I’ll tell you when I first realised what Deaf Culture was. When it was really highlighted to me.
I grew up with a Deaf mother. We were together when I was growing up, she demonstrated Deaf culture, Deaf behaviour etc as a very normal everyday thing. I continued with my life not realising it was a valuable thing, or that it was part of me. I just carried on with life.
Then in 1995 at the Deaf School, Kelston, they organised a big festival. A Deaf Festival. That was the first time I could see Deaf adults involved in organising something. The met regularly for a year. I would go to school and I could see them having meetings. I wondered what they were doing. Ah they were organising the Deaf Festival!
At the Deaf Festival they were confident, that day they were going up to people to explain the programme, to explain what was going to happen. I watched with interest. Plus that night they had Deaf theatre. That was incredible, made me feel really inspired. Seeing Deaf doing handwaves around the room like the Mexican wave was just thrilling. And to see Deaf drama, Deaf stories, Deaf people expressing themselves. Whoa.
At that point I realised that that is more to Deaf Culture, it started from there.