Why Nyle’s the Jewel of the Nile

nyle at AG Bell hq

Nyle dancing sweeping Mabel Bell off her feet in front of the Volta Bureau – digital art by Shawn Elfrink

Why Nyle DiMarco is the jewel of the Nile in my eyes:
1. not cuz he dances so pretty but rather cuz he dances the truth – he dances about the oppression of Deaf folks via the jealous mistress – oralism = the banning of sign language and the systematic push for Deaf folks value to be measured by their mouths and their ears

2. not cuz he is so hot & will probably be picked by People Magazine to be the Sexiest Man of the Year – i really ain’t a fan of lookism (look it up – its a real word) but rather because he proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that speech and audition – ie talking and hearing are not the great equalizer or liberator

3. not cuz he is all over the internet and popular culture – i aint really big on popular culture but rather because he uses his popularity and celebrity status for the GREATER Good. he has uttered words that most of our “leaders” barely mention – he has talked about the harms of Oralism – banning Sign language from the lives of Deaf children. he has talked about Language Deprivation. he has talked about the beloved Deaf community. He has not made this moment be ABOUT him but rather about JUSTICE – that is huge

4. not cuz he is gonna make everything all better for Deaf folks cuz he is not – no single person could or should do that but rather because he is not afraid to take a stand for that which is just right and good. too many Deaf folks think they must – talk pretty, walk pretty, get flies with honey, sell out, etc etc to eventually some day feel safe enough to stand for the truth but Nyle did not wait. he did not minimize what it is like to be a Deaf person amongst all Hearing contestants on ANTM – he called it what it was “language deprivation” – he suffered through it for the goal of winning and visibility. he did not just make dances that were inspiration pornish – he made a dance that was Pow Pow truth telling. he has the courage of his convictions and acts on them

so what i hope for Nyle and all of us is:
1. keep that courage a rolling. keep singing those songs of freedom

2. keep experimenting with creative and artistic ways to express the Deaf experience both resistance of oppression and affirmation of all that is good about being DEAF

3. keep destigmatizing what it means to be Deaf and celebrating Deafhood

4. keep pulling down the mask of AG Bell Association and all the various corporations and systems that promote the biggest LIE OF THEM ALL – the lie that a person must hear and speak to function in society, and that a person’s intelligence is measured by their ability to speak, and that hearing sets you free, and that normalcy is all the rage

Sensory diversity, gender diversity, sexual diversity, neuro diversity etc ROCK

and now a wish – a deep and heart felt wish that Nyle’s spirit does not get adversely affected by fame. Fame is a horrible beast and not anything i would wish upon anyone. it can mess with the mind worse than any addiction or malady i have ever seen. My wish is that it does not taint or destroy Nyle’s spirit. My wish is he will always remain grounded via his family, bestests, and beloved community and that he will continue to give back and not give in.

and for us – my wish is – we do not sit back and expect him to be all and do all. We all got work to do. Creating, Caring, Challenging, and Celebrating. On ward march. its a love reEVOLution

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6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. deafchipmunk
    May 29, 2016 @ 20:01:43

    Great article! Yes I agree what he did was awesome for for himself but for Deaf people on earth. He cracked the wall of ignorance, Oralism and stereotype. We must respect him to let him have his own personal room and we must work together as a collective leadership to chip away every piece of the wall. Never stop. I am sure that our young Deaf generation has a better chance cuz they witness the real impact and know they can do like him.

  2. Ella Lentz
    May 29, 2016 @ 22:22:06

    Thank you.

    Simple but my heart is heavy with that deep gratitude for your talent to capture the essence of why Nyle is the Jewel of Nile.

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  3. PopeMistress
    May 30, 2016 @ 00:17:35

    Thank so much for your time to publish this blog

    Is that right book you mentioned to me?

    A Phone of Our Own: The Deaf Insurrection Against Ma Bell
    http://www.amazon.com/Phone-Our-Own-Insurrection-Against/dp/1563680904

  4. PopeMistress
    May 30, 2016 @ 00:21:52

  5. handeyes
    May 30, 2016 @ 02:18:46

    Thanks all

    Yes Shawn that is the right book

    Peace p

  6. Brenda Aron
    May 30, 2016 @ 05:47:16

    Beautifully said! You wrote what was in our hearts and minds!
    Nyle DiMarco is the Jewel of the Deaf Community!

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