Below is an anonymous response to Dena of "Going Deaf" after she expressed confusion over the growing hostility in DeafRead because of the new Deaf/deaf aggregator formed. As a late-deafened person experiencing a progressive hearing loss, Dena seems to feel pulled in two directions.
"Excuse me! We are not responsible for your choices. It is you who decide, not us. Your attitude sucks. You blame on the Deaf community for making your choice, which you decide to pick Deaf village and Deaf Read. We do not want any people who demand us to be responsible for your choosing and we must behave THE WAY you want us to. It is your responsible as a human being to observe, to recognize, to work, and to accept there are some situations that are going on in the Deaf community that involves all kinds of Deaf. Kim, People who feel that they are fence sitters are the sign of helplessness. They do not learn how to embrace different main community and sub communities with different ideologies. People need to rethink how this approach this situation about finding Good solutions or too lazy find better solutions, blames others, and demand them to be responsible for your actions?"
Here, an angry vlogger protests the new DeafVillage aggregator's guideline #5, that says only captioned or transcribed vlogs will be accepted on the aggregator. He asserts that DeafVillage creators are trying to create an atmosphere of "apathy" or trying to drive the ASL Deaf away.
DeafVillage's Mike McConnell responds
"Deaf Village's requirement that submission of vlogs be captioned/subtitled or included transcripts is not intended to create "apathy towards ASL" or "drive ASL vloggers away" but rather to create greater inclusiveness *FOR ALL*. Not all can sign or understand sign very well and having, especially, a subtitled video can help create a continued interest for those who want to learn sign language someday. Or cued speech. Or whatever. It's the message that people want to hear, watch or read about."
As a late-deafened person I can appreciate Dena's position. She's not deaf or hearing. Neither am I. Recently I read an article about becoming true to oneself. Sometimes we're forced into circumstances that don't fit our inner selves. I think maybe that's the case with the late-deafened. My inner self is a hearing person. That's how I was born and how I lived during my formative years. But I've been going deaf much longer than the time I spent hearing perfectly, and so over the years I have come to view the world differently-- as a deaf person.
I love ASL. But it's not my first language. I am both hearing and deaf; neither hearing nor deaf--however you want to look at it. I can hear a little and sign a little. I can't hear well or sign well. I believe when Dena said, "Please don't make me choose," she meant she's not ready to choose. Maybe she'll never be ready to choose. Why should any of us have to choose? Many of you who hear or who were born Deaf cannot possibly understand this place we're at on the fence. It's a BIG fence, like the Great Wall of China. There are lots of people walking it every day, just like me. I can't possibly understand where you are all at either. The purpose of my blog is to be there for others on the fence-- people like Dena.
I am thrilled with DeafVillage's decision to promote captioning through their new guideline #5. For once I feel included at ALL times. I wonder if you can possibly understand how very rare that is for someone like me? Probably the only other time I feel totally included is once a year at my SWC Convention for a few days, when I meet up with other late-deafened people who understand what it's like to be both hearing and deaf; neither hearing nor deaf; on the fence. The rest of the time I am outside the circle of communication, even within my own family.
I didn't understand the point of Vlogger Mike's vlog. If he isn't interested in DeafVillage, why complain about their guidelines? Very confusing, since he's perfectly capable of transcribing his vlogs. I can only conclude he doesn't give a rat's ass about people like me.
It felt strange to be lectured about embracing communities with different ideologies by the anonymous name-caller above, while at the same time that person disregarded and disrespected my personal identity and ideology.
Name-calling isn't usually an effective way to resolve problems, win people over or get them to see things your way. All in all I'd say your negative energy tends to weigh DeafRead down. It's too bad because there are really some great Deaf bloggers I enjoy.
I'm on the fence cuz that's where I am. That's just me-- in a different place from some of you. I'm happy to stay there for now, enjoying both DeafRead and DeafVillage.