A Deaf community is like a cluster of grapes..all individuals delicious and precious by self, linked to one other by our being Deaf and using sign language and linked through the Deafhood vine thus linked to other Deaf communities elsewhere on the same vine.
There are also other vines with different kinds of grapes…like Deaf communities in other countries with different signed languages….we are however all in same vineyard.
Those who are Deaf but do not use sign language, or are not comfortable being Deaf…yes they are human…but Deafhood suggests they have a different identity…and that is of individual types of fruit or vegetable like cabbage…alone….yet precious in its own way.
Some people claim they are being rejected by the grapes, but in reality, they are simply different, most likely determined by Oralism. Yet we know that, by choice, they can become juicy grapes if they are willing to accept their new essence, their Deaf self.
But to expect them to be part of the grapevine as cabbages without becoming grapes…will be too weighty on the vine… hard on the grapes and on the cabbage itself.
(A very special thank you to LaRonda Zupp for collaborating on the photo development for this post.)