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I’d be lying if I said that growing up deaf wasn’t a challenge.
It bothered me that I had to pay more attention in class to understand my teachers and felt excluded in group outings because I missed out on much of the conversation.
But what really irked me was having to deal with ignorance from people who assumed that deaf people had other intellectual or emotional challenges.
I not only had to think about when and how to tell people I was deaf, but also when to disclose my sexual orientation.
Fortunately, my experiences in college and afterward allowed me to gain confidence in both of these aspects of my life.
I took comfort, though, in the knowledge that many other people identified as part of one minority group or another, and that I wasn’t alone.People who are straight or hearing have significantly more options.” One question that comes up often: Is it harder to be a gay man in the deaf community or deaf in the gay community?To be honest, I feel more comfortable being gay in the deaf community.“Queer-deaf culture values greater acceptance of divergent ideas and people,” my friend Robb Dooling explains.“We’re the ‘rainbow sheep of the family.’ We have two reasons instead of just one to stick together.” But there are downsides, too—most noticeably how small the community is.