Sunday, April 28, 2013

"I was ready to commit suicide"

A new play that incorporates ASL into the story is running in Los Angeles this weekend. The Boyle Heights' Casa 0101 Theater production is titled Tamales de Puerco. It's the story of Norma, an illegal immigrant who escapes the abuse of her huband with her deaf son. It's based on the the life of the writer, Mercedes Floresislas. She was homeless, illegal, and raising a deaf son while trying to get her college degree. She tells LA Weekly that when her son was still a toddler:
I went to specialists and they told me the silliest things you've ever heard: "He's got a little Down's Syndrome" or "He's just lazy." No, he was deaf. That's all he was... I was ready to commit suicide because I didn't see a way out. After I became a therapist, hearing those stories from my deaf clients -- they would blame themselves for anything. "Mom died because I'm deaf," or "It was my fault Mom went away." ...And now, it's completely different. My son is 17, and he's in the play. I'm in a really nice place in my life right now -- just to see how things worked out for my boy. It's a good thing I stuck around... One of the beautiful people in the deaf community told me when my son looks at himself in the mirror, he doesn't see me -- he sees his father. So I have to somehow bring his father into the deaf community and have him be there for him. His father is able to communicate at least through spelling.
The last show is today at 5pm. Find out about tickets here. Read more of the interview here.