“Do you know Braille?” “Can you drive?” “Can you read?” “When you have sex, is it quiet?” “Do you need a wheelchair?” “You are too beautiful to be Deaf.” “Hold my hand, I will help you walk over there.” “I totally understand, my dog is deaf, too!” “Can you hear me?” What about now? Now?!”
“I am so sorry you are Deaf!”
I have lost count of how many people say they wish they could be Deaf.
There are various reasons why they would say that, like the scratching sound on the chalkboard or a loud baby cry.
However, not all people are cut out to be Deaf. You have to go through the difficult times to truly grasp what being Deaf is like.
Being Deaf is exhausting sometimes, since you have to encounter language barriers, ignorant people and feeling isolated in the hearing world.
Here are THE PROS:
Be a part of a rich and diverse culture that most people do not often experience.
Have the ability to be a part of both Deaf and hearing worlds.
Automatically have friends in the Deaf community that will stick around for the rest of your life.
Learn sign language.
Be bilingual in ASL and English, or even multilingual if your family converses in another language.
Be skillful at reading body language.
Learn to read at an accelerated rate and be an expert speller.
Have your class notes printed out ahead of time as you cannot write and watch the interpreter at the same time.
Be a better driver than hearing people because your peripheral vision is enhanced.
Have a deep and private conversation with someone else in sign language through a window, underwater, in a church or in a loud crowded place.
Will not be able to hear your baby wail 3557326 times a day.
Sleep through ANYTHING.
Can still ‘hear’ music through sign language and vibrations.
Be able to concentrate on a book, homework, work projects, etc without any distractions.
Get a front row seat at shows since that is where the interpreter is at.
Get discounts at certain parks/places just for being Deaf.
Here are THE CONS:
People believe that all Deaf people can speak, read lips fluently and/or want cochlear implants. They think cochlear implants and/or hearing aids ‘cure’ deafness. Click here to hear what cochlear implants sound like.
Always have to be on your best behavior, because you represent the Deaf community.
Be prayed over by an old lady holding your ears with her hands asking God to bless your ears.
Some people will see you as a disabled person that cannot function in life. Always be judged/oppressed by society.
People let you participate in activities but do not give you the chance to win.
Get a job interview but they never call back about a job even though you are a perfect match because they find out you are Deaf.
Be bullied in school when other kids mock you by signing.
Have a Jehovah’s Witness knock at your door to get you to join the deaf program at their church because someone told them you are Deaf. Privacy invasion.
Be the last person to laugh at a joke among hearing friends.
Feel like an outcast at hearing family events.
Some people try to take advantage of you because they think you are simple-minded.
Not all places obey the ADA law. Not all TV or online shows have closed captioning. Not all events are Deaf-friendly.
People still assume it is accurate to call you mute, deaf & dumb or hearing impaired. Mute, dumb or hearing impaired have a negative derogatory connotation. Please call us Deaf or HoH (hard of hearing). If you are not sure about which term to use, just ask us.
Once in a while, I will find myself wishing I could hear my daughter’s laughter. However, I am not cut out to be hearing. I cannot deal with constant background noise.
When I am chatting with a hearing person via sign language, that person often gets distracted by noises, interrupting our conversation. I do not want to hear gossip. I do not want to hear bad music.
Also, I prefer to communicate with my hands rather than use my voice.
Still think YOU are cut out to be Deaf?
Elizabeth is a Deaf mom lifestyle blogger over at Mommy Gone Tropical. She writes about navigating her life journey as a Deaf mom to a hearing child. She shares plenty of motherhood stories, her family’s adventures, product reviews, DIY tutorials, etc.
The Limping Chicken is the world's most popular Deaf blog, and is edited by Deaf journalist and filmmaker Charlie Swinbourne. Find out how to write for us by clicking here, how to follow us by clicking here, and read our disclaimer here.
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