Life for a minority within a minority was explored in Manila on Saturday at a conference called Deaf Talks: A Forum for Deaf LGBTs on Human Rights and HIV.
At the conference, founder of Deaf Rainbow Philippines addressed the 30 or so attendees using sign language and an interpreter. He said the biggest problem for deaf LGBT people such as him is lack of employment. ‘With no job, no money. Then difficult to find partner. Even on Facebook, gay men with normal hearing ridicule us. Because of broken grammar,’ he said.
David Michael, editor of The Philippines’ Outrage Magazine, said that there was a lack of appropriate HIV prevention materials for deaf LGBT people.
Germaine Trittle Leonin from Rainbow Rights Project, one of the organisers of the conference, said: ‘We organized Deaf Talks as our contribution to the deaf LGBTs so that hopefully they learn about human rights laws and use this knowledge to advance and protect their human rights both as LGBTs and as persons with disabilities. We should work with them as equal partners in developing society and not treat them as helpless recipients of assistance from others.’