It’s Time to Stop Desexualizing Disabled People.
When I told my hearing ex-boyfriend that I was considering cochlear implant surgery, we were in bed in his college dorm room: an unwashed clearing in a muddle of strewn clothes, textbooks, and papers.
As a deaf 19-year-old undergraduate woman who wore hearing aids, I struggled to assimilate into hearing college culture. Young adults with no experience interacting with D/deaf people surrounded me 24/7, often in the frenzied settings that typify college life: frat parties rife with cloyingly sweet “jungle juice” in red Dixie cups; bustling bars cluttered by a commotion of strobe lights, thundering music, and underage students; hazily lit streets. Except for my ex-boyfriend, most of them seemed too caught up in playing beer pong and savoring their new freedom to learn to communicate with me. I thought a cochlear implant could help me fit in better.