Usa Kenya film Entertainment short film Usa Kenya

WATCH: A deaf dancer makes a move in this gorgeous short starring a familiar face

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This week, April 15 – 21, marks National Deaf LGBTQ+ Awareness Week, a project launched by the Deaf Queer Resource Center to uplift, support, and bring greater visibility to these multiply marginalized communities.

Every day this week, Queerty will be spotlighting a short film that focuses on deaf, queer characters—all of which you can watch right now.When it comes to bringing deaf stories to the screen, we can’t overstate how important it is to actually have deaf talent involved, on-screen and off.Especially in the wake of CODA‘s Oscar-winning success, there seems to be a greater investment in creating space for these stories, but it only does so much good for the community if deaf talent are not welcomed to the table.Subscribe to our newsletter for your front-row seat to all things entertainment with a sprinkle of everything else queer.Of course, not unlike the ongoing effort to cast more LGBTQ+ performers in queer roles, it’s not always so black-and-white.

And while we’ve recently put the spotlight on short films that feature deaf actors (John McGinty in Sign, Ian Vasquez in Ode To Pablo), there’s also an argument to be made for hearing actors who use their platforms to amplify deaf-inclusive narratives—so long as they approach the work authentically.With that in mind, today’s short, Louder Than Words, happens to feature a familiar face: actor-singer-dancer Marty Lauter, perhaps best known as RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 15’s Marcia Marcia Marcia.As we know, Lauter is not deaf themself, but they beautifully portray a young, deaf dancer-in-training named Niall, learning American Sign Language for the role.Louder Than Words opens on Niall training for a dance recital with his friend Kenya (Apryl Wilson) when a young musician named Ansel (Luke Farley) barges in, guitar in hand.

Studio space is limited, and after an initial misunderstanding, the three agree to share a room so they can all get their practice in.Session after session, the three grow closer as the Ansel.

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