I saw an article a friend shared on Facebook:
"Nyle DiMarco’s Activism Is Dangerous For The Deaf Community"
This author is deaf in a hearing family and was mainstreamed in public school and can speak "the predominant language of this country". Well y'all know that's my upbringing too, I'm the only deaf (or deafblind if you want to get specific) in my family, I grew up oral and mainstreamed and didn't learn ASL until I was 12 years old. (You can read my Letter to Parents of Deaf Children for more details.)
This article irked me in so many ways...
Let me break it down into bits to respond to:
Someone who only uses ASL, like Nyle, can’t interact with society without help from others.
Whoa! Really? Are we that dysfunctional? There are other means of communication, pen and paper, texting, snapping a picture of the menu and showing the server, and so on and on. I know plenty of Deaf people who use ASL that can speak, but prefer not to.
I’m reminded of my deafness every second of every day.
Really? Because I don't give my Deafness a second thought. Like you said, "my deafness is one part of who I am", my deafblindness is a part of who I am, but I don't dwell on it and I'm not "reminded" of it. Sure I struggle to understand and lipread or interact with the hearing world, but I don't go "oh gee I'm deaf", "it's so hard being deaf", or "I wish I was hearing".
Deaf Culture extremists will respond to this essay in full force; they’re well-known for their intimidation and manipulation tactics
I could say the same for the Alexander Graham Bell Foundation and it's members, which by the way, Ms. Goldstein is a Board Member of AGB. So I can pretty much state her views are biased and in support of her organization. I've heard countless stories of intimidation and manipulation by AGB on Deaf families and individuals and they're not open-minded as they state they are. (Again read my Letter for more details).
We're deaf in different ways, and that should be Ok
Yes we are, there's the deaf (small d) and the Deaf (Capital D). Oral deaf vs. ASL Deaf. We've been at odds for a very long time and probably won't end any time soon.
Yet Ms. Goldstein doesn't want to celebrate the Deaf difference and instead belittle Nyle's accomplishment, just like her organization AGB has done all along.
Yet, despite him saying he wants to use his celebrity for good, he’s dividing instead of bridging
Have you not seen the celebrations around the world? The Deaf community and even the deaf community (those not part of AGB mind you) have been cheering for Nyle for a long time now.
We, Deaf, will not hide in the shadows anymore and are proud, damn proud of Nyle DiMarco. We are showing the general public (aka the hearing world), that the Deaf can do whatever we want!