Roughly, when I was a teenager, I think about 17/16. Before that I was in school so had not yet gone into Deaf Club.
When I was a school I knew I was the same as the other deaf kids there, I had not yet gone to a Deaf club. I knew there were other deaf kids at Kelston, same as at van Asch, also knew about St Dominics School in Palmerston North. I thought they were same as what I knew, also that there were other places with small groups of deaf children.
But when I really found who I am was when I went to Deaf Club. I was shy, I was like a little boy trying to be cool, I was nervous and tried to back away. I could see all the adults there, I was awed watching them, then I joined in, made jokes, started signing away with them.
I looked at myself and realised my identity then, boom! That happened in Deaf club. My mother and father pushed me to the Deaf Club, I thank them.
So, in Deaf Club I learnt there were more Deaf clubs, there was Wellington Deaf Club, Christchurch, Auckland, there were Deaf clubs everywhere. My identity exploded knowing all this, I was about 17 or 16 at the time.