About Deaf Queers:
According to a recent study, nearly two-thirds of LGBT students were slapped with derogatory slurs and inhumane labels, and reported feeling unsafe in schools because of their sexual orientation, and more than a third also felt unsafe because of their gender expression. There was an increase in depression, anxiety, and teen suicide. The movement known as the “It Gets Better” began only recently as an attempt to send a positive message of hope and love to the youth of the gay community. (GLSEN, 2011)
“Just as homosexual might be ‘invisible’ in the Deaf community, deafness might be ’invisible’ in the homosexual community.” (Zanga, 2005)
When Masa was a teenager, he didn’t have a role model or mentor who was deaf and gay or someone he could identify with. He needed advice and support from someone older, wiser, and capable of understand his struggle. After growing up with a full adventurous life, he strives to ensure that today’s youth are never ALONE from naturally being who they are. He believes that you need to be yourself.
For his senior high prom, Masa went with his boyfriend at the time and by doing so inspired a teacher to come out and bring his partner to prom as well. By being yourself, you help liberate others and you end up creating outstanding leaders, role models, and examples for those who need and deserve them. He intends to better unify and strengthen the Deaf LGBT community. It’s time that we get together.
Masa Nakama is a culturally deaf, gay, and hapa. (Hapa is a Hawaiian language term used to describe a person of mixed racial heritage with partial roots in Asian and/or Pacific Islander ancestry.) He’s a native southern California, grew up in mainstream program until his sophomore year, he transferred to California School for the Deaf, Riverside (CSDR). Masa opened his eyes with deaf identity after he transferred to CSDR and disclosure his gay identity during his senior year. His long journey at Gallaudet University and graduated with Psychology degree in Bachelor of and School Counseling degree in Master of Arts.
Masa is a co-founder of ColorFest, member of Rainbow Alliance of the Deaf and currently Miss RAD 2011 – 2013, and work closely with the founder of Deaf Queer Kaleidoscope (DQKal). He is a currently ColorFEST director and also he’s working on establishing a program for deaf LGBT youth. His passion and dream is to work with deaf LGBT youth and guide them that they can achieve their future.
Presented in ASL with English Interpretation. If you need additional accommodations, please contact Matthew Gilsbach @ firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible.