HOW-TO: LGBTQIA2S+ Clubs at Deaf Schools/Programs


June 13, 2023

With rising anti-trans legislation in states across the U.S., it is critical to ensure deaf queer youth have space at their school/program for the deaf. LGBTQIA2S+ clubs create a community for queer students to be who they are and to allow students to organize around issues that impact them in their schools/programs and communities. Does your school/program have one but need more support or guidance? Do you want to set up a club at your school/program? Panelists will share stories about how they established their club, why it is important to have a club, their challenges and things they’re proud of. 

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Lizzie is looking at the camera.As the Director of Engagement, Lizzie supervises the Communications Team and is committed to ensuring the NAD's transparency by communicating updates and sharing resources. Before arriving at the NAD in 2013, Lizzie worked at Gallaudet University, first as a Digital Video Specialist and then as a Video Senior Producer. She has a Bachelor’s degree from the School of Film and Animation at the Rochester Institute of Technology and a Master’s Degree from the Administration and Supervision program at Gallaudet University. Lizzie was born and raised in California before moving out east in 1999 and now lives in Austin, Texas with her wife, two kids, cat and senior pup.
Dan is looking at the camera.Dan is an ASL teacher at the Model Secondary School for the Deaf (MSSD). Before working at MSSD, Dan worked at The Learning Center for the Deaf (TLC) in Massachusetts and at the Delaware School for the Deaf (DSD). Dan has a bachelor's degree in ASL and Deaf Studies from Gallaudet University and he received his master’s in Deaf Education from Boston University. Currently, he is enrolled at Gallaudet University to study for an Education Specialist degree. Dan learned about the Genders and Sexualities Alliance (GSA) while working at TLC as a teacher at Walden School (WS). Walden School did not have a GSA, so with support, Dan established GSA at the Walden School. The Learning Center for the Deaf joined Boston Pride Parade in 2019 along with the GSA students! After Dan moved to MSSD, he learned that they had an LGBTIQA+ club – Dan volunteered to help and with the students’ support, their name changed to GSA. As of June 2022, MSSD had its first internal pride parade! It is now a new tradition at MSSD to have a Pride parade. The GSA at MSSD is one of the largest organizations on campus with about 35 members!
Bee is looking at the camera.Bee, M.Ed., CSE, CDI, Founder and owner of jooux (Deaf Sexual Wellness Center) is an AASECT certified sexuality educator, with more than a decade of experience in providing caring, contentious, thoughtful sexual health and education services, and professional training for educators and interpreters. Experiencing their own barriers to sexual education and healthcare motivated them to get their masters in Human Sexuality Education. Bee strives to listen, respond and collaborate with communities, seeking to eliminate the health disparities within the Deaf, DeafBlind, DeafDisabled, Hard of Hearing, and Late-Deafened communities. Bee is passionate about education and access to sexual healthcare education. By providing sexual health education for people of all ages, professional training, and promoting affirming and comprehensive sexuality education in Deaf K-12 academic programs. They are a firm believer that advocacy and education cannot happen without genuine connections and dismantling systems of oppression.
Sophie is looking at the camera.Sophie is a high school composition teacher at the Illinois School for the Deaf, along with being the co-founder of the Rainbow Club (named by the student members). The Rainbow Club just wrapped up its second year at ISD! As an LGBT teacher, Rainbow Club was founded with the hopes of educating staff and students alike, as well as creating a sense of community for the students on campus. Sophie is excited to have the opportunity to meet with other educators and club founders!
Darren is looking at the camera.Darren is a high school social studies teacher, cross country and track & field head coach, and advisor for Genders & Sexualities Alliance (GSA) at the California School for the Deaf, Riverside (CSDR). He was a Maryland native before moving to Southern California to attend Cal State Northridge (CSUN) where he graduated with a bachelor's degree in Political Science, a master's degree in Deaf Education, and received teaching credentials in Deaf Education. Discovered later in his life, Darren has a big passion for long distance running and he has ran six full marathons and many half marathons, 10ks and 5ks. LGBT+ representation in sports is important to him. He ran Pride 5ks and showed his medals to his students. Last spring, Darren raced at CSDR 5k and waved a Progressive Pride flag at the podium to raise awareness. Inspired by students’ popular demand, he helped establish GSA at CSDR back in 2017.

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