Opinions. Everyone has one, don’t they? And the media seem to be more interested in opinions that differ from the majority, particularly if those opinion will provoke a reaction. Reactions mean ratings, reviews and revenues for their product. For many years, my opinions were sought because they were subversive or weird. Lots of conversations later and many of those opinions, which I have been spouting since the 1980’s have become mainstream. Let that be a lesson to us all.
Since the 1990s, I have been called on to be a spokesperson or even just a flesh-and-blood example of an LGBT person. (I have just as often declined to be that person because I felt there was more appropriate person out there). I have contributed to many books, podcasts, TV programmes, documentaries and films over the years including Another Country, Queen of Ireland, In The Name of Love.
As a Child of Deaf Adults (CODA), I have been a life-long advocate and spokesperson on deaf issues. I have literally spoken on behalf of my parents since I was a small child. I am fluent in Irish Sign Language (ISL) and advocated for ISL to achieve official language status in Ireland (which deaf rights organizations accomplished in 2017). Additionally, I have spoken regularly about my experiences as a CODA and highlighted the needs of the Irish deaf community.