12 years old kid. I do not even know what happiness meant after that.
I was just a stupid 12 years old kid. I made very poor choices. I came from a broken home. I did not have many friends. Yes, I am a returned citizen for 21 years and counting. When I was 28 years old, I decided to make major changes by enrolling at a local community college. So, I would change my life around and refused to be a career criminal.
I asked myself one night, if I did not change my life around, I would be a loser. My life is not over; Yet, I survived on $20-$40 a month for years and years. The stigma branded on my forehead where I had to walk through hatred and bullying in Deaf community. I wanted to prove myself and found higher learning/education that had saved me and gave me self-worth that makes me feel like a valuable person at least. I graduated with three university degrees with honors at the same time.
I was 21 years old. That was when I began my Deaf returned citizen journey through painful times.
I try to keep my life fiercely private, decides to break my silence and tell the bizarre background to the case. Fighting back tears, I write to give my statement over rumormongers of my life—and I am not doing this just because I wanted to be superhero. I want to stop the pain cycle repeated—in this society, it is senseless “destroying” of my soul for 30+ years.
I lock with my thoughts at this moment, should I say—the pathetic excuse for somebody to send me death threats and harassing who had been attempting to destroy my life from everything. I refuse to let someone limit my life struggles. I have been forced to live in their shadows, radicalizing in my own thinking is a lifetime struggle. The picture below was when I finally graduated from community college.
I spent years and years pained in cave, if I say anything to friends I thought to be trusted, I assume would make its way concerning among them would only fault was not to resist truth, submitting to the sufferance of the cyber-bullying from Deaf people. I, Jason “JT” Tozier, with the power of truth conferred in me that I shall command my freedom to be seen.
My faults will be always judged by the failure of people with higher authority I was chosen by choice to trust with my life, I wish to present to you my defense in writing. The number of defamation has been recorded which has been made against me in the past and present, there shall be a cave of light that I choose to say that I refute the accusations through the words that reflect my conscience, in front of rightful justice. In the end, I had been left seriously wounded to prevent me from flung open the doors of truth.
From that day on, I have lived solely to exalt my mistakes and deserve a better life. We are all guilty, no matter what. Hiding the facts is often nothing more than the other face of madness. There is no justice without facts and with a role that has played without forgiveness in the criminal justice system.
Yet, today I still get stigmatized, no matter what how much hatred I get today and tomorrow. I am a returned citizen, so I do not need somebody to tell me to live by the labels. Please do not judge me on my past. Do not judge me on what you think I am. Please judge me on my achievements. I believe in second chances by rebuilding my life around and overcoming major stereotypes.
I am blessed to be an advocate, lecturer, and liaison that I will be always grateful for.
Copyright @ 2017 Jason Tozier
This text may be freely copied in its entirely only, including this copyright message.
One thought on “The Stigma of a Deaf Returned Citizen”
JT, this is beautiful. I appreciated your courage and truth. There are lots of positive people out there that would support you. It’s time to close your front door to negative bullying stagmitizing under appreciated people. It’s NOT WORTH YOUR TIME to fight and change them. You are the only one that’s changing. Not them. Focus on you and start investing your own energies to achieve your goals. That’s most important. Well done, JT!!! Hugs and your deaf sista! -Tracey xo
Professor Tracey D. Salaway, MFA Art & Media Design Program in the Art, Communication, Theatre Department Gallaudet University Washburn Arts Center Building (WAB)- 119 800 Florida Avenue, NE Washington, DC VP: 202-250-2155 P: 202-651-5480