Ben and Dennis have an interesting discussion going about Deaf and deaf, and not deaf enough. I know that I’m not a part of the Deaf culture, and that’s OK. I just try to get along with everyone deaf, hard-of-hearing or Deaf. I respect everyone’s communication and culture preferences. When I like a person as a friend, it’s because of her personality — who she is, not what she was born with or how she communicates.
It bothers me when people judge based on someone’s choices or birthright. I’ve met people who do both ASL and speak with their voices. They’re part of the Deaf culture, and they’ve shared stories where their Deaf friends got mad because they spoke or wore hearing aids. It’s not fair to the person because she made the choice of doing both.
I imagine this post might get me in trouble, but I’ve met many people over the years through pen pals, the Internet and in person — I enjoyed getting to know them. If someone has a problem with me because I speak and don’t know ASL, then that is what it is. I would hope people would get to know me and not punish me for my choices.