Tom was born deaf and grew up in a deaf family and the deaf world. He has a keen interest in visual music, deaf sign language interpreting (relay interpreting) and other projects in the field of Dutch Sign Language.
He is married to André Uittenbogert. Along with Michel van Hese (Public Relations) and André Uittenbogert (secretary and treasurer) as president of the foundation Gay Deaf on Tour he wants to make a difference for this target group (all deaf and hearing impaired Gay-, Lesbian-, Bisexual-, Transsexual/transgender).
His goal is to strengthen the contacts within this group, so they can and will be more visible within the deaf and hearing impaired LBTG world and without.
Michel van Hese
Michel is a thirty-nine-year-old deaf Dutchman and lives in Gran Canaria. He has organized festivals for five years on Gran Canaria.
For five years he has been the face of the international Gay Pride for deaf people in Gran Canaria. In May 2010, during the annual International Gay Pride Maspalomas (the South of Gran Canaria).
He thought: why not also for Deaf people? He immediately began to spread information via videos on the Internet. He already had a website for a tour on Gran Canaria and also made a website dedicated to the Gay Pride for the deaf. There were various media and TV reporters who wanted to interview him, a deaf organizer, with so many international deaf people visiting?
In 2011, he organized the first Gay Pride Deaf. The first Gay Pride Deaf that he organized in 2011 was only visible for deaf people. For the second Gay Pride Deaf that he organized he tried to get their own show at the 'hearing' Gay Pride. But the organization were not interested. On the third Gay Pride Deaf he succeeded because he had already built a name for himself. He got his own day in the program of the 'hearing' Gay Pride Parade to show his show to the audience. Nevertheless, it remained difficult to get the municipality to agree to the compensation of an interpreter.
Thanks to the efforts of Dutch friends he managed to get a Deaf and hearing interpreter team from Netherlands. He was very grateful! The best moment during the Gay Pride Deaf was when he came up as a presenter on stage. That was such a great success! As he stood there, he saw thousands of enthusiastic people. His goal is to show hearing people that deaf people also have their own talents and also to make it possible for deaf people to talk together in international sign and share their experiences.
André Uittenbogert is 48 years old. He is married to Tom Uittenbogert and is an interpreter in Dutch sign language.
Like Tom he has a keen interest in sign language, visual music and the deaf community in general. His dream is to organize festivals together with Tom and Michel, to make is possible for deaf people to meet each other and share their experiences.
He also believes that deaf people should be able to participate with hearing people all over the world. He hopes to improve the visibility of deaf people so there will be a greater understanding.
He believes everyone should be treated equally and hopes the organization of festivals will provide a platform for deaf and hearing people to meet and interact with each other.