My life story

A deaf child of hearing parents and the only deaf person in my early surroundings: these were the foundations for a serious identity crisis endured in my youth. I was completely lost from myself – I didn’t know if I was deaf or hearing, or what my mother tongue really was.

The deaf rehabilitation and education policies of the day left my family utterly alone in dealing with these issues. The crisis could have had a tragic end, but fortunately in my case it didn’t. It took years of searching, however, to finally grow into my identity as a deaf person and to adopt Finnish Sign Language as my mother tongue.

Now, as a deaf signer, I am a proud member of a linguistic and cultural minority.