Doubly Marginalized: Deaf and …

Posted on 17 January 2007. Filed under: Diversity, Religious Diversity |

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.”

 [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 (@)  … remove the spaces and parentheses around the at @ sign.]


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2 Responses to “Doubly Marginalized: Deaf and …”

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WOW. This is nice…thank you for mentioning my blog, and your kind compliments.

I think you’ve made some beautiful points, and they are important ones to think about. I agree, while my blog focused on my own experience of being Deaf and Pagan, I’d like to think the message can be just as important to anyone who struggles with those multiple identities (and even those who don’t.)

Curious Wind said it well when she commented on my blog – Double Marginalization can indeed be a bitch….but it can also be a blessing.

The trick is in finding the positive rewards so the scales can tip more to the blessing side.

Oh, and by the way…the last time I checked, I was still female. 😉

I’m an autistic sexual abuse survivor, and sometimes when reading stuff about sexual abuse I feel they don’t recognize that sexual abuse might not be the only reason the person is/feels different. Less so the other way around, because although most autistics weren’t sexually abused, almost all have been victimized, as in being discriominated against. And sexual abuse is more common than autism, so there’s more sexually abused people in autism groups than vice versa. Even ignoring the fact that autistics may be more likely to be sexually abused.
Maybe the comparison’s not that goodr, because sexual abuse is a bad thing, but it still affects who I am to some extent.

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