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Hearing Herself for the First Time
by Trent Gilliss, senior editor
“My whole life I’ve been complimented on how well I speak. I don’t really have an answer for you other than I have always had a passion for reading, grammar, and English. My hearing loss was/is considered severe to profound. I’ve worked very hard to be able to interact and blend in…only thing I can say is ‘God is good.’” —Sarah Churman
Here, in the public radio world, we often find ourselves preaching about the importance of listening. Somehow witnessing this video of a 29-year-old woman truly listening to herself for the first time after receiving a middle ear implant makes our words seem shallow. The beauty of sound personified.
Born deaf, Ms. Churman had been wearing hearing aids since the age of two, she replied to one commenter, but “hearing aids can only help so much.” We can only imagine the overwhelming music of hearing oneself laugh and speak and cry for the first time. Oh, and if you’re wondering, she has a Texas accent!
The YouTube project called "It Gets Better" is a noble effort to help save the many young gay and questioning children and teenagers out there right now who are struggling, who are contemplating suicide. The project tries to show those “despairing LGBT kids who are being bullied and harassed, kids who don’t think they have a future” that adults who were in their same situation as them have endured and emerged in a safer, happier place. They are examples that life goes on, that situations do improve.
The video above of Dan Savage, the author of the syndicated sex column “Savage Love” and who started this project after Billy Lucas’ suicide, and his husband should be a vivid reminder to all of us about the true virtue of civility and kindness. No matter where you stand on the gay rights issue, this video should appeal to the need for a common decency for all people.
And for all of you Project Runway fans, Tim Gunn has recently released his contribution to the project with a troubling story from his own childhood: