"We grew up as a Deaf person as well as a Person with Disabilities. We communicate in Malaysian Sign Language (BIM) on a daily basis. Our family members are not Deaf persons like us. We often have limited communication with them as they are not fluent in BIM. We wish to be fluent in our mothers' native language. Unfortunately, we do not have such privilege. Speaking and listening skills are not easy for us to acquire. It may take years to speak and listen fluently. Many of us are also not really fluent in any spoken or written languages due to our limited exposure to spoken or written languages.
Majority of us have similar oppressive experiences. The utmost problem we face in our daily life is communication. Majority of mainstream society is hearing people. They have speaking and listening skills. We just could not fit ourselves in the society. We could not participate in many events which are meant for hearing people only. It is always assumed that communicating with Deaf people will take a long time, hence we are often put on a waiting list each time we ask for specific information from them.
Not every Deaf person understands their own identity as a Deaf person, as a Person with Disabilities and even our queer identity. We do not have appropriate accessibility to information in the mainstream society. When we learned that we are part of LGBTIQ also, we also bear some kind of oppression from our Deaf friends also. Too many Deaf LBGTIQ do not know that they experience double oppression - being a Deaf and being a LGBTIQ. Regardless, we always try to stay strong. In spite of the obstacles we had to go through, we were able to achieve many things. All of us recently learned about SOGIESC. We were trained and then conducted an online workshop with Deaf queers so that they will be able to understand their own identity. We are inspired to promote more awareness for Deaf queers in Malaysia."