Deaf Identity and Internal Revolution

First Edition

By Christopher Jon Heuer

Categories: Literature / Poetry / Literary Studies, Deaf Communities and Cultures, Biography / Memoir
Imprint: Gallaudet University Press
Paperback : 9781563683572, 232 pages, September 2007
Ebook : 9781563683886, 232 pages, September 2009
Request a Desk or Exam Copy Request a Media Review Copy

This collection of short essays sends up biases of the dominant hearing society, but also those of restrictive members of the Deaf community.



“What you have in your hands is a bomb. But it is the kind you need to hold on to for dear life, not run away from.”
—From the Foreword, John Lee Clark
Christopher Jon Heuer lost his hearing early, but not before “being able to hear a lot as a kid.” He also received a good education, both in a speech-oriented setting and a signing environment. These varied experiences provided him with the perfect background to write about biases he faced, not only those of a mostly oblivious hearing society, but also those of ideologically restrictive members of the Deaf community. BUG: Deaf Identity and Internal Revolution combines new work of Heuer’s with his best columns from The Tactile Mind Weekly and the National Association of the Deaf’s Mind Over Matter. He addresses all topics – exit interviews, baldness, faith healing, marriage, cats, Christmas trips, backyard campfires in boxer shorts – with a withering wit that spares no aspect of life and deafness.
Being “bugged” for Heuer began early: “When I was growing up, my mother’s response to every problem I had was: ‘Well, he just needs to adjust to his deafness.’ Bloody nose? ‘Chris, you need to adjust to your deafness.’ Homework not done? ‘I know it’s hard adjusting to your deafness, honey, but ....’ Acne scarring? ‘Lots of teenagers get zits, Chris. I know it’s hard for you, dealing with this while trying to adjust to your ....’” He rebelled then, and continues through his even-handed irreverence in BUG, a bomb that should go off in everyone’s consciousness about being deaf and Deaf.


Christopher Jon Heuer is an instructor in the Department of Applied Literacy at Gallaudet University, Washington, DC.