by Maggie Walker
(Nashville, TN, USA)
The person I find most interesting in ASL history is Heather Whitestone.
Women in general are so often put down because of looks, body figures, and other nonsense. It’s even worse for deaf women. Not only do they already have all the regular weight from society on their shoulders, but hearing people often assume that deaf people can not do the same things as them because they are deaf. For instance, I have a friend who is hard of hearing, and he wanted to go to the music store with his friend. He told his friend and his friend laughed. He asked what was so funny. His friend told him that deaf people don’t go to the music store. It is so difficult for deaf people to be understood. That’s what I absolutely love about Heather Whitestone. She defied all odds and stereotypes of the deaf culture in general and ran as Miss America. The even better part is she won! I may be hearing, but I will not conform to hearing culture and put down the deaf.