I am profoundly deaf and New Zealand Sign Language is my first and unique language. I am also myself gay and proud.
What issues are most important to you?
The issue is that there is a lack of connection between the deaf and hearing LGBT communities. We, as the Deaf Rainbow LGBT group, are trying to work on building connections and partnerships with the hearing LGBT community. We are looking at integrating the deaf LGBT community with the hearing LGBT community to form a whole.
Are you associated with any change organisations?
At the moment I am associated with the Deaf Rainbow LGBT group. Actually, this group was only established early in 2016. It is a group of deaf LBGT people that work on planning events, presentations and advocacy campaigns for the deaf LGBT community.
In 2017, what change would you most like to see?
I would like both the deaf and hearing LGBT communities to build connections, and I would like to share our unique language and culture with the hearing LGBT community. The hearing LGBT community is very small – so is our deaf LGBT community!
What achievement are you most proud of?
Making my voice heard and bringing the attention of the media following an incident that occurred at Auckland University during a fire drill early in 2016. It prompted Deaf Action New Zealand to launch a petition to make visual fire alarms mandatory in New Zealand.
Who inspires you?
I must say that my mum inspires me, because she is an excellent role model and always stands up for me regardless.
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