The Rainbow Alliance of the Deaf (RAD) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization established in 1977. The purpose of this Alliance is to establish and maintain a society of Deaf GLBT to encourage and promote the educational, economical, and social welfare; to foster fellowship; to defend our rights; and advance our interests as Deaf GLBT citizens concerning social justice; to build up an organization in which all worthy members may participate in the discussion of practical problems and solutions related to their social welfare. RAD has over 20 chapters in the United States and Canada. 

Mission Statement

Our mission is to integrate, support, and serve the following:

• Social/Fellowship 
• Education 
• Leadership/Team-Building
• Visibility/Awareness
• Diversity
• Network
• Advocacy
​• Deaf Gay, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer – Deaf GLBTQ


History of NRSD - RAD

​The Rainbow Alliance began as a vision of Roy Parker, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. He wanted gays and lesbians from all over America to gather as new and old friends to become acquainted. He called a group of deaf friends together to establish an organization first known as National Rainbow Society of the Deaf (NRSD) which was later changed to Rainbow Alliance of the Deaf (RAD). Co-founders were: Roy Parker, Herbert Fradin (deceased), Michael Hagerty, Edward Schwartz (deceased), Guy Wonder, James Dunne, Richard Thrash (deceased) and Dick Hill. 

​NRSD was born April 30, 1977 as a nonprofit organization in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. The first convention was held at Oceanside Holiday Inn (now demolished and replaced by parking lots) and hosted by Coconut City Society of the Deaf (CCSD) (Ft. Lauderdale/Miami). There were 80 people (and one drag queen) in attendance. Herb Fradin became the first President, Mike Hagerty, the first Vice President, and Edward Schwartz, the first Secretary/Treasurer. Coconut City Society of the Deaf presented the bible and pen to used at every oath of our new officers. At the beginning we had 4 chapters and 4 delegates and 4 alternate delegates. They represented Empire Rainbow Alliance of the Deaf (ERAD) – New York City [Ed Schwartz and Guy Wonder] , Windy City Rainbow Society of the Deaf (WCRSD) – Chicago [Jim Dunne and Richard Thrash], Illinois, Sir II Detroit, Michigan [Mike Hagerty and Dick Hill] and Coconut city Society of the Deaf (CCSD) – Ft. Lauderdale/Miami , Florida [Herbert Fradin and Roy Parker]. 

​The convention was to be held annually in different places. It was decided that the second convention would be held in New York City with Empire Rainbow Alliance of the deaf as host in April 1978 and to be followed by Cleveland, Ohio in September 1979. The rest is history. In 1982, it was decided to change the name from NRSD to Rainbow Alliance of the Deaf (RAD) to include our Canadian brothers and sisters. It was also decided that the 1985 Convention in Washington, DC would be the last annual convention. 

​In 1987 we began our biennial convention in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida on RAD’s  Anniversary. In 1991 it was decided that we would change the wording convention to conference so that we would be eligible to receive grants and donations.

​The purpose of this alliance is to establish and maintain a society of Deaf Gays and Lesbians to encourage and promote the educational, economical, and social welfare; to foster fellowship; to defend our rights; and advocate our interests as Deaf Gay and Lesbian citizens concerning social justice; to build up an organization in which all worthy members may participate in the discussion of practical problems and solutions related to their social welfare. RAD has over twenty chapters in the United States and Canada.

Past RAD Presidents 

1977-1979 Herbert Fradin 
1979-1981 Herbert Fradin 
1981-1983 Harry Woosely, Jr. 
1983-1985 Ernest Hoffmann 
1985-1987 Ernest Hoffmann 
1987-1989 Brian McCarthy 
​1989-1991 Marlena Rosendahl 
1991-1993 Philip Rubin 
1993-1995 Michel Turgeon 
1995-1997 Michel Turgeon 
1997-1999 Scot A. Pott
1999-2001 Scot A. Pott
2001-2003 Lisa Furr
2003-2005 Bob Donaldson 
2005-2007 Bob Donaldson 
2007-2009 Larry Pike 
2009-2011 Larry Pike 
2011-2013 Larry Pike

2013-2015 Steven Schumacher

2015-2016 Greg Puhlmann

2016-2017 Henry Carter (Interim)