Half of my Identity

Post by Pia Jane, Auckland

Hello, my name is Pia, my sign name is this.

I want to tell you my story about my identity, its wow!

Maybe you know, or maybe you don’t know, I moved here (to New Zealand), way back when I was 7 years old. I moved from the Philippines, when I was adopted by my family. My family are hearing – they were great, very motivated to adopt me. One is a kiwi and the other is a Filipino, my mother and father were fantastic, they are great people and they brought me up well.

But, for over 20 years, well, 3 years ago I found I didn’t know my identity. How did I find it? I went to Victoria University to do the Deaf Studies course with Rachel and David McKee. They taught me. One subject was Identity. I thought that was just about my name and who I am. There I learnt there was a lot more to it, deaf culture and lots of things that were much deeper than I realised.

Deafhood and more, I was amazed, I couldn’t believe it, I was, I am almost 28 years old and I only found my identity 3 years ago. I can’t believe that. I learnt so much, Deafhood and more. I reflected, and realised I don’t have an identity, my own identity. Deaf culture and everything related to being Deaf I do have yes but my culture, I don’t know what it is, my Philippine culture. I don’t know it.

How did that happen? It happened because I moved here when I was seven. I didn’t learn much, I was only little when I moved here. My mum herself is Filipino yes, but she didn’t share Filipino culture with me when I was growing up.

I feel like I have half an identity. I know everything about the Deaf community so I know about being Deaf but I know nothing about being a Filipino. I am still looking for my Filipino identity.

Thank you for watching.

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