Thursday 18 October 2018

This YouTuber is teaching people LGBTQ+ terms in sign language for Pride Month

YouTuber Andy Pleasants, who is Deaf and bisexual, is teaching the basics of LGBTQ+ terms in American Sign Language.

(Andy Pleasants/@pleasantandy)
(Andy Pleasants/@pleasantandy)

By Emily Chudy, Press Association

Pride Month takes place in June worldwide, celebrating the LGBTQ+ community.

Andy Pleasants, a Deaf bisexual YouTuber from New York, has taken to Twitter to teach people inclusive sign language that they can use at Pride events.

The signs, which are in American Sign Language (ASL), include terms such as gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender.

He started the thread, which now has over 2,000 retweets, by Tweeting: “Happy Pride Month from your favourite Deaf Bi guy!”

Pleasants said: “I’m a YouTuber with my channel Andy Signs where I cover songs in ASL, talk about Deaf culture, craniofacial differences, disabilities, and mental health.

“Basically I use YouTube as a platform to be myself, spread awareness, and share my story.”

Pleasants said: “I’m mostly pleased with the response the videos been getting. It warms my heart to see someone say they learned a new sign, especially one for their sexuality and/or gender that they can use in their daily life!

“Of course there’s always going to be negative ignorant people who respond as well, mostly to dig at my looks or sexuality, but all I know is that I’m confident and happy and I can only hope they can learn to grow, mature, and appreciate all of humanity’s diverse differences.”

Pleasants said that Pride events could be more inclusive to the Deaf community by having interpreters at events and concerts.

He said: “I’ve only been to one Pride event and that was last year. I had such a blast! There’s just so much radiant confidence and pride in who everyone is, full of rainbows and smiles, I mean who couldn’t love that?

“Something that can be done to be more inclusive to Deaf people number one, have interpreters at the event. Also maybe have a booth for LGBTQ+ signs and Deaf Pride, or, and this would just be awesome, on stage when they do concerts for Pride, I would LOVE to see a Deaf artist/performer sign on stage alongside them.

“More Deaf artists need recognition, and what’s a better place of inclusivity than a Pride event?”

Pleasants said: “Not only do I think it’s important to be aware of Deaf people within LGBTQ+, but also those with facial differences like I do!

“Very rarely if ever do we see those who look like us out there confident in their sexuality and/or gender.

“I think it’s time we change that and bring more visibility to the diversity within LGBTQ+, to give everyone a chance to see themselves represented and spreading love.”

Press Association

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editors Choice

Also in World News