History and CommunityNational Deaf LGBTQ Awareness Week
Happy National Deaf LGBTQ Awareness Week! Just a few decades ago, LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Trans, and Queer) communities could not live as openly as they do today without fear of harassment. Back then, members of these communities had a few places such as bars where they could socialize and feel safe. However, these establishments were subjected to frequent harassment by police. But thanks to the fearless bravery of Black (and white), trans and bisexual womxn, many more LGBTQ+ community members can now show the world that they’re proud to be who they are!
Stonewall and the Fight for LGBTQ+ Equality
In the early hours of June 28th, 1969, police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay club in Greenwich Village of New York City. Marsha P. Johnson, a black, trans, and bisexual drag queen, and Sylvia Riveria, a latinx, trans, woman, decided they’d had enough. They actively resisted police arrest, and sparked a riot. Bar patrons, staff, and neighborhood residents rallied together in the streets to protest unfair policing. They demanded that LGBTQ+ establishments be left alone so that people could be open about their sexual orientation without fear of arrest.
The unrest lasted until July 3rd, and by that time activists mobilized to create even more safe spaces in the community. Within 6 months, the movement was organized into a full-fledged political campaign that aimed to promote rights for gays and lesbians. One year later, bisexual activist Brenda Howard, otherwise known as “The Mother of Pride,” organized the first Gay Pride Week and the Christopher Street Liberation Day parade. This event became the modern-day New York City Pride March – which would eventually expand into Pride month.
Learn More About LGBTQ+ History
LGBTQ+ History Month, celebrated in October, pays homage to the many activists that have pushed for the community’s civil rights. During this month, we also recognize the historic impacts that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals have made locally, nationally, and internationally. This celebration is the brainchild of Missouri educator, Rodney Wilson, who believed that it is important to teach people about the contributions of the community on our social, legal and political life. To learn and share more about the contributions of this colorful community, check out the sources below:
- Library of Congress
- Anti-Defamation League LGBTQ Pride Month and Education Resources
- Youth.gov “June is LGBT Pride Month”
- Today.com “20 kid’s picture books about LGBTQ tolerance to celebrate Pride”
- GLAAD’s ten tips on “How to Be an Ally and Friend”
- Stone Butch Blues
- GLAAD’s Celebrate LTBTQ History Month
- LGBTQ History Month Website
Online Groups and Communities for Deaf LGBTQIA and Allies
There are a significant number of folks with intersectional LGBGTQ+ identities in the Deaf, DeafBlind, DeafDisabled and Hard of Hearing communities. If you are looking for safe online spaces to explore your intersectional identity or connect with friends and allies, consider joining these Facebook groups.
*Be sure to read the rules and conditions carefully before requesting to join (RTJ), and as always, be respectful.
- DeafBlind LGBT (RTJ)
- ASL/CODA/Deafblind/LGBT New Friends
- DEAF GAY WORLD
- Deaf Pride of Color
- Deaf Queer Social
- Deaf Lgbtiqa
- Deaf Gay Around The World
- Color Me Lesbian
- Deaf LGBT
- DeafTrans/DivaWorld (RTJ)
- Deaf Rainbow of Faith
- Deaf LGBTS
- Gallaudet GLBTQA
- BLeGIT* Queer Member Section of RID Interpreters
- LGBT Deaf POSITIVE!
- THE DEAF RAINBOW WORLD
- Deaf Queer San Francisco (RTJ)
- Minnesota Deaf Queers
- Orlando Rainbow Society – Deaf and hearing LGBT and Allies
- Deaf LGBT 🏳️🌈
- Northwest Rainbow Alliance of the Deaf [NWRAD]
- Arizona Rainbow Alliance of the Deaf (AZRAD)
- Deaf Gay Napoleon Club of New England
- Houston Deaf Rainbow Alliance
- Chicago Deaf Rainbow Alliance
Although civil rights for the LGBTQ+ community have come a long way, there is still much work to be done. Online communities are an excellent way for people to connect in a safe space. Not everyone respects these boundaries. Be sure to support one another by being respectful by being anti-racist, anti-transphobic, anti-homophobic, and anti-bullying.