Four years ago the day before today, we were selected to give a play called The Deafhood Monologues written by Ella Mae Lentz held at Atlas Performing Arts Center, one of the oldest theaters in District of Columbia that night. It was special for all of us. I was very proud to be part of the cast—despite that I am from Portland, Oregon.
That night was truly special. I was a product of Tucker-Maxon Oral School in Portland, Oregon—every oral school for the Deaf proudly proclaims that it teaches its students how to speak. Every such school proudly advertises that it does not teach sign language, nor do its students use it. Every residential oral school has traditionally had a clandestine signing subculture.
It is far more difficult for this to occur in day schools, where students are shuttled between their families and school, which is why Alexander Graham Bell thought they were the best solution to the problem of educating Deaf students. His ideal was schools where there would be a single Deaf student in the midst of the hearing majority.
It goes without saying that he never considered Deaf children’s linguistic, social, or cognitive needs. Much less than their feelings.
Denial is the first law of healing. It is the first practical step toward getting rid of your mind the mistaken beliefs of a lifetime. The word, “deny” means to “declare not to be true that that appears true.” It is important that the first law of healing, the best way to get rid of negative beliefs from your mind and rid of toxic that eats up your body. Deaf community was taught to use self-hate when growing up in a society that is in a great deal of denial.
Self-hate is a disease and the truth is that the disease is that it is also self-inflicted. Deaf people inflict their own diseases upon themselves by their fears, resentments, hate, and belittlement. Self-hate in the Deaf community is probably the number one in the circle that it carry a gross injustice, which destroys our community, sabotages democracy and it is linked to many of our social problems.
The Deafhood Monologues changed my life. Self-hate is a form of darkness that flees in the presence of light and enlightenment. The Deafhood Monologues gathers up in a circle and used ASL as a breakthrough to stop politically correct society that Deaf people should not be oppressed.
It was part of healing for The Deafhood Monologues cast how to break trough self-hate from their childhood before discovering their true Deaf identity.
Copyright @ 2017 Jason Tozier
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