Deaf Interpreter David Cowan on Coming Out at Age 14 and Making Sure the Deaf Community Isn’t Left Behind
David, born deaf and a professional ASL interpreter, describes his journey as a gay man.
[MUSIC PLAYING] DAVID COWAN: Before I went to college, I didn't even know sign language. I went to Gallaudet University.
It's the only liberal arts college for the deaf in the world. I started as a deaf interpreter in 1984.
I really get tired of the deaf community being left behind with what's happening in the world.
Now, especially with this emergency situation, this pandemic, this is a very, very bad time
to be behind the learning curve. I came out when I was 14, and my parents were not surprised at all.
And I was fortunate growing up. I came out before high school, before college, before all these major life events.
I did receive some bullying and was picked on, but I was able to ignore it and just carry on.
For our class reunion at Gallaudet University, our 25th anniversary, at my table, I was with all my friends from college.
They all said, thank you so much. You stood up for yourself. You showed us what it meant to be a proud gay person,
and that it was OK. That was very touching to me. They came over and hugged me and said, thank you. Thank you for standing up for who you are.
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