Deaf Rave founder Troi Lee features in Facebook film about people using social media to drive positive change
- Credit: Abbie Trayler-Smith
A Hoxton man who set up a rave for deaf clubbers has been featured in a Facebook video about people who use social media to drive positive social change.
Troi Lee, who was born profoundly deaf after his twin brother’s umbilical cord wrapped around his neck and starved him of oxygen, founded Deaf Rave, a quarterly event, 15 years ago.
He came up with the idea after he and a group of his friends were refused entry to a Leicester Square club on account of the fact they were deaf.
“Communication issues were clearly visible between my friend and the door man so I immediately went over to try and solve the problem,” remembers Troi.
“I asked what was going on, and why my friends were not going inside the club, and the security man, with a big smirk on his face, said: ‘You lot are deaf and therefore you ain’t coming in’.
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“That made me fume and I said to myself this was totally wrong and bang out of order. I’ve never ever experienced this in my life and I have been going to raves and clubs since I was 17. Pure stigma – that’s when Deaf Rave was born.”
Troi’s story has been documented along with five others for the series Beyond The Screen, to highlight inspirational people who have connected on the Facebook platform to take action in real life.
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Deaf raves differ from the usual by the fact staff can sign, DJs and MCs are deaf, the stage is lit so party-goers can see people signing, and most importantly by the booming bass which is turned up to full pelt – so loud it can be physically felt.
Being able to share videos online has been instrumental in helping Troi build his events brand and find other “deafies” who share his love of music and partying.
His quarterly event has attracted people from all over the world, from Australia and Japan to the US.
Some 700 people turned up to the sold-out first event at International Student House in Great Portland Street – one of the few venues which would host a deaf party.
“It’s mad actually, because when we started, everything was word of mouth or flyers or emails,” said Troi. “Now with Facebook and social media we can reach so many more people.
“And that’s not just to promote our events - the group gives us a place to support and encourage each other in the deaf community.”