Correction: transgender
Reason: Only adjectives that are derived from nouns and/or verbs (unlike transgender) end in “ed”.

First Person: Deaf Presence at the Creating Change Conference

By Connor Gillis

On January 23-27, Atlanta hosted the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force’s Creating Change Conference. Creating Change is the largest gathering of leaders in the LGBT social justice movement. More than 3,000 people come from all around the country to attend this conference.

Gallaudet University

Cancelled: Community Dialogue with Chief Diversity Officer

The community dialogue that was scheduled to take place this evening at Gallaudet with Chief Diversity Officer, Dr. Angela McCaskill, has been cancelled. McCaskill is reportedly out sick.  A new date has not yet been announced.



MUTE: “Hearing Your Voice for the First Time”

A poem by Raymond Luczak, from the book MUTE.

“In this clip, I recall what it was like to use my hearing aids when calling a prospective date for the first time. This happened back in the late 1980s, way before the Internet thing came along. The talented songwriter Seth Pennington performs his song “Want” as a guitar instrumental.” — Raymond Luczak


Text transcript for Blind/DeafBlind users:

[Note: This poem is formatted differently in the print version.]


When you called, I listened,
the line between us
taut, about to snap.
We were silent, our long distance
time ticking away.

I strained to understand
your utter- ances
with my hearing aids.

Who knew a voice
thick with want could sound so


You laughed nervously
at my weak one- liners.
My mind was stripped.

That night I dreamed
of you speaking

the timbre of your voice
sun-lit in my hands.


Gallaudet University

Community Dialogue with Chief Diversity Officer To Take Place

A date for a community dialogue between Gallaudet LGBTQ students and current Chief Diversity Officer, Dr. Angela McCaskill, who was reinstated in her position earlier this month, has finally been set. The dialogue will take place on the evening of February 5th on the Gallaudet campus. Consultants from the Washington Consulting Group have been hired to facilitate the discussion. If you are part of the Gallaudet LGBTQ community and would like to attend, please contact the Gallaudet LGBTQA Resource Center located in HMB N113 for the exact meeting time and location.

*** Update: This event has been cancelled. ***

UndocuQueers: Undocumented and Unafraid, Queer and Unashamed


Undocumented and unafraid

Queer and unashamed

“Because rising from injustice will only be realized when we can all proudly shout from the depths of our illuminated souls. Because the fire in our hearts burns stronger through love and self-worth. May we illuminate all shadows in the closet.” –Carlos

Planet DeafQueer

In the works…

Yes, we know.  We’ve been a bit MIA this month. Not to worry, we’ve got some articles and videos coming up. Keep your eyes peeled!


In Case Your Confused

In Case You’re Confused

In case you’re confused, this is not a white flag.


McCaskill: “I’ll Pray for Them”

According to a news article published today by NewsChannel 8 of Washington, D.C., Dr. Angela McCaskill is happy to be back at Gallaudet University serving in her role as Chief Diversity Officer.  After a three-month paid administrative leave, McCaskill says she felt welcomed back and does not feel nervous about her return.  The article fails to mention that the majority of the faculty, staff and students are away on winter break and are not expected to return to campus until January 22. 


Gallaudet Reinstates McCaskill as Chief Diversity Officer

We are extremely disappointed to learn that Dr. Angela McCaskill, who signed an anti-gay petition to bring marriage equality up for vote in Maryland, has been reinstated in her position at Gallaudet as Chief Diversity Officer.

The following was emailed to the Gallaudet campus community this morning on behalf of President T. Alan Hurwitz. Note that students and faculty are conveniently on winter break.  If anyone has further information about this situation that they would like to share (on or off record), please contact us at

Gallaudet Take Note: University Within Its Right to Fire Anti-Gay Administrator

As of this writing, the Chief Diversity Officer controversy at Gallaudet University remains unresolved. Will Dr. Angela McCaskill be terminated for signing a petition that was anti-gay in nature? Will she be reinstated or reassigned? Will the University settle the issue by granting the monetary settlement McCaskill seeks? At this time we can only speculate that negotiations between McCaskill’s attorney and Gallaudet continue to take place or have come to a standstill.

Deaf Equality - Love Unites

Supreme Court to Hear DOMA/Prop 8 Cases

Yay! We’ve been waiting for this…

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court decided it will hear DOMA and Proposition 8 cases. According to news reports, we should know their decisions on these cases by June.

The Supreme Court will furthermore have the opportunity to address, should they chose to, whether the Constitution guarantees same-sex couples the fundamental right to marry *nationwide*, putting this issue to rest once and for all.

We’re two steps closer to LGBT equality.


Dawn Ramos + Laurie Ovesen

Dawn Ramos (Deaf) and Laurie Ovesen (Hearing) met in Sacramento, California 14 years ago.  Dawn was Laurie’s ASL teacher and they began dating after the semester ended.  They fell in love and in 1998, the lovebirds tied the knot in Loomis, California. Dawn took on Laurie’s last name and they began a family together a few months after their wedding.  The couple have two children, Jack, age 13, and Meg, age 10, and run a canine boarding and daycare business in Maple Valley, Washington. 

Dare 2 Utter

Washington, DC: “Dare to Utter”

Want to make a difference? Want to learn how we can STOP domestic violence and sexual violence? Do you want to become an ally? Do you want to see what can we do to change and end this ugly vicious cycle of sexual/domestic violence?

Presents: DARE 2 UTTER! Come and listen to MONOLOGUES shared by college students about their experience with Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault.

John Meletse – DEAF PROUD HIV+ GAY

John Meletse is Deaf gay black man from South Africa.  He was the first black Deaf South African to publicly come out as gay. A year later he was the first Deaf South African to disclose his HIV status. He shares his story in this video.  Video courtesy Open Society Foundations.

AIDS Quilt Panel

Blast from the Past: 1996 AIDS Quilt Memorial

[Photo of Drago Renteria comforting Hope Manley in front of her Dad’s quilt panel at the 1996 AIDS Quilt Memorial.]

October 1996, Washington, D.C.: The AIDS Memorial Quilt covered the entire National Mall. This would be the last year the Quilt was dispayed in its entirety. It was also the first time that a display of the Quilt had been visited by an American president. – Quilt History

Deaf AIDS Awareness

Names of Deaf Lost to AIDS

World AIDS Day is always an emotional day for us. We have lost so many amazing people in our community to AIDS. We often wonder what our community would be like if they were still with us.

Each year on this day, we update the Names of Deaf Lost to AIDS website. Adding new names to this list is always heart wrenching.

Jada Pinkett-Smith with Willow

Right on, Jada!

[Photo: Actress Jada Pinkett-Smith with daughter, Willow.]

Jada Pinkett-Smith is aware of the critics that stick up their noses at the way she raises her daughter, Willow. Willow cuts, dyes and styles her hair as she pleases, a fact that bothers many who feel girls shouldn’t have that much control over their appearance at such a young age.

Jada decided to address the criticism in a Facebook post: