glbtq: an encyclopedia of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender & queer culture
social sciences
special features
about glbtq


   member name
   Forgot Your Password?  
Not a Member Yet?  

  Advertising Opportunities
  Permissions & Licensing
  Terms of Service
  Privacy Policy





social sciences

Alpha Index:  A-B  C-F  G-K  L-Q  R-S  T-Z

Subjects:  A-E  F-L  M-Z

Deaf Culture  
page: 1  2  

As early as the 1970s, Deaf gay men and lesbians were in the forefront of the gay liberation movement. Ann Silver, a Jewish Deaf dyke, was part of the development of lesbian feminism as a political identity. She was the only Deaf member of the influential radical dyke group the Furies.

In 1973, the Rainbow Deaf Society was formed to protect the rights and interests of Deaf gays. By the early 2000s, RDS has twenty-four chapters across the U.S. and Canada. The group sponsors a semi-annual conference, along with a variety of other networking services.

Sponsor Message.

There are many other Deaf gay organizations across the United States, many linked with the Rainbow Alliance for the Deaf. Regionally, Deaf Gays and Lesbians of the West (Deaf GLOW) and the Gay and Lesbian Association of the Deaf--East (GLADE) hold conferences every other year.

Many urban centers boast groups for Deaf queers. San Francisco's Deaf Gay and Lesbian Center, for example, offers counseling and advocacy services. Deaf gay men and lesbians who do not live in urban communities may access services and social connections through online organizations such as Deaf Lesbian Resources Online and the Deaf Queer Resource Center (DQRC).

DQRC is a national information center founded in 1995 by Dragonsani Renferia, a Deaf queer trans activist. Along with offering a website and resource lists, DQRC sponsors such discussion forums as DeafQueer Chat and the Point of View Café. Renferia, is also one of the major organizers behind Coming Together Newsletter, a national Deaf queer newspaper started in 1991, and its offshoot FLASH, a Deaf queer e-zine.

Deaf gay culture can also be found around the world in support groups from the Italian Silent Triangle and the Hong Kong Bauhinias Deaf Club, to the Greenbow of Ireland and the International Deaf Leather Association.

In 1993, the Deaf queer experience became more accessible to the hearing queer world with the publication of Eyes of Desire: A Deaf Gay and Lesbian Reader. Edited by Raymond Luczak, a prolific Deaf gay poet, playwright, and filmmaker, Eyes of Desire is filled with essays and memoirs written by those whose lives are the foundation of Deaf gay and lesbian culture. In 2005, Luczak began seeking submissions for another volume of Eyes of Desire.

Although Deaf queers face challenges--including social isolation, discrimination, and inaccessibility of information--both in the mainstream society and in the larger glbtq community, they bring to the diverse mix of queer culture a unique and valuable cultural identity.

Tina Gianoulis

  <previous page   page: 1  2    

Contact Us
Join the Discussion
Related Entries
More Entries by this contributor
A Bibliography on this Topic

Citation Information
More Entries about Social Sciences

   Related Entries
social sciences >> Overview:  Cultural Identities

A growing body of scholarly and other work on Cultural Identities challenges the "naturalness," and even the political necessity, of a unitary gay and lesbian identity.

social sciences >> Overview:  Disability Issues

Disabled queers not only face physical obstacles and the prejudices of the larger society, but also sometimes feel marginalized and isolated within the glbtq community.

social sciences >> Overview:  Marches on Washington

Marches on Washington in support of the rights of glbtq people have been a significant part of the modern movement for equality.

social sciences >> Human Rights Campaign (HRC)

The largest glbtq political organization in the United States, the Human Rights Campaign has emerged as the leading national organization representing glbtq concerns.

social sciences >> National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF)

The oldest continuously operating national glbtq interest group, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force has played a significant role in the development of the glbtq movement for equal rights.


Brune, Jim. "Deaf Gay Individuals: The Community and the Culture." Gallaudet University Website (November 18, 1996):

Deaf Lesbian Resource.

Deaf Queer Resource Center.

Friess, Steve. "Seen But Seldom Heard: Gay Deaf People." The Advocate Website (November 21, 2000):

Kane, Thomas. "Deaf Gay Men's Culture." The Deaf Way. Carol Erting, ed. Washington, D. C.: Gallaudet University Press, 1988. 483-85.

Luczak, Raymond, ed. Eyes of Desire: A Deaf Gay and Lesbian Reader. Boston: Alyson Press, 1993.

Moore, Matthew S., and Linda Levitan. For Hearing People Only: Answers to Some of the Most Commonly Asked Questions about the Deaf Community, Its Culture, and the "Deaf Reality." Rochester, N. Y.: Deaf Life Press, 1992.

Solomon, Andrew. "Defiantly Deaf." The New York Times Magazine (August 28, 1994): 38-43.


    Citation Information
    Author: Gianoulis, Tina  
    Entry Title: Deaf Culture  
    General Editor: Claude J. Summers  
    Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Transgender, and Queer Culture
    Publication Date: 2005  
    Date Last Updated October 20, 2006  
    Web Address  
    Publisher glbtq, Inc.
1130 West Adams
Chicago, IL   60607
    Today's Date  
    Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  
    Entry Copyright © 2005, glbtq, inc.  


This Entry Copyright © 2005, glbtq, inc. is produced by glbtq, Inc., 1130 West Adams Street, Chicago, IL   60607 glbtq™ and its logo are trademarks of glbtq, Inc.
This site and its contents Copyright © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  All Rights Reserved.
Your use of this site indicates that you accept its Terms of Service.