Being Deaf Is My Goal

What is the goal? Freedom.
How do I get it? besides recognizing
I already have it? reframe.
How do I know I’m free? decide.

Being Deaf is my goal. Thats what freedom always meant. Money is part of it, but only insofar as it is a fruit of freedom, and serves my freedom. I can have money and be free. Freedom to do what I want! What do I want? To Be Deaf. What is being Deaf?

Well, I’m 39 and I’m only just now learning. Thanks to internet. and my brother for giving me ‘permission’ to allow identification with a stigmatized minority, special interest group, pluralism, multiculturalism, bilingualism. To embrace the truth of myself is to be free. Audism kept me away from Deaf peers, Deaf mentors, Deaf culture, and Deaf language. Church, school, parents, everybody was against me. Yes I want to be free. I got free with real estate. but with market crash Ive been forced into employment and the reminders that I dont fit into the hearing world which disregards my minority linguistic status. I am a victim of epistemic violence. Denied my right to be me. Church school and parents everyone telling me I was born a sinner and being Deaf was bad. I couldn’t trick or treat, watch TV, listen to radio, date, go to dances, have a car, get an apartment, quit college… Every act of independence I made from quitting McDonalds, to proceeding with my academic career on my terms, to quitting hearing aids, to being an entrepreneur has been judged as wrong.

I am done with the hearing world. I am going to continue to do what I do. Art + music was just one expression of the essence of Being Deaf. Real estate was a way I could finance that. But the ‘that’ was simply time to be me, time to be alone, without the stress of hearing people. To do what I do, is to Be Deaf. Call me what you want, put me on probation, fire me, fine me, arrest me , incarcerate me, and generally disdain me, but at least I know why you do it, because I know who I am.

Your machines and genes can’t fix me cuz I aint broke. If everyone did sign but you could only listen + speak, you’d be the disabled one. Disability is a social issue, not a medical profiteering, exploitation of cultural linguistic minority. Yes I am angry. Yes I am militant. So now my reaction to your genocide is judged as wrong, too? Your linguistic, colonistic oppression shall be exposed, and all Deaf/HOH will be allowed and given sign language and association with Deaf peers + Deaf mentors.

Not listening is not wrong. Do you think I am wrong for Being Deaf?

barefoot runner, deafhood advocate, holographic projection, off-grid aspirant
david@brotheryellow.com

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About David Jonsson

barefoot runner, deafhood advocate, holographic projection, off-grid aspirant david@brotheryellow.com
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5 comments
Monica
Monica

A good friend of mine, who happens to be deaf, showed me a new world that I could be a part of, if I wanted to. I learned that this was not the end, but the beginning. I learned ASL from him.

Diane White
Diane White

I read yours, Alex .. I have no problem with your reply to David. It makes sense.. however they have no right to force us for not who we are that is the whole point.. I dont like Audism and never hate hearing people that s it.. I came from hearing families who doesnt know the truth cuz they were lied to by AGBELL and Medical.. That s all to it. LOL what if Deaf world turns around that hearing people cannot live without us? There are many times when being Deaf is to our advantage. So forth, they are stupid to think we are worse off being Deaf :)

Alex
Alex

Always keep your foot on the ground outside of a mud puddle because you simply never know how deep the mud puddle might be. That's a great way of saying that. I've seen a lot of folks on Facebook identify themselves as deaf militants and I cringe. I don't want to waste my time fighting the hearing world. I simply want to understand and be understood and live my life as I want to. Everything else is just gravy. Thanks again.

Alex
Alex

I agree for the most part. As a profoundly HoH person who works in law firms in D.C., I fully understand the utter frustration of being forced to be someone I am not. I would like to live in a world where I can be gainfully employed and not feel like I constantly have to modify my behavior so THEY feel comfortable with my communication abilities. I would like to not see in my reviews that I am "awkward." (No YOU are. I'm normal.) I dislike hearing aids and I only wear them when I really have to. As an HoH person I can benefit from them, but I only wear them when I really must use my residual hearing to understand what is being said. I just plain dislike the whole concept of altering who I am to fit the needs of others and yet I understand that's just life sometimes. I prefer sign lanugage and would use it all the time except for the fact that I am the only familly member who is deaf and I pretty much live in a world of full of hearing folks besides my deaf friends. But then there's the other side of the coin. The deaf community places demands upon me to conform as well. From the time I was young, I've loved musical instruments. I pretty much taught myself how to play guitar and can even tune it by touch. Don't have dreams of being a rock star anymore, but music is still a huge part of my life and it gives me a lot of joy. It doesn't make me better than other deaf (or hearing) who don't do that, it's just a part of me. When I was around deaf people full time I was told several times that I shouldn't be doing that. At one point, I was told I shouldn't even try to communicate with hearing folks. While my heart is with the deaf community, I also can't ignore the fact that the moment you define yourself as apart from others, you begin your own exclusionary process. My current inclination is to identify more with the deaf because that's how society treats me, but I am aware of the deaf communty's demands of conformity. I also dislike the use of the term "deaf militant." To me a militant means you are willing to take up arms against those who have done you wrong. As a pacifist by nature, that rubs me the wrong way. In spite of everything and their dunderheaded ways, I still love my hearing family and many of the hearing people I know through music. Just thought you could benefit from another POV. I agree with you for the most part, I just have a different slant on it. While my heart is with the deaf community, I am not interested in rejecting hearing folks because they don't know sign or making the ignorant ones adhere to my preferences. Life is too short. For a long time I rejected both sides, but as I get older I find the FTW attitude doesn't get you anywhere. These days I just accept that I have more in common with the deaf community. In a world of circles and diamonds, I am oval circle. I seem more like one more than the other, but I'm not a perfect fit in either. So thanks for posting that. I'm not really looking to do battle on the subject. Been there, done that. I'm not an audist and nor am I beaten down by the "slave mentality." I am my own person and I always will be. I hope this makes sense, but I can fully understand if it doesn't. :^)

ridor9th
ridor9th

Alex, I'm like that. Some people would address me as militant but really, I am not like that. Like I told friends several times in the past, we can't live without hearing people. We have to co-exist, even love and all that stuff. But as a minority group, we must remind myself not to trust them completely. Always keep your foot on the ground outside of a mud puddle because you simply never know how deep the mud puddle might be. R-