October Books Wrap Up | BookTube

Hello, I’m Rogan and welcome to my wrap up for October. I know this is a little late, but I just hadn’t gotten around to writing down my thoughts on the books I read. It’s going to be fairly quick this month, I think.

First, I read all four volumes of Hawkeye, the recent run of it. It’s basically about Hawkeye a little later on in his life, as he’s getting older and realizing he’ll have to stop doing superhero work soon. He has an ex-Young Avenger working by his side, Kate Bishop. This has several adventures and I really enjoyed reading this. One thing I particularly enjoyed is that they played around with format several times, it wasn’t the same all the way through. I read these because I wanted to learn a bit more about Hawkeye, beyond what you see in the MCU and cameos I’ve seen of him in other stories. But the main reason why I picked these up is because there’s one issue that was done in mostly silence, with sign language throughout. This was shortly after Hawkeye had lost his hearing from one of his jobs. The backstory is that Hawkeye and his brother knew sign from when they were young, they’d used it to communicate with each other when they didn’t want to be caught by their abusive father. It just happened to be useful when Hawkeye went deaf, and I did enjoy seeing how they portrayed it. They made it clear that he doesn’t catch every word with lipreading, and showed his thought process figuring out what was actually said. Their choice of using a neutral body, like what you’d see in sign dictionaries, to show sign language was a very interesting one. It was very clear though! With that being said, some of the lipreading scenes were a little unrealistic, and sometimes the words that Hawkeye was processing weren’t the best choices. What I mean is that those words were clearly different on the lips, the authors should’ve chosen words that were much more similar in lip movements. Overall, I did enjoy this series, and did appreciate how they handled the “deaf issue.”

Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse. An epic story set in a rich world based on pre-Columbian cultures, Black Sun tells the story of four people that become intertwined over time. Xiala, a ship’s captain who has a penchant for drink and the ability to drive men mad and calm the seas with just her voice. Serapio, a mysterious blind man covered with scars that plays with shadows and whispers to crows. Naranpa, a young Sun Priest that has ambitious plans to revitalize the Watchers and their role in the Sky Made Clans. Okoa, a young scion burdened with a bloody legacy of oppression and the decision to join an uprising or quell it and maintain the peace. We travel between wide open seas, sprawling seaside towns, and narrow, tall cities built into and on cliffs. We experience cultures that believe in only science and scoff at magic, to those who revere it and honor ancient traditions. Political intrigue abounds, people wanting belonging to societies who shun them or begrudgingly accept them but never fully, relationships bloom and burn. When I saw Rebecca Roanhorse had a new book, I knew I had to read it. I really enjoyed The Sixth World series, and looked forward to reading more. I liked the worldbuilding in the previous series, but I was blown away by what Roanhorse did with this! High fantasy inspired by pre-Columbian indigenous peoples, Roanhorse creates a rich world with people who vary widely in their beliefs, customs, clothing, and living ways. One of the main characters, Xiala, is bisexual and frequently mentions being interested in or having had relations with multiple genders. There is so much casual queer rep in this, and it never feels superficial or tokenized. It feels like an authentic part of the world, and people simply accept it as a fact of life, which is amazing. There are multiple people who use neopronouns and more than two genders are recognized. If I recall correctly, Roanhorse also described a person’s appearance without using gender until the person was introduced or the gender was made known. Disability rep – I’m not blind myself, but I appreciated how Roanhorse portrayed Serapio, the blind character. It felt like she really made sure she wrote him respectfully, and I never felt like she pitied him or wrote him as “oh poor blind man.” Serapio was his own person and very capable. I also liked that Roanhorse never made it seem like he was gifted with extraordinary abilities to walk around and live like a sighted person. There were parts where he emphasizes that he simply had good tutors, and worked hard to get to where he is. I just absolutely loved it and was devastated when I finally realized it was only the first of a series, and it ended on a major cliffhanger. I cannot wait for the next book in the series!

The Haunting of Beatrix Greene. Beatrix Greene is a fake medium, and she knows it. However, she has made a name for herself as a reputable medium in Victorian England due to her ability to read people very well and understand what will bring them peace. One day, she’s approached by James Walker, a man who has a reputation for exposing fraud mediums. James offers Beatrix a job that would make her a lot of money, and she decides to take the risk. If she’s successful in fooling him, she’ll be set for true freedom. If she fails, she’ll lose her living. James wants Beatrix to do a séance at Ashbury Manor, which is known for being haunted and had some grisly deaths there. He’s searching for some answers from his past, but he doesn’t realize it could be dangerous. His reasons are secret to Beatrix until the séance, when an angry spirit is awoken with Beatrix’s gift. They along with a group of other supernaturally inclined people race to put an end to the rage before they all die. There was no discernible rep that jumped out at me, and I’m fairly sure the cast is all white. There were some twists that I didn’t anticipate, and some that I did, but I enjoyed this quick supernatural horror story. This is set in Victorian England, when the spiritualist movement was at its peak. I felt like the vibe of the era was captured well in this story, acknowledging the sexist views of the time. It does rely quite a bit on having some prior knowledge of the era for imagery. With that, it still had strong woman characters in Beatrix and a famous spirit photographer who was married, but still maintained her interests. I enjoyed the horror aspects of this, even if they were a little obvious and on-the-nose at times. I didn’t really like the romance, especially since I saw it coming from miles away. It felt like it happened far too quickly, there was barely any build-up and it didn’t feel that believable to me. It wasn’t really based on anything except appearances, which does happen, but that’s more lust than love. There was several convenient plot points, but generally, they didn’t detract from the story. There is some action, but it doesn’t really happen until later on in the story. I’d say this is a good read if you want something quick and don’t mind a somewhat generic romance.

The Deep by Rivers Solomon. This is about wajinru, the descendants of pregnant African slaves who were thrown from the ships. They’ve evolved to living in the water, and because of their incredibly traumatic past, it’s all held by one person who is the historian while everyone else forgets. Once a year, the historian will share the past with them. This is about the current historian, Yetu, who really struggles with her role. She doesn’t want to continue carrying the history because it’s incredibly painful for her, in part because she’s extra-sensitive to external stimulation, and carrying the history makes it all that more difficult. To be honest, I know I can’t do justice to this book, and it is INCREDIBLE for a short read. So I’ll be linking to Adri’s 5 Reasons to Read from when they first read it. I tried to find captioned videos from Black reviewers, but there aren’t any that have proper captions. There are some that do have auto-captions—though that’s not the same—and they’re linked in Adri’s video. Back to the book. It is queer lit, the wajinru are very fluid in both sexuality and gender, and they’re all canonically intersex. This is a very traumatic and painful story, but it is incredible, and I would definitely recommend it. Adri has a list of trigger warnings in their video, so be sure to check that if you need to make sure it’ll be something you want to read.

And that’s what I read in October! So far, November looks like a better reading month, it’ll definitely be a longer video. Have you read any of these, what did you think? Let me know!

Round 6 TBR | Queer Lit Readathon

Hello I’m Rogan, and today the hosts of Queer Lit Readathon round six are going to be telling you what we’ll be reading this round! Before we start – obviously, several of these challenges will be covered more than once with these books, but I will just tell you what I’m assigning to the book. Also, I’m not going to be saying what the books are about because I don’t want to know *too* much about them. I will be posting a wrap up after the readathon with what they’re about and my thoughts, so if you want to know that, subscribe!

I’m going to start with the Group Read, Summer of Everything by Julian Winters. This one hits the most challenges – BIPOC Main Character, #ownvoices, a Non-Coming Out story, and a cast of Queer Friends. I’m really excited for this one, because I loved Running With Lions.

Confessions of the Fox by Jordy Rosenberg. I’m borrowing a friend’s copy of this. He suggested that this would be a good fit for Winter Vibes. This is also Adult Fiction and a historical one! Not one of the challenges this round, but just wanted to throw that in. In the blurb, it calls this a reimagining, and this is technically based on a true story, so it’d be a Retelling.

Tarnished are the Stars by Rosiee Thor. This one is probably the first one I’ll be reading since I have the digital library copy, and it’ll expire during the readathon. This one has a main character that is Ace AND Aro, who seems to be questioning his labels. That’s why I also chose this for See Yourself, because I went through that with my own labels. For Choose Your Own Category, I’m making this one Steampunk. It’s being compared to The Lunar Chronicles, and with the first line of the synopsis, I can see why! “A secret beats inside Anna Thatcher’s chest: an illegal clockwork heart.” I’m ready for this.

Death Threat by Vivek Shraya. I chose this for Graphic Novel and Pre/Non-Medical Transition. As far as I can tell, Shraya hasn’t medically transitioned nor is there any interest in doing so at the moment. If I am wrong, please let me know!

And the final book for today, Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo. I have LOVED all of Acevedo’s other books, The Poet X and With the Fire On High, so I am definitely looking forward to this one! This was a Host Rec from Kathy for a Background Romance. This is also for a Main Character Not Like You. I’m really hoping my library hold will come through in time for this! If not, I’ll figure out something else.

With those five books, I black out the bingo board! This looks to be a very doable list, but we’ll see what happens the week of. Will you be joining in? What will you be reading? Let me know!

If you want to support my content financially, I would really appreciate it if you joined my Patreon or made a one-time donation to my Ko-fi tip jar. Subscribe to my channel. Follow me on my socials – FacebookTwitterInstagram. Thanks for reading, see you next time.

White interpreters, listen to the Black community

Hey, you white interpreters. While working, if the presenter says the full n-word, you go ahead and interpret it. Is that okay? No, never. Never. Let me explain more.

Hello, I’m Rogan. Yes, this happened a few weeks ago and made the rounds. I’m “late” with this vlog, but really, this topic is still relevant. I feel like this will continue to be a problem. Before I continue, I want to recognize that obviously, I am white. I’m also very masculine-presenting. I have those privileges. So if I say anything wrong, please correct me in the comments. Please.

A little backstory for those who may not be aware or forgot. White interpreters think it’s fine to–while interpreting and working–if the speaker says the full n-word, go ahead and spell it or sign the full word. That’s fine, because “it’s not me saying it, it’s the speaker saying that.” Plus, several ITP students are currently being taught to, yes, do that. I actually saw on Twitter, one person saying that their ITP did this–They felt really uncomfortable, the teacher had the students chant the n-word. It’s not okay! Never! For a long time, the Black community, Black interpreters, have asked white interpreters to please stop saying the full n-word. Stop. But it still happens. And there are ITPs teaching this!

I want to take a moment now to clarify. I did mention this on my IG Stories when this came up. I said yes, that’s right, we should not. I’ve never. I don’t want to. I’m not saying that interpreters should skip that word. No. I’m saying that white interpreters, if the speaker says the full n-word, okay. I sign “n-word” or I can say “they said the full n-word.” Something like that. I don’t go ahead and spell the full word or actually sign that word. That’s not my place. You know what I mean. You know. You don’t need me to say the full word. You don’t need it.

I had some of my friends who are white interpreters message me. We had a discussion. They said that it feels like censorship, cleaning up their words. Ahh, that’s…no. You still say, or inform, that the speaker said this word. Yes. You still say that. Don’t remove that word from the sentence completely, no! They have a purpose, a reason why they said that word. Still sign “n-word” or maybe “full n-word.” Something like that. Use context to explain, inform that they did use the full word. I want to add emphasis here. The full n-word should never be signed, fingerspelled, or voiced by white interpreters. Never. I want to clearly emphasize that.

About censorship and cleaning up the language. Really, no it’s not. Yes, there are interpreters who won’t say or sign curse words, like fuck, bullshit, shit, like that. Yes, those are curse words–and interpreters should be signing these. The n-word… That’s not a curse word. It’s a slur. Negative, a put-down. Specifically, a racial slur. This targets a group of people, Black people. Curse words don’t, they’re broad and apply to anyone. The n-word applies only to Black people. That’s the difference.

Again: curse words should be interpreted directly. Racial slurs–the n-word, or others putting down Mexican people, Asians, like those–those should be, not implied, but informed of the intention. Like “n-word.” People understand what it means. They will understand. White people, when they use the n-word… It’s only with the intention of putting down. They may have some who will use with their friends, but that’s with a specific group of people.

Really, you have no reason for a white person to say the n-word. Never. Not even while interpreting. No. While interpreting, yes, do give context, give information, inform that they said the full word, not just “n-word.” They actually said the full word. White interpreters should never say it. I don’t know how many times I can say that. Do not say the n-word, period. No matter the reason.

I hope that helped it become clear why. Because some people were like, yes I understand that I should not say it, but why? I hope that helped clarify it. Or for those who thought it was okay, this helped you realize that you should not.

I want to again recognize my white privilege and masculine-presenting privilege. I just want to use my platform, as a white and male-presenting person, to spotlight those issues and voices that have been pushed down for a long time. So if there’s a way I can do this better, please let me know. And I will be happy to work with BIPOC for more visibility. But at the same time, I don’t want to put the work on them. I’m trying to find that balance. Using my voice to say hey, look, pay attention and at the same time, make sure they have their time, have their voices seen. I want you to discuss in the comments. Please keep it civil. Don’t get mean. That doesn’t help anyone. But be open to listening.

That’s it for today. Please, before you leave, look below this paragraph. I’ve linked a few Black Deaf creators. Please check them out, learn from them. Don’t rely on me as your only learning resource, okay?

September Books Wrap Up | BookTube

Hello, I’m Rogan and welcome to my September books wrap up. This was a month of really good books, and four ARCs! Okay, let’s talk books!

First up was a book that I pre-ordered and got on release day, Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas. This is a #ownvoices queer paranormal romance, focusing on Yadriel, who is trans and comes from a family of brujx. Yads wants to go through the rites to become an official brujo, but his family won’t let him because they don’t think the traditional rites of passage will “work” with him being trans. He decides to just do the ceremony on his own, with the help of his cousin, Maritza. Then Yads decides that he needs to prove that it worked by trying to summon the spirit of his recently deceased cousin, but he accidentally summons Julian, the resident “bad boy” of his school. Julian has unfinished business and drags Yads into it. Hijinks ensue. There was a pre-order campaign that if you signed up, you’d get a signed bookplate and some character cards. They are gorgeous!!

I just absolutely loved this, and I will never be able to be as eloquent as Adri is, so I’m just going to link their 5 Reasons to Read video, which is *amazing* and you just need to read this book already. I will quickly mention a few key things. This is such a great representation of a trans person, you can tell the author has experienced some of these things themself. They explore the dynamics of a Latinx family, a lot of the traditional views Latinx families often have around trans and queer people, but Yadriel’s family is mostly accepting of him. There is deadnaming that happens, but the name is never said on the page, which I love to see. It’s never necessary for us to know the deadname. Also, magic! I will warn you, if you are averse to blood, there is description of that and self-harm, both for ritualistic/magical purposes. Honestly, this book is just incredible and there’s a lot happening not mentioned in the synopsis. It’s the perfect spooky read for Halloween season!

Heavy Vinyl Vol 1 by Carly Usdin and Nina Vakueva. This is a cute graphic novel which is basically about a record store that’s a front for a secret teen girl fight club that’s fighting crime and working to take the patriarchy down. I can’t really say much more than that. It was a cute quick read, and it also has queer characters!

All of the books from now on are ARCs, one physical from William Morrow and the others are ebooks I got through NetGalley. If you don’t really know book terminology, ARC is short for Advance Reader Copy, meaning a copy given to readers before it’s released for the general public. It’s a way of marketing the book and getting reviews of the book out before it’s published. ARCs are generally given to reviewers for free, in exchange for honest reviews.

Hench by Natalie Zina Walschots. I received a physical ARC from William Morrow. Thanks for providing a copy to review! Anna has been working as a temp for a while, but her temp jobs aren’t for just any boring company. She works as a temp for villains. Though it’s equally boring – paperwork is pretty much universal. She gets hired for one particular villain, and after working there for a while, she’s brought along on an assignment. Things go awry and she ends up badly injured and laid off. Angry and stuck at home while she recovers, she puts her data smarts and internet connection to heavy use. Anna discovers she’s far from alone in being hurt at the hands of a hero, and eventually creates something that shows how much damage heroes actually do. Her skills get noticed by one of the Big Bads, and she puts them and her team to work weaponizing the data against the so-called good heroes. Quick rundown of the representation in this book: bi protagonist that becomes disabled, multiple queer characters – a trans super, several same-gender couples, use of they/them pronouns. I immensely enjoyed reading this! This is a unique perspective, from a hench or an underling rather than the heroes or the villains. This book is not action-packed or flashy at all. Well, there are some scenes later on, but that’s well after all of the world-building, the mundane, the data collection and weaponizing, the lives of henches. I really enjoyed that aspect, actually. It’s certainly not for everyone, definitely not if you’re expecting action all the time. There have been some comparison to The Boys which I can see, but that’s still very action-packed. This is far more mundane than that, and it’s about the people who work for the villains, helping them do their “evil” deeds. There’s a lot of time spent on Anna’s recovery, how those injuries continue to impact her well after she’s healed, some roommate drama, and everyday things. It does get a little…disturbing toward the end, far more than I was expecting after having read most of the book, so be aware of that. I thought this did really good with the commentary on various topics that parallel our world. This book might be a little long, but I think it was worth it in the end.

Machine by Elizabeth Bear. Dr. Brookllyn Jens works on a medical rescue spaceship that’s been sent to answer a distress call coming from a generation ship that left Terra a long time ago. Her crew arrives to find that the entire ship is in cryopods, the on-board AI seems to be unstable, there’s a strange tinkertoy-like machine filling much of the ship, and there’s a modern ship docked that isn’t answering any hails. A rescue operation is begun, and they return to the central hospital in space. Jens can’t resist a mystery and starts digging. She quickly learns that there might be some life-changing hard truths she’s not prepared for. I will always enjoy science fiction, unless it’s *really* bad. Happily, this is not one of those! I immensely enjoyed reading this, and was pleasantly surprised to learn in the beginning that Jens is a lesbian and that she has chronic pain, using an exoskeleton that enables her to move around far more than she would without it and be a functional member of this society. There’s honestly so much that happens in this book, I don’t even know where is best to begin. Worldbuilding – it’s so complex and rich, and I really appreciated that it was spread out throughout this and not dumped all at once. This society includes a wide variety of species, and the collective term for all of them, including humans, is systers. (Side note: I suspect the origin of this term could be from Anita Borg, and is short for system sisters, which makes sense in this context. It also simply means sister in others.) I really loved the descriptions of Core General, the hospital, and how it was designed for a wide range of environmental and gravitational needs, along with the varying sizes of the systers. I also liked the descriptions of the specific systers that had a role in the story, even if it was brief. This is written in first person, so we’re in the head of Jens, and she will occasionally go on a small tangent to explain some things, maybe philosophize about the situation, things like that. For most of the book, it’s fine and I think it actually helps us understand the world better and be more engaged with the story. Towards the end, it gets a little overly complicated and I didn’t think it was completely necessary. There’s also casual queer rep, some characters use they pronouns, and it’s standard for the hospital staff to have tags that have names, species, and pronouns. Some species prefer to be referred to as “it” and it seems that it’s typically the bug species. There’s a LOT that happened in this story that I’m not even mentioning, but I did really enjoy this and would definitely recommend if you want to read something sci-fi that’s also a mystery.

Bestiary by K-Ming Chang. This story follows a family of Taiwanese- and Chinese-Americans, focusing on the women: Mother, Daughter, and Grandmother. Daughter is telling us the history of her family to the best of her ability, translating from letters written by her grandmother, relaying stories that her mother told her. Shortly after being told a story about Hu Gu Po, a tiger spirit living in a woman, she wakes up with a tail. That’s not even the strangest thing that happens throughout this book. There are backyard holes that breathe, fish-daughters, a golden cage with a shadow of a bird in it but no visible bird, and she’s falling for a neighborhood girl that has her own strangeness. This was extremely interesting to read because of the writing style, which reminded me quite a bit of Akwaeke Emezi’s Freshwater and Carmen Maria Machado’s Her Body and Other Parties. Chang’s writing bends reality, uses words normally associated with the human body to describe nature and makes it possible for a human to get pregnant by a river or grow a tiger tail. It’s very poetic at times, which the author has background in. The author said that she’d sometimes class this as “speculative history” and I can see that! I’d definitely put this into the fabulism category as well, plenty of the things that happen in this book fall into that. This is a generational story, exploring how different generations experience the world, pass on their stories and their trauma. There are many folktales in this, and they’re all based on Taiwanese, Chinese, or Fujianese folktales. The author says that they can all be found in text form online, but because they’re often from an oral tradition, there might be many different versions. There isn’t exactly a plot to this, but that is not a bad thing at all! It feels like an epic being told to us, rather than something that’s written down in a book to start with. It touches on domestic violence, poverty, racism. It also has bright moments of queer love between Daughter and the neighborhood girl, and this love is simply accepted by those around them. Queer love even stays in their family myths, with a man falling for a pirate, Grandmother experiencing some love for a woman. I really enjoyed reading Chang’s writing and look forward to reading more of her work.

The Hollow Places by T. Kingfisher. Kara is going through a divorce, and she absolutely *cannot* bear to be around her mother for very long, so instead, she goes to stay with her eccentric uncle at his Wonder Museum. This museum is chock-full of all these odd things – a ton of dried cane toads, taxidermy taking up a lot of space, unique carvings here and there. Kara grew up in this museum, so none of it bothers her while she helps her uncle out for a while. Uncle Earl has to go into surgery for a while, so Kara takes over with some support from Simon, the quirky gay barista that works at and lives above the coffee shop next door. The first day, they discover there’s a hole in the wall that they assume a tourist carelessly broke and ran off. But when they take a closer look at the hallway through the hole, they realize that the proportions are impossible. They explore some and discover it leads to some strange world filled with willows and quiet islands dotting foggy water. *dun dun dunnnn* Normally, I’d tell you a bit more about this, but that was kind of all I knew, and let me tell you, that’s the best way. This is a horror story after all, but if you desperately want to know more details, I’d be happy to tell you more! This is the first I’ve read from T. Kingfisher, and I definitely would love to read more from this author! I really loved the writing in this, it was beautiful and sufficiently creepy when needed. The humor woven throughout, both regular and gallows humor, was fantastic. I really appreciated that the main characters, Kara and Simon, were very relatable, and they didn’t suddenly have some special ability or were already completely competent. They were just regular people, trying to figure this out, understand space-time physics, other dimensions, and all this science stuff that they’re definitely not qualified for. If you like horror that has some humor thrown in, this is for you!

That’s all of the books I read in September! I hope you found something new that you want to read, enjoy the spooky season. Bye.

If you want to support my content financially, I would really appreciate it if you joined my Patreon or made a one-time donation to my Ko-fi tip jar. Subscribe to my channel. Follow me on my socials – FacebookTwitterInstagram. Thanks for reading, see you next time.

Commander in Chief – Demi Lovato | ASL

No blog post, because this is an ASL translation of a song. Full lyrics are below.

Commander in Chief – Demi Lovato (Lyrics)

Were you ever taught when you were young
If you mess with things selfishly, they’re bound to come undone?
I’m not the only one
That’s been affected and resented every story you’ve spun, and I’m a lucky one

‘Cause there are people worse off that have suffered enough
Haven’t they suffered enough?
But you can’t get enough of shutting down systems for personal gain
Fighting fires with flyers and praying for rain
Do you get off on pain?
We’re not pawns in your game

Commander in Chief, honestly
If I did the things you do, I couldn’t sleep
Seriously, do you even know the truth?
We’re in a state of crisis, people are dying
While you line your pockets deep
Commander in Chief
How does it feel to still be able to breathe?

We were taught when we were young
If we fight for what’s right, there won’t be justice for just some
Won’t give up, stand our ground
We’ll be in the streets while you’re bunkering down
Loud and proud, best believe
We’ll still take a knee while you’re…

Commander in Chief, honestly
If I did the things you do, I couldn’t sleep
Seriously, do you even know the truth?
We’re in a state of crisis, people are dying
While you line your pockets deep
Commander in Chief
How does it feel to still be able to breathe?

Breathe
Be able to breathe

Won’t give up, stand our ground
We’ll be in the streets while you’re bunkering down
Won’t give up, stand our ground
We’ll be in the streets while you’re…

Commander in Chief, honestly
If I did the things you do, I couldn’t sleep
Seriously, do you even know the truth?
We’re in a state of crisis, people are dying
While you line your pockets deep
Commander in Chief
How does it feel to still be able to breathe?
Able to breathe

Deaf Interpreters | Deaf Awareness Month

Hello, I’m Rogan and welcome. Today I’ll be talking about Deaf interpreters and why they’re a thing, what we do, and situations you’ll find us in. I am a Deaf Interpreter personally, and I specialize in DeafBlind interpreting. Today’s video will be a broad overview of deaf interpreting, I might make a separate video for specializations in this field.

First, what are Deaf interpreters and why do we exist? This term is *not* for interpreters who work with deaf people. It literally means interpreters who are also deaf. If you want to talk about interpreters who work with deaf people, call them ASL interpreters, or if you want to be even more specific, ASL-English interpreters. Deaf interpreters are deaf people who often work in a team with a hearing interpreter. DIs should already have done the required interpreter training, and there is certification that’s not currently available, so many are stuck working without it. They should be fluent in ASL, have in-depth knowledge of the Deaf community and culture. Deaf interpreters work in situations where the hearing interpreter may not have the necessary skills or extralinguistic knowledge to effectively interpret for the deaf consumer. Deaf interpreters tend to have more specialized training and experience in using other methods of communication that are not ASL. We exist because we have lived experience that hearing interpreters will never have, and we already have the skill of adjusting and matching wildly varying communication needs. Hearing interpreters do go through rigorous training, going to college, multiple tests, and so on, but all of that is done in a structured environment where the ASL is standardized and somewhat more formal. This is not a bad thing! You have to learn all of the rules and structure of a language before you can know what rules you can break and when. In a way, Deaf interpreters help bridge that gap between structured/formal ASL and everyday use. As hearing interpreters gain experience, they are more able to handle that gap, but there are some things that they just won’t be able to do without Deaf interpreters. And Deaf interpreters would not be able to do our jobs without hearing interpreters.

Here’s some situations that can go more smoothly with Deaf interpreters. A person who had delay in learning language, so they have unconventional language that a hearing interpreter might struggle to understand. This is a situation that happens very often in the deaf community, and Deaf interpreters often have experience chatting with people like this. Working in K-12 with deaf children who may or may not have language. You know how children sometimes are just impossible to understand or they are saying words, but it’s not “normal” English? That happens with deaf kids, so it can be very difficult to understand, even for Deaf interpreters! Like I said earlier, hearing interpreters learn in a very structured environment. So they’re often not prepared to work with deaf consumers who have additional disabilities, which might be physical, such as cerebral palsy, wheelchair users, having one hand or a different number of fingers, and many more. That might be mental, such as Downs Syndrome (which is also physical), autism, or others that would affect how they communicate. Another situation that Deaf interpreters would be used in is if the deaf consumer is from another country or uses a different language that is not ASL. We often can figure out a way of communicating if they don’t know ASL.

One more thing that I didn’t mention is DeafBlind consumers. They fall into many of the categories I’ve already mentioned. DeafBlind people are just as varied as Deaf people are in communication preferences, access to language, and so on. Some might use only a speaking interpreter, some use tactile ASL which means ASL as usual but with their hands on yours, and some use protactile language. Notice I didn’t say ASL for the last one. That’s because it’s a distinct language of its own, all touch-based. I’m not going to go in-depth about that here, but I just wanted to emphasize that.

There are *so* many different situations where the deaf consumer will benefit from having a deaf-hearing interpreter team. Every time I’ve worked with hearing interpreters, without fail, they say they appreciate having me there because of certain situations that came up that they wouldn’t have known what to do. I appreciate having them there as well, because I wouldn’t be able to do my job! I just wanted to give you a broad look at Deaf interpreters today, so I’m sure there are some things I’ve missed. I’ll either add it in a pinned comment or put it in a future video. If there’s anything that I said in this video that isn’t right, please let me know! I hope you learned something new today!

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August Books Wrap Up | BookTube

Hello, I’m Rogan and welcome to my wrap up for August. I know, I know, it’s very late and definitely not at all related to Deaf Awareness, but I have to get this out at some point so might as well now. I’ll just get right into it.

First up is No Ashes in the Fire: Coming of Age Black and Free in America by Darnell L. Moore. This is a very eloquent memoir about his upbringing in Camden, NJ as a Black boy in the 70’s to his life today as a Black queer man. Moore talks about his journey of discovering his sexuality while being bullied for seeming gay, living in a home that had domestic violence, parents who had him at a very young age. Moore is so open and honest about his life, it’s very impactful. While he tells us about his personal history, he also tells us about the history of Camden, how it’s been downtrodden but continues to survive, much like himself. He hid his sexuality behind a mask of religiosity at the same time yearning for love and affection from another man. He was unable to accept himself for a long time because of repressing his sexuality and because of society telling him he should hate his black skin. He tells us how he worked through all this internalized hate and came to accept and love himself. Nowadays, he works as an activist, most recently in Black Lives Matter. This memoir was amazing, and I easily gave it five stars. It’s incredibly open and vulnerable, and the prose can be a little wordy at times, but that didn’t bother me too much.

Phoenix Extravagant by Yoon Ha Lee. Gyen Jebi is an artist at their core, and they just want to do their art in peace, which is difficult with the country being occupied by colonizers. They audition for a job, and don’t get it, but they get drafted by the Ministry of Armor to do a specific job. Jebi is tasked with painting the mystical glyphs that activate the automata army of the colonizers. They get sucked into political complexity after discovering how the mystical pigments are created. Jebi has never had any interest, knows absolutely nothing about politics, but decides to do something with the military’s biggest automaton which happens to be a dragon. Adri of perpetualpages (YouTube) puts it this way – “this story has a soft enby protagonist who’s basically a magical coder. And that’s badass.” I couldn’t agree more! I thoroughly enjoyed this read. Yoon Ha Lee is an incredible author, and I will always read their work. Now about the book. I did get annoyed with Jebi for their complete cluelessness about everything going on in their country, but it’s realistic. There *are* people who know absolutely nothing beyond their little bubble, which Jebi had because of their sister enabling it. Jebi is ordinary, they’re not a prodigy or especially competent. Jebi just is, which is rare to see in fantasy, so it was very interesting to see here. There’s so many great things I could talk about for this, but I’ll keep it to two main things: Arazi, the dragon, and the queer rep. I really enjoyed Lee’s portrayal of the dragon, because Arazi is just coming into consciousness, so it’s discovering all these new things, and Jebi is experiencing that all over again. I absolutely loved how Lee casually includes all of the queer rep, without making a big deal out of it. The “worst” it got was the opinion of the colonizers, which is it’s odd, but who cares. There’s same-gender love, genderfluidity, polyam families, and more. I appreciated that Lee made a point of not using gender if it wasn’t known. Lee would instead use descriptors of their appearance or the sound of their voice, not taking the easy way by assigning man/woman. Even the sex scene was carefully written with gender in mind. Overall, I would absolutely recommend this read.

Next is a book I buddy read with Kathy, You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson. In one sentence: a queer prom rom-com that’s just perfect. Liz Lighty lives in a small midwestern town that’s completely obsessed with prom. So obsessed to the point where it’s treated like a sport in this town. The people who win the crown also win a scholarship, which Liz needs because her financial aid to her dream school fell through. Liz has always felt like she was too Black, poor, and awkward for this town but she has to change that if she has any hope of winning prom and that money. She tries to conform to what’s expected of her, but realizes that the game is rigged against her anyway, so she might as well play on her own terms. I loved this. That’s it. This is a wonderful story about a Black bisexual girl navigating her life and learning how much she deserves, finding her confidence in who she is, and realizing that she really isn’t alone. I don’t want to say too much because this was just wonderful and what I just said was pretty much all I knew going into it. I definitely think that’s the best way to read this. I will warn you though, there is some homophobia, racism, bullying, being outed, and depictions of panic attacks. I really enjoyed this story, and would definitely recommend.

After that, I read a library book, Sword in the Stars by Amy Rose Capetta. This is the second book in the Once & Future duology, so I can’t tell you too much. This duology is basically an inclusive, genderbent Arthurian retelling set far, far in the future where Arthur is a queer girl fighting against a big corporation that’s basically taken over the universe. The second book takes us into the past to the original Arthur story, and explores how twisty and wibbly wobbly time travel can be. If you enjoyed the first book, you’ll likely enjoy this too!

Next was a very quick and cute graphic novel, A Quick & Easy Guide to Queer and Trans Identities by Mady G. And JR Zuckerberg. This is a guide through the basics of queer terms and identities, coming out, navigating relationships, and the whole spectrum of experiences. It might sound odd, but this book uses snails and these imaginary creatures called Sproutlings to tell the story and help explain the identities, so this can be a great way to work with kids and help them figure out how to explain things. This has a companion of sorts, A Quick & Easy Guide to They/Them Pronouns, which I also recommend!

I read another graphic novel, but this is definitely the opposite of the previous one! Midnighter and Apollo by Steve Orlando and Fernando Blanco. If you don’t like blood and gore, this is definitely *not* for you. Midnighter and Apollo are heroes who founded a super group, and have been linked together for a long time both professionally and romantically. In this, they’re torn apart by a villain and Apollo is sent to the underworld. Midnighter fights his way to hell and back—literally—for his lover. These two characters have their own roles in other novels, and I haven’t read those, so I think that you can safely read this as a standalone. I enjoyed their relationship and their banter when they were together, and I really enjoyed getting to see queer supers on the page, we need more of that. Just a FYI for anyone who’s interested, there’s a fairly new subreddit for this – r/lgbt_superheroes.

Then to end this month, I binge-read the rest of The Wicked + The Divine by Kieron Gillen and a *lot* of illustrators. I read from from Volume 3 all the way to the end. My library had ebooks of the deluxe editions, so it made it easy for me to binge read a lot! Obviously, I can’t say too much, but hoo boy! It gets very interesting! The basic premise is that there are twelve gods reborn every ninety years, live for only two years, are loved and hated, and they’re all dead by the end of those two years. There is so much more happening behind that premise, but I really enjoyed being surprised by all of the twists and turns that this story took, so I won’t say more than that.

And that’s it for August! My September wrap up will be up soon, so there’ll be more books, like always. Let me know what you’ve been enjoying lately, whether that’s books, movies, TV shows, or anything else!

If you want to support my content financially, I would really appreciate it if you joined my Patreon or made a one-time donation to my Ko-fi tip jar. Subscribe to my channel. Follow me on my socials – FacebookTwitterInstagram. Thanks for reading, see you next time.

ASL translations of songs | Deaf Awareness Month

Hello, I’m Rogan and welcome. As you can see from the title, I’ll be talking about translating songs into ASL today. I was already planning on making this video, but it’s even more appropriate with the recent events. I’m not going to say names because this can actually apply to more than just one particular person. I have talked about this before, with Jules Dameron. I’ll link that video, but it’s always good to make a new video because unfortunately, it’s a thing that keeps happening.

What keeps happening is hearing people – often ASL students or people who are learning ASL on their own – create what they call ASL music covers and get a lot of attention and praise for it. There’s several problems with this.

First, ASL is usually not their native language. So they’re taking attention away from deaf creators who are doing the same with what’s their native language. For comparison: if you were someone who’d been taking Norwegian for two years, and suddenly wanted to do a translation cover of your favorite English song into Norwegian. Would you do it? Or at least, make it public? Probably not, and you know why. You know you’re not fluent enough to be able to make a culturally appropriate translation. So why do people think it’s okay to do with sign languages? They are real languages, just visual rather than auditory. *sigh* I get it, I do. Sign and music can go together really well. Still doesn’t give them the right to do translations.

Second, these people usually are not…good at signing. They’re often people who have been learning for only a couple of years, and are nowhere near fluency. So it’s frustrating when people get attention for doing this when they’re not good at all. Unfortunately, I’ve seen it too often done as a way to get clout, or bump up their social media following. That’s not cool. Hearing people often go viral doing this, despite deaf people saying they’re not good. And even when they’re shown videos of deaf people doing it that’s clearly better, the hearing people still get more attention. [pause] The next thing I’m going to say may be a bit controversial. I actually don’t have a problem with ASL students doing this. BUT. As practice only. Doing song translations is actually a great way for ASL students with aspirations of becoming an interpreter to practice getting into the right headspace. You *have* to show emotion with songs, so this can be a good way for them to practice this along with understanding the meaning behind words rather than just signing word for word. I’m fine if they post it and clearly label it as a practice in the title or something. I just want the ASL students to be clear from the start that they shouldn’t be seen as fluent ASL signers.

Third, some, quite frankly, unethical people will use this as a way to make money. Sometimes by using those covers to guide people to their “ASL lessons.” Hearing people should absolutely not be making a profit off of our language, it’s not their native language. They shouldn’t be getting so much attention for something that is often done poorly or not at all what a deaf person would have done. Especially when there are deaf people who have been doing this for far longer and much better. A lot of these “teachers” have actually taken only a few years of ASL, most likely have no degree in either ASL or teaching, and chances are high that they have very little interaction with the larger deaf community. There *are* people who might be completely ignorant about this and the ethics, absolutely. But it’s a problem when these people completely ignore deaf people trying to tell them that what they’re doing isn’t acceptable and keep doing it. Some people have continued to create these videos, continued to teach bad ASL, all the while blocking any deaf people that disagree with them, are telling them to stop, and taking advantage of it for their own gain.

I could go on all day about this, but I don’t want to use that much more energy on this, because deaf people already have for a long time. We are tired of it. We keep going because we care about our language, our culture, our community, but it’s exhausting being the only ones speaking up about it. Hearing people need to question things, not take them at face value, and say something if it’s not acceptable. This includes interpreters too, you know that this isn’t an acceptable behavior. *takes a deep breath* I’m done for today. I’ll be leaving a link to a playlist made by Jules of ASL versions of songs that are actually good. Watch those and enjoy! Bye.

If you want to support my content financially, I would really appreciate it if you joined my Patreon or made a one-time donation to my Ko-fi tip jar. Subscribe to my channel. Follow me on my socials – FacebookTwitterInstagram. Thanks for reading, see you next time.