by Brenda Dawe
One important thing to know about Deaf culture is that no matter how long, nor how close a hearing person is involved with the Deaf, he/she will always be an “Inside-outsider.” Many mainstreamed deaf people who later find their way to the cultural community circle feel the same way. It’s all about that shared life experience. My Deaf husband (45 years) is my best friend, but there are times when I would take a back seat to his peer connections. I’ve learned in some instances not to make him choose.
Brenda, thank you for mentioning this. I do think this is something that is important to know about Deaf culture and the Deaf community. I’ve kind of kept from mentioning it, though, because I thought it might scare some ASL students out of involving themselves with the Deaf community.
I just want all ASL students to know that Deaf people do not “look down” on you for wanting to be involved. The only expectation that you can’t have is that you will be considered “one of them.” Normally only people born into the Deaf community are seen that way. It is, like Brenda said, about a shared life experience. That is what the Deaf culture and community thrive on. 🙂
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