Doubly Marginalized: Deaf and …
Ocean happens to write from the perspective of someone who is both Deaf and Pagan–but it’s not just about Paganism or religion. Ocean raises many issues that I think will be familiar to anyone who has ever been doubly marginalized: deaf and gay; a deaf woman; a hard of hearing Latino; a Native American with a cochlear implant; etc. Any one who has multiple identities knows first hand that having multiple identities can be immensely rewarding but also very challenging. A deaf person who also is Black may confront both racism within the general D/deaf community and also audism within the general Black community.
In [her/his?] recent blog essay, “On Being Deaf … and Pagan,” Ocean says:
“The point is, I am a Deaf Pagan…and I am proud to identify myself as such. And yes, my blogs are going to reflect that. I cannot and will not separate the two. They both make up an integral part of the person I am, and I will not apologize for that fact.
“But time and time again…I struggle to find that “middle ground” where I can happily merge both cultures to please myself, while at the same time meeting the comfort levels of others. It’s not an easy process.”
As it happens, I have learned a little bit about Paganism and find it an interesting (though very poorly understood) religion. I happen to know some Pagans. That’s what initially drew me to Ocean’s post. But upon reading it, I realized that it touches upon themes of interest to a much wider audience than just deaf Pagans, or people interested in deafness or Paganism.
I look forward to seeing more blog posts from Ocean on the experiences of being both Deaf and Pagan. I think many readers will strongly relate–and not just the people who happen to share the exact same two “labels.” http://deafpagan.com/2007/01/16/on-being-deafand-pagan/
[Want to be a guest blogger at ReunifyGally? Your essay should be related in some way to healing and reunifying the Gallaudet community after the protests. I also welcome essays on diversity within the deaf/Deaf/deaf-blind/hard of hearing community, including the personal stories of people who have been doubly or triply “marginalized” as a person who has multiple racial, cultural, religious, sexual orientation, or other identities. If interested, please submit your essays to me at ashettle (@) patriot.net … remove the spaces and parentheses around the at @ sign.]