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Deaf Identities in the Making:
Local Lives, Transnational Connections|
I was informed about this later on, that the doctors wanted to operate me. They also wanted me to be raised orally. One of my ears is in fact intact, but clogged. When I was six or seven, the doctors wanted to force an operation on me. I didn’t feel any reason for becoming “better,” so I resisted it. If I should be operated, I wanted to wait. My father refused to let them do anything before I was grown up.
Again, she managed to counter the pressure and the not-too-hidden message that deafness was bad. She was more or less able to grow up knowing that she was a whole person, not lacking in anything essential. Today, she is therefore quite content and in no need for healing.
Here she is thus simply reflecting one of her own mottos that she uses both in her e-mail and on her Internet homepage: “There is no fate but what we make for ourselves.”
A Free, but Quite Loyal, Rider
Anita is clearly part of Deaf society through her family and activities in the association for deaf youths. In describing her attachments to the Deaf community, she is nevertheless in an ambivalent or rather free position. Caring parents that have backed her up have actively supported this position. Her father has been of specific importance. She says: “My father is perhaps the most important person in my life. I have always been my father’s girl, while my brother has been a mother’s boy. My father has supported me all the time and he has been interested in my development, that I should have the best opportunities and so on.”
By being so much accepted within the family and by having a totally accessible language environment ready at home, she has been subjected to a sort of mild envy from deaf peers. She understands them and appreciates the situation she is in. However, she thinks that they also misjudge the situation somehow. It is not necessarily easy to have “everything.” She certainly has challenges in family life even if communication runs smoothly:
There are, however, instances that are less favorable to a deaf youth of well-known deaf parents: