We all have our roles. Some people write. Some people protest. Some people are in front of the camera.

My role is the quiet dude in the back that is constantly plotting to destroy everything you hold dear that exploits the community I love.

That's my thing.

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My ultimate goal is not to be famous or praised or recognized for my work. I really don't care about all that.

My ultimate goal is for people to have a safe and healthy space for people to explore culture and create in a sustainable way that edifies their lives and pushes progress.

I want the result of my work to be a community and space that people enjoy, feel seen and confident in their self-worth and ability to color outside the lines.

That's what my success looks like.

@Are0h In the Tao Te Ching, there is a passage that can be translated, "Of a good leader, they will say, 'We did this ourselves!'" Not needing or wanting the fame is a good thing.
And yet...
There is power in personality. People identify with people, as much as with a cause. If they have someone that can point to, someone they can quote, someone they can identify with - it can help. So, while you don't seek the attention, please don't seek to escape it, either.

@Are0h I echo your sentiments, in that I prefer my work be praised, and myself ignored. But in the deaf community, I am praised for being among the first ever to write, draw and publish a graphic novel.

In a marginalized community that hasn't had much to crow about, you actually have more responsibility as a representative of the community.

And in my case, I am responsible for representing the deaf, because I am of the deaf and by the deaf community, I am myself.

@Gotterdammerung You know, I gotta hard disagree with the 'in a marginalized community that hasn't had much to crow about line'.

I think we have plenty to celebrate and appreciate. I think many of us want approval from certain social groups, and that's fine, but not getting that approval does not equate to not having much to 'crow about'.

Whether it gets recognized by certain groups or not, we still do great work.

That needs to be talked about more, not the need for approval.

@Are0h
Looks like you misunderstand. We do not have any recognition in the history books.

I am not talking about "getting approval from certain social groups."

I am talking about building pride from within, not appealing to others outside of the community. And the only way to do that is through representation, authentic role models.

Growing up, there were no deaf role models. None. Zippo. Rather than complaining about this sad state of affairs, I had to become one myself.

@Are0h It took me a long time to figure this out - that i have almost no inkling just how much others look up to me. I have to be reminded that over and over from the deaf community.

Instead of hiding behind my work, I must go out there and inspire others by visiting deaf institutions like schools and universities and clubs, showing them how they can achieve their dreams with tools and methods, something far more substantial than empty platitudes we inherited from the (hearing) White Man.

@Gotterdammerung Ok. That sounds like more of a subjective point, but that's cool.

Again, I don't see how this relates to anything I've said. I get you have your own personal journey, and I think that's amazing, but it's not really related to what I'm speaking about.

@Gotterdammerung

That's a lie. If that was the case, there wouldn't be so much effort into attempting re-write history books.

I don't see how this relates to response about 'in a marginalized community that hasn't had much to crow about'. As a person from a marginalized community, this is simply not true.

No one is disagreeing with you intentions to become a role model, so I don't see the point of saying this either.

@Are0h Ah i see the crux of your problem. You think I am speaking for you. I am not.

@Gotterdammerung Nope. I stated what you perceive as my 'problem' is.

The personal experiences you are sharing just aren't relevant to what I'm saying.

That's not to say they are not valuable. Obviously they are. Just not as response to the ideas I'm speaking about.

@Are0h alright let me restate my point: If my goal is for (deaf) people to "have a safe and healthy space for themselves to explore culture and create in a sustainable way that edifies their lives and pushes progress," I just can't publish books and turn down interview requests and speaking engagements, comfortable in my cubbyhole.

The only way the deaf can "enjoy and feel seen and confident in their self-worth" is to belong to a community that has authentic representatives.

@Are0h
They need tactile proof of success. Not conceptual. They need to see the deaf person representing them in public. They have been marginalized to the point that anything beyond the 4 senses is abstraction and not to be trusted.

Gotta go out and represent.

@Gotterdammerung Well, I do think there is something to be said about getting out there and finding each other, so I guess my main point of disagreement revolves around the nature of representation.

As we often see, the need for representation in certain spheres, let's take acting for example, is often exploited in ways that don't benefit the communities that want to be represented. Thats a big part of the problem.

The why behind that need for representation is what concerns me.

@Are0h Representation is not the perfect solution, but it is a start for severely marginalized groups that hasn't had much to crow about.
😉

@Gotterdammerung I can accept that's how you feel. I just don't share that view.

Hm, I'm a believer in what Ella Baker says about strong communities, so I don't think I would agree with this either.

I think it's fine for communities to have representatives, but I don't think they are required to have a strong community.

@Are0h I have a dream. I want to build, and be part of a tribe. A strong community of independent individuals, with a goal of experimenting freely, and enjoying life as much as possible.

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