Labels and I have never really mixed. Growing up, I was never the "in" crowd, but I wasn't an outcast either. Now that I have been diagnosed with significant hearing loss, things have started to get more difficult, not easier.
I grew up H/hearing but had many problems due to ear infections, which led to ear tubes, drainage, and scaring. I think this contributed largely to my hearing loss. In my Junior year of high school, they offered American Sign Language as a foreign language, so I took it and loved every minute of it. I was top of my class for both years in ASL and went on to continue my studies at Seattle Central Community College.
There is where I learned about Deaf culture and what the label of "deaf" meant. It seemed clear then. Today I sit and think about it constantly. I'm very proficient in ASL, to the point where when I get angry, I can't even speak anymore, I just sign. I have "deaf speak" among people that I know. But yet I fear that since I grew up H/hearing, I will always be seen as hearing. I know I'm not Deaf. But am I deaf? I can talk. I can't hear some things, and need aids. What makes me hearing? I've immersed myself in culture so deep, then found out I've got significant loss. Am I to suffer the same fate as those with CI's?
Please send me your comments, suggestions, anything. I really want to know what you guys have to say about my situation. Thanks.