Fifth video/post for this month! Don’t forget to check out the playlist for the other videos! You might be going “Wait, what??” over the title. I may have click-baited you a little bit. What I really want to talk about today is yes, a bit about Nyle. However, this is not to glorify or praise him. I feel like there is enough of that out there. Absolutely, Nyle is really a great person. I’m not saying that he’s awful, or saying negative things, none of that. Just that I see a lot of people praising him, saying he’s so great, dah dah dah, but what they often forget is that… He isn’t the only one. There are plenty of other Deaf people out there, plenty of other PEOPLE out there doing great things for the Deaf community. And… You just don’t see them, maybe because they work in an organization, and don’t want their names out there, or maybe they do have their name out there but they’re just forgotten about. I want to remind you that Nyle is human, just like all of us. He can’t do all of the advocacy work by himself. He needs our help. That’s the same for any advocate in any community. They can’t do it all by themselves. They can’t do it without the community’s support. And yes, I know many of you already support Nyle, but… How do you support him? By just going “Woohoo! I support you!” Or do you actually get out there, and do something? Advocates don’t just need the community to support what they’re doing. They need the community to also actually do something and not just sit there going “Woohoo!” They don’t need a cheerleading squad. They need people who actually get out there and do something. Or at the very least, this! Writing blog posts, posting on social media, YouTube, making yourself seen.
Really, there are a lot of people out there that are doing a lot of great advocacy work. One person for example, is Rikki Poynter. I’ve mentioned her before in some of my other videos. She’s a big advocate for captions on YouTube, mostly. This is a little hint for my next video/post that will be out on September 25th. And there will be plenty of other videos on September 25th. Mostly because of this specific topic, and the second reason is it’s International Day of the Deaf on the 25th, so… I might do two videos/posts for that day, I don’t know. We’ll see, we’ll see. Anyway. Another person that may not be as well-known, but is still kind of well-known, is Jules Dameron. She’s a Deaf female director. She is pushing for more Deaf women in film. That’s a pretty tough job. Why is that? Generally, the film world is male-dominated, regardless of being Deaf or hearing. So… Pushing more Deaf women to get involved with film, that’s a very big job. That’s one of her goals. They have a Facebook page: Deaf Women in Film.
There are two things that I want to mention in relation to advocacy in the Deaf community. One is a pretty big thing: #DeafTalent. That’s a hashtag on mostly Twitter, but anywhere on the internet as well. It advocates for casting Deaf actors instead of hearing actors for Deaf roles. This is a big problem in Hollywood. That’s a whole other video. But basically what it is a lot of movies in Hollywood will have a film that has a Deaf role, a Deaf character. They cast an actor that’s not Deaf, that’s hearing. Often, they will say, “Oh no, it’s just acting, not a big deal, anyone can act as a Deaf person.” Mmmm, that’s iffy. Being Deaf is a whole experience within itself, you can’t really replicate that, even with a lot of training. You still can’t exactly be Deaf. Pretty much all the time when I see someone with a Deaf character, I can instantly tell if that person is Deaf or not. Not just because of who they are. But I can tell by their acting, by how they sign, even. So this is a whole big issue in Hollywood. That’s how #DeafTalent started to fight that. And show that no, really, there are plenty of Deaf actors out there. They’re just not recognized because Hollywood won’t cast them, won’t even try to cast them. So that’s a big thing.
The second thing I want to give you some information about is something I’m excited about. I’m looking forward to, and hoping to see more from this program in the future, I hope to see it grow and improve. That would be the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) Youth Ambassador Program. It’s a program that’s a competition for deaf and hard of hearing youth from ages 18-30, residents of the US (for now). People compete until the final two are selected to become Youth Ambassadors. Those two Youth Ambassadors then work with NAD to establish a strategic plan to face social issues in the Deaf community. Those issues are identified by the people who participate in the competition. Also, the Ambassadors will represent NAD at different events, workshops, Youth Leadership Camp (YLC), and various events in the Deaf community. That’s a basic sum-up of it, being involved in the Deaf community, advocacy, etc. It’s a really interesting program, and it recently started. This recent summer, they selected the second pair of Youth Ambassadors. The new Ambassadors are: Jeffrey Spinale and Tanea Brown. Spinale wants to establish a resource center for queer deaf youth. Brown wants to encourage more people of color (PoC) to become interpreters. That’s all I’ll give you for today but there are plenty of other people who are advocates for the Deaf community. There’s far too many to list, so I’m not going to do that. But if you think of someone who you think is really important for other people to know about, leave a comment below the video linked above. I hope you will think again before you go crazy over one person and forget about all of the other people who are doing a lot of advocacy for various things. Also, I want to remind you if you want to see me talk about something, please let me know! The month is approaching the end. So, I need time to figure out something. And I will see you next time!