Updated: May 14
If you want your ass kissed when you’re being told shit about discrimination, this is not up your alley and you are why we have this compilation of personal rants.
People say all the time, why don’t you write more personally on the blog?
As Bilbo Baggins would say, “I don't know more than half of you half as well as I should like, and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.”
I write about shit that triggers me which is hard to do. I try to keep my emotions out of it so that I can be the solution and use my platform as a place to share all the information I wish I had before.
Easier said than done. I am the type to tell people to suck my fucking dick from the back.
Emotions don’t invalidate facts. Facts don’t invalidate emotions. Our toxic patriarchy has created an environment where quantity goes before quality so that money can go before people. We don’t have conflict resolution because we are repressed as a society in order to be controlled.
My research can be summed up by intersectionality: the idea that our society is based on a system that uses overlapping discrimination to allow a select few to benefit off of the majority's struggles.
Jumping from thought to thought, it does not all seem related on the surface. Stay with me here. It is all connected. We just have to put the pieces together as we realize their meaning.
Properties of Sound:
Information from the Sound Properties and The Waveform View chapter of Dan Hosken’s An Introduction to Music Technology. Check out noladeafchild.com/reading-list or noladeafchild.com/online-classes-list to find resources for more info.
Sound involves three components: generation, propagation, and reception. Which is amusing to me as my friend Eyona Nelson was just telling me that my messages have to be palatable in order to be received.
There are corresponding perceptual and physical properties of sound: pitch/frequency, loudness/amplitude, timbre/waveform, articulation/amplitude envelope, rhythm/transient patterns. What happens in the world is not what happens in our minds.
Dan Hosken says on page 19, “In the act of perception, our ears change the physical properties of sound in various ways, such as emphasizing certain frequencies, and our brain analyzes the perceived sound properties in relation to perceptions it has encountered before, such as identifying a sound as the harmonic interval of a perfect fifth played on a piano. In addition, the ear can be fooled. There are a variety of aural illusions in which the brain’s perception of sound differs from the sound’s actual physical properties.”
The idea that people have different thresholds of hearing is a case study for how we all perceive the world differently.
Got my hearing aids 2 years ago. The first time I put on my hearing aids I was overwhelmed with sensory overload and not understanding the new information I'm processing. It was fun experiencing everything new in a thrilling way, but it was still hard to communicate at first.
The joy came when I heard new sounds for the first time like the wind, the rain, and my favorite songs in stereo. The joy came as I learned about how my hearing aids work, as I began to understand that the hearing aids can't give me back my hearing, but it can convert sounds into frequencies my brain can understand. This is why the assistive device is useful because with just hearing aids the frequencies are muddled with everything else.
So with my Roger Select I have an omnidirectional mic that allows me to hear specific things. I can also connect it to my phone, TV, any computer, or most audio interfaces. It's pretty cool because before it was very hard for me to talk on the phone or hear anything in conditions where I cannot control the sound. Without my hearing aids, especially in group settings, I am mostly just trying to figure out what the fuck is happening which puts me in my head.
I believe sound is a natural balance that hearing tech gives me access to. Not having hearing tech is a struggle to communicate with people that do not sign, but is otherwise simply another way of existing.
I don't like most videos of Deaf people hearing for the first time because I believe they are often ableist as fuck. But between overthinking a video of me hearing Music Never Stopped for the first time and lyrics to Sound of Silence, I do think that Deaf people experience the world and perceive frequencies through an intimate mind body connection that can be easily understood through sign.
Taking off hearing aids at the end of the day feels better than taking off a bra, heels, or anything else I’ve ever had to wear for 12+ hours at a time. I love being able to fully experience sound more than anything in the world. I have loved being able to tune in with my hearing aids after years of speech therapy, surgical procedures, trying/being told I can’t use hearing aids, and not knowing what is happening in social situations.
But no one tells you about the sensory overload. No one talks about how it feels like you have q tips in your ears all day/how uncomfortable it is. When I try to speak up about how much I go through to communicate with people I feel isolated by, I feel like it doesn’t matter because the people who can actually hear don’t want to listen. Don’t want to learn.
I wish the world had access to sign, because I wish people would communicate with me in a way that is comfortable for me too after everything I go through to talk to them.
“BuT yOu DoNt LoOk DeAf"
"BuT yOu CaN sPeAk"
"BuT yOu KnOw WhAt We SaY sOmEtImEs”
Watch this: https://youtu.be/Q3eMg55igZ8
If you take Deaf issues seriously, I appreciate your basic sense of humanity. Everyone else, 🖕!
Do you have access to a DAW? You can simulate my hearing loss by applying the following to an entire song... First cut out the sound above the following intensities and frequencies: 15 dB at 250 Hz, 20 dB at 500 Hz, 10 dB at 1000 Hz, 5 dB at 2000 Hz, 10 dB at 3000 Hz, 15 dB at 4000 Hz, 20 dB at 6000 Hz, and 35 dB at 8000 Hz (I prefer graphic EQ as hearing loss isn’t linear). Then pan your mix all the way to the right and bring your gain down half way.
If you can understand how much I miss out on, please use this experience to make an effort to communicate with me or any other Deaf person. Relying on body language, emotions, and lip reading along with any sound or vibration I can process makes me an emotional person because I am using those emotions to figure out what the fuck is happening. My mind just interprets information differently.
I pretty much cannot hear a third of the alphabet even with hearing aids. Had a magical moment realizing more specifically what I can and cannot hear. So you know what I understand, some sounds I can't hear at all are f, s, th, k, and sometimes I also have problems with z, v, p, soft g, and h.
The rest I can tell the noise is happening. It is just hard to make it out because it is only through my right ear. Because my Deafness is gained at various decibels across frequencies, sometimes yelling does help and sometimes it doesn't matter because the Deaf gain is so high I still can't hear.
The lexicalized sign for I love you is my favorite sign. #ILY means to represent I, love, and you simultaneously. Love is what connects you and I. My name is Alexis and I am short. To shorten a sign means to lexicalize it. For those who don’t know, #(insert word) means to fingerspell if you are ever reading an English notation of ASL.
I got this tattooed on me to remember to love myself and my body. For Deaf pride. To give my ass a hand. To wear my heart on my sleeve. To show others love. To communicate. I also really love the fact that the Illuminati sign is ASL for vagina upside down. I call it the backwards ass pussy.
Watch Your Tone- How I Perceive You:
Where is the Deaf Pride Month at? Every month is Speech and Hearing Month. How about a Sign Language Month? Better Speech and Hearing Month is like having a Straight Pride Parade fuck all ya’ll still.
PSA: if you use a disability as an insult, I will not kindly explain to you the problem. I will go off on your ignorant ass.
Body language and facial expressions are essential to sign language. Deaf people have a very hard time getting interpretation for live events. If I see you making fun of sign which is discrimination we will have words and fuck you.
If you say things like fall on deaf ears and you legit don't understand why this is offensive please read through what I share. Hearing people don't get to have an opinion on Deafness ever. Learn sign! If I see you call Deaf/HOH people impaired I'll go off. I don’t fucking care who you are!
An aggressive reminder to not use Deafness as an insult in any form including hoh/tone deaf/impairment slurs. Stop using Deafness as an insult. Not knowing any better isn't an excuse. Being Deaf does not make you dumb just like being hearing doesn't make you smart.
Would you stay in a relationship with someone who used your name or identity as a negative word for an insult or to explain that something is wrong as part of their everyday vernacular? Someone who when you said it makes me feel bad that you use me as an example of something being messed up told you to just be less yourself/get over it. No? Then why do you expect me to do the same about Deafness?
Medical community, Deaf people complaining about audism in medicine are no different than us complaining about how much we pay for healthcare. It’s about systemic issues and how individuals make up the system. Who else should Deaf people talk to about their healthcare if not their healthcare providers?
Let's talk about intersectionality via the Deaf experience. Please watch this video on giving birth while Deaf and Deaf culture: https://youtu.be/Y45RbeeGf9Y.
Systemic issues in discrimination are intertwined. Violence against one of us is violence against all of us. Please research or ask me about Deaf identity, Deaf culture, the indigenous Deaf, history of sign, audism, and Civil Rights Movement.
White people isolate the Deaf. If it weren't for people of color we wouldn't have sign language, protection under ADA, or Deaf Communities. Ableism is a product of white privilege. Deaf pride is inclusion. Same construct for adaptability goes for ethnicity. White people colonize and appropriate so there is no white culture only white privilege. Protect people of color. Protect culture. Reject dehumanization.
I am really starting to hate hearing society. Specifically white people.
Unapologetically Regressive- Examples of Audism:
Black Civil Rights Deaf History in a nutshell:
Deaf isolation itself is the fact that hearing society is based on oralism vs Deaf culture is based on sign equity. Basically sign languages have been around for all human existence and before colonialism most people used sign intertwined with speech. Then in like 1800 some French dudes that were murdering, raping, and enslaving the fuck out of Native America was like let's include their signs with French, and thus ASL was born.
Relevant side story, audism began with Aristotle. He used to teach you can only learn through hearing so Deaf people were incapable of functioning in society. Well Alexander Graham Bell became a thing when he made the phone, right? Only he wasn't trying to make a phone. He wanted to make hearing aids, but he failed. But even though he didn't make what he wanted, the same radio frequencies used from phones are how hearing aids work so without him we wouldn't have modern hearing tech for the Deaf. But Bell was also really into Aristotle's theories on audism and he basically started the oralist movement and eradicated sign from our mainstream society when he got big on the phone.
It was around the same time we have heightened Black isolation in the Deaf community as discrimination is intersectional therefore so is equality. Too many Deaf whites had taken pointers from Susan B Anthony and fought for white equality over Black lives and Deaf equality. And so ever since then Deaf people have not only had language deprivation in our society we also don't have equitable access to barriers of entry in education, legal aid, healthcare, life. Especially social situations.
What access we do have Black Deaf people achieved for us off the Civil Rights Movement through the ADA, as Black people not only fought for people of color but Deaf rights and people of all abilities/backgrounds. Even still hearing society has labelled us as impaired, and dismisses our capabilities to even give us remote opportunities for equal rights, which is a form of discrimination itself. It is only due to Black and Indigenous Culture, Protests, and History that Deaf have been given any opportunity to succeed. So from the Deaf perspective, Black Lives Matter. Black Lives know true equality. Black Lives know peace. Same can't be said for white people.
Why is there Black ASL? Many reasons that are all connected. First of all, look at the origins of sign. Sign (like everything else about humanity) goes back to Africa. Everything about language has been transformed due to geographical, cultural, political influences since the first human. White people were kidnapping/enslaving/how the fuck do you deduce the horrors to one word (you can't) people of color 100 years to 200 years and even after ASL/BSL/FSL/any modern white sign was formed depending on where we are at in our colonization timeline (side thought: even if colonize is meant to summarize, it whitewashes atrocities through cognitive dissonance).
Alright now back that ass up in the timeline. Pre Aristotle most communities integrated sign with verbal communication (Deaf people were even given special treatment as massage therapists cause baby we know how to read ya body). But then this ableist ass bitch probably couldn't get a happy ending. He taught some bull shit about audism that white people used as a way to eradicate sign from mainstream society and marginalize Deaf people. And that's how Deaf isolation became normalized.
Moving forward from ancient times through the middle ages to modern times these ass holes began to get bigger and bigger on this empire bull shit, which led to using discrimination (mostly racism) as a means for power and control that has yet to end. And white dudes who love playing devil's advocate about issues that don't impact them decided ArIsToTle was a genius. Dude thought the world revolved around Earth and we wanna place our faith on how Deaf people learn in him, but not from Deaf people yet that's not ableist? Okay. I see a "logical" pattern in our society.
Anyway for a thousand years there sign was not really taught or encouraged in what became white countries as it continued to flourish among Black and Indigenous communities all the way until they were impacted by colonialism. Then white people were like damn we need to figure out what the fuck they are saying so we can fuck their shit up a little more for ourselves. After that some of em were like oh we care about our white Deaf people now so let's educate them in sign.
So we get some Deaf schools and "human rights organizations''. The National Association of the Deaf has claimed to be the oldest human rights org in the country (since 1880), but they only ever fought for white Deaf up until after the Civil Rights Movement (only doing the bare minimum of what they were required to do to support Black Deaf). Black Deaf isolation has sooo many fucking layers. And then between Civil Rights and white people initially realizing this is a cool thing we can use to connect with each other personally, AGB advocated for oralism and basically erased sign education (except for like 2 schools at that time).
Any progress that had been made for white Deaf people between 1800s and 1900s was stifled up until Black Deaf people pushed for all human rights. Which was essentially a small percentage of white people in charge creating stipulations to make legal loopholes for what they have been doing. Okay now that you got the separation of ASL from other signs, history of sign, how we became an audist society, the use of limiting information as a means of control, advocacy, let's put that into context of Black American Sign (which is something I do not have the honor of knowing).
Because of the amount of dialects there are in sign and even signs there are in a dialect, it is impossible to learn and share every word even if someone wants to try to do that. But obviously Africans and African American people only ever taught white people what they want us to know of their sign and they are careful who they teach, if anyone willfully. So we have evolved from all of these countries that people were stolen from another specific signed language that is not only used to help people escaping white supremacy, but also used to retain ownership from culture through language that may be imitated, but can never be copied.
Contemporary Deaf Racism:
We are finally seeing Deafness on tv and in movies but why are we only seeing white Deaf? Wish we could see some Black sign, but at the same time wouldn't want white people appropriating that too. It's cool we are starting to see more Deaf representation, but it's like we can barely count the non white Deaf whereas white Deaf get rep in Weeds, Greys Anatomy, Station 19, Feel the Beat, Dark, Sesame Street, Stranger Things, Glee, Switched at Birth, and that's just what I've seen all white Deaf.
There are many Deaf talented people of color but they aren't mainstream. Society doesn't know their names, faces, or stories. Deaf people make up 15% of the population. Where is the representation? Deaf people have fought tooth and nail to get access but what access there is is primarily only for white Deaf. It's awful. And even still Deaf people don't even get cast as leads. We have to recognize the disparity in opportunities. It is discrimination to look the other way.
Ooh and other white Deafs I've seen... The Society, Hush, The Shape of Water... I don't see Black Deaf culture or sign representation. Even though we say there's Black Deaf actors when are they showing Deaf/hoh accessibility/cultural issues or signing? It's as if Deaf people have to be what hearing people want them to be portrayed as just to get the role. In The Magicians they got white women signing (to look culturally diverse?), but they don't ever let you look at a whole conversation with the ability to see signs. It's as if since it's not considered entertainment for hearing people, let's tease the Deaf by letting them know we have the ability to script sign, but make it so they can't see it since it isn't normalized. What the fuck bull shit is that?!
Only white people are ever like, “Speak English! This is America!” to Deaf people... Uh bitch why don't you sign in our American Sign Language then instead of speaking a language from England? And for the racist Deafs, this concept is why there's Black ASL. Intersectionality dismantles the bricks of oppression.
And before you come at with me with some of that it's selfish and insensitive to bring up Deaf people in terms of Black isolation fuckery (I've been told that before about Corona): Deaf people make up 5-15% of the world's population while America only makes up 5%. So if you think Deaf issues don't matter, statistically you should think our national issues matter potentially three times less which doesn't make sense because one contains part of the other and vice versa. And using the fact that a majority of a community is harming a minority as a way to dismiss their specific struggle is only evidence that an issue is systemic.
Black Deaf isolation isn't only just from white individuals, but from the ableist stigmas perpetuated by cultural assimilation in a white privileged based society. Black Deaf people have been fucked over so bad as a community they have to keep a language to themselves that others don't have access to just to be able to process it. The thing about intersectionality is making sure no one is left behind. In the Deaf community, there's plenty of white privilege. The NAD makes sure of that. Who is looking out for Black Deaf people? Black Lives Matter. Check out the National Black Deaf Association to learn more or for anyone you know impacted by racism and ableism.
Enablement of Racism:
If I see one more if they just weren't doing something illegal post.... They shot Breonna Taylor in her bed while she was asleep mother fuckers! These laws only exist to protect white supremacy otherwise white people would have practiced what we preach and not colonize the fuck out of- which is a cognitively dissonant way of saying rape, murder, and enslave- entire countries. If you're worried about upholding the words that keep the same people profiting and not about the words that protect entire communities please don't act like you give a damn about the law you are just racist.
Slavery never ended. The 13th amendment maintained its legality. Criminalization is a tool used to make billions off of detainees. The U.S. has 5% of the world's population and 25% of its prisoners. 2010 incarceration stats: white people- 450/100,000; Black people 2,306 per 100,000. The U.S. mainly imprisons the lower class. Black Indigenous People of Color are an easy target for police. The difference between night in jail, death, or home is money divided by skin color.