“Our hope is that the members of the LGBTQ deaf community recognize that they have allies in this struggle.”
A group of performers are attempting to gain rapper Macklemore’s attention with the release of a “Same Love” music video featuring actors using American Sign Language (ASL).
Macklemore and his producer, Ryan Lewis, originally released the track in 2012 in support of marriage equality. The song was recorded during Washington Referendum 74, which legalized same-sex marriages in Washington State. The song was so popular that it reached No. 11 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States.
Bobby Loeffler, one of the performers who helped produce the ASL video, said in an email that they created the video to show support for marriage equality and gender sensitivity in the LGBTQ deaf community.
“Our hope is that the members of the LGBTQ deaf community recognize that they have allies in this struggle that care about them, their families, and their rights,” he said.
The video was uploaded on YouTube Wednesday evening and gained 7,500 views the next day.
Russell Harvard, an Austin-based actor, stars in the clip. He plays a gay man who at first isn’t accepted by family members when he comes out. The video closely mirrors the original “Same Love” video, but instead uses deaf actors who incorporate ASL into their performances.
Harvard has appeared in many other YouTube ASL music videos. He’s a successful movie and TV actor—well known for his starring role in The Hammer—a film about the first deaf wrestler to win a National Collegiate Wrestling Championship.
The performers are now turning their attention to gaining as much exposure as they can. The video is being promoted with the hashtag #sameloveinasl, and viewers are encouraged to tweet at Macklemore, Ryan Lewis, and Mary Lambert, who provides vocals for the original song.
“We hope they recognize that they can and are impacting a population that may not necessarily have the ability to hear their music,” Loeffler said. “And that they can continue to impact the deaf community by incorporating ASL performers in their shows.”
Screenshot via YouTube/Same Love ASL Music Video
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