I didn’t know what else to title this post, but I did want to have it out there and talk about it with you, if possible.
This stumps me a little.
I mean, on one hand, I’m really thrilled when I see products like the ASL “kind” shirt being sold at huge retailers like Target. I liked seeing the ILY in the Women’s March. I like seeing anything and everything that I can about my people and Deaf culture.
But is it really fair, as this woman is saying, for hearing people without regard to ASL, to be profiting from all that these signs mean?
It reminds me of rastafarian stuff, Jamaican colors – how misrepresented they often are, used and profited upon by people who have nothing to do with what they really mean to those who believe or are a part of that culture.
Which gives me pause – is ASL and the ILY sign becoming simply trendy to people with no connection to us? The piece about the donation to Deaf Women United being dramatically less than ACLU or PP is valid; the very sign that they are using to promote the campaign is a symbol for a struggle of the Deaf, which makes their use of it reek of appropriation.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.
Meriah Nichols is a counselor. Solo mom to 3 (one with Down syndrome, one on the spectrum). Deaf, and neurodiverse herself, she’s a gardening nerd who loves cats, Star Trek, and takes her coffee hot and black.