No one gives you a manual on how to be a Deaf gay man.
Raymond Luczak shares stories from his days growing up as a deaf gay man in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and learning signs in secret, trying to follow the music on the radio in order to be cool like his hearing classmates, and feeling clueless whenever gay cultural icons like the Village People, Queen, and Bette Midler were promoted in his small hometown. After he graduated from high school and enrolled at Gallaudet University, the world’s only university for Deaf people, he discovered gay literature and came out soon after. He eventually got involved with Deaf theater collaborators, educators, and sign language interpreters, from which his worldview is substantially reshaped on issues of identity, literacy, technology, and family.
Assembly Required offers a rare in-depth glimpse into what it means to be a Deaf gay man who lives between the Deaf and hearing worlds. This edition incorporates Luczak’s new observations from the last ten years since it appeared in 2009.
Chapter titles include “Little Winks Everywhere,” “The Night the Bee Gees Changed My Life,” “Daggers in Our Hands,” “My Technological Evolution as a Deaf Person,” and “Lousy Show with Great Production Values.” Most of the chapters in the book were published as essays in various periodicals over the last two decades. The book was actually inspired by my essay “Notes of a Deaf Gay Writer,” which first appeared in the Christopher Street magazine in December 1990. The rest, as some would say, is history.