My brother, Alex, and I are monozygotic (identical) twins. We were both conceived of the same egg inside our mother’s womb. We share all the same physical characteristics, including our DNA. We’re both ardent and enthusiastic bare practitioners. In fact, the only distinguishing physical difference between us are our fingerprints. We are both Deaf from birth.
Even our sign language (manual communication) skills are, for all intents and purposes, identical. Whether interacting in American Sign Language (ASL), Canadian Sign Language (CSL) or Greek Sign Language (GSL) – our primary language – our hand-shapes, rhythm and speed reflect minimal variation. The only discrepancy appears when professional concerns or issues transpire.
Our Deafness, along with our same gender loving nature and our preference for living bare, is a part of what makes us unique. Surprisingly for some people, it does not cause us embarrassment or shame. It is also a trait that we share with others throughout the world. It is most definitely not a reason to run and hide from others nor to deny it in any way.
Alex and I both recall the times that while at university, we seemed to create confusion and chaos when others learned that were both gay and nudists. Many seemed to wonder how we, being Deaf, could be publicly naked. (Interesting question: all you need to do is to remove clothing)!
Others were even more obsessed with the fact that as Deaf men, how did we know that we were gay. (I guess Deaf men are completely unaware of their individual physical attraction)!
Obviously, the notion that whatever inspires the hearing population is totally useless within the Deaf community never entered their minds. After all, it is simply a much too defiant and radical concept! How can it be possible for the Deaf and the hearing to be influenced in the same way?
We may have divergent methods of communication; but the emotions and feelings have very little variance. What works well for one world generally does the same for another. After all, we are all human!
Roger Poladopoulos/ReNude Pride
Author’s Note: The next post entry here is planned for Tuesday, June 21, 2022, and the proposed topic is: “Summer, 2022!”