It can be pretty difficult to find some place other than a bar to find and connect with other LGBT people, especially if you don’t live in a city big enough to have an organized LGBT community of some sort.
And it can be even more difficult for LGBT people with special circumstances — like being deaf.
Michael Bamford, founder of Frisky Factory LLC, said he learned that lesson after meeting Martin Richie, a fashion model from Austin who was on the Oxygen Channel reality show “The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency,” who talked about how his own community — the community of deaf LGBT people — was socially isolated.
So Bamfield has created FriskyHands.com, a website that “allows the gay deaf community (in all English-speaking countries) and their supporters to interact through a ‘Live Chat’ function, as well as e-mail,” according to a press release about the new site.
The statement says the site, intended to launch this spring, will soon add a video-conferencing function that “will allow the deaf and hearing populations to directly communicate without sign language, in English.” It will also include a search function that allows users to find men or women with common interests in a specific geographical area.”
I checked this morning and the site still has the “coming soon” announcement up, with a place for you to sign up to receive e-mail updates on its progress.
I don’t know exactly when Bamford will have the site up and running full blast, but I do know that if it’s done right, it could be a lifeline for people who have for too long been left lonely, isolated and, as Bamford said, left behind.