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Tuesday, April 11, 2017

RE: [DBMi] deaf prom

Congrats, Angie for being prom queen.

-----Original Message-----
From: [] On Behalf Of Angie
Sent: Tuesday, April 11, 2017 7:22 PM
To: my blog <>
Subject: [DBMi] deaf prom

As the big date approached I couldn't resist playing the drama queen on Facebook:

It's going to snow on my prom!

Prom jitters... They are serving pasta, and i'm wearing off-white!

Time to Journey to Neverland. My date is a 19 year old hottie
in a lavender dress. I wear the pants in this relationship.

The 2nd annual Deaf Prom was held on April 8th at Quaker Square in Akron, Ohio. The prom is an awareness and social event sponsored by the University of Akron ASL Club.

I didn't attend my high school prom, Homecoming or any other formal events. Boys tended not to like girls with both hearing and vision disabilities. I never went on a date or had a boyfriend.

It didn't bother me that I missed the prom. The 18 year old me operated in survival mode. the less time out in the big, bad world, the better to reduce anxiety and humiliation. I had no desire to attend a normal teen right of passage. It didn't bother me... and that's what bothers the adult me.

I know what you are thinking, and you are wrong. This isn't a story about an adult going back to re-do the past she never had.
This is the tale of an adult with a sense of humor who wanted an exciting night out with people who can speak her language -- sign language, because, yes, she has some icky disabilities that makes interacting with the public a challenge.

I was pretty in pink pants... dusty rose jeans, that is. If I'm going to do something, I'll do it my way. No chance I'd buy and wear an actual prom dress. But the cream colored sweater I wore was kind of fancy. With dangling gold and cream earrings, a little makeup and rose nail polish, I looked like a girl. (My "lipstick" was Dr. Pepper flavored lip gloss... more doing it my

Miranda, a Kent State interpreter student, was my "date." She bought us both flowers made to match our dress colors. Mine had baby breath, lilies and flowers in purple and pink. I used the neat magnets to attach it to my sweater. Miranda had a wardrobe crisis when she knocked hers off and the inner magnet dropped into her bra.

My friend Greg got dinner for me: rigatoni, a brad stick, salad and sugar cookies. I did not make a mess of myself. Someone else spilled his entire plate on his clothes... but the prom went on.

We were given party favors -- each person got a pair of sunglasses with "University of Akron ASL Club" written on the sides. A trend-setter put his on for dinner. Soon we were all decked out in them. But an announcement was made asking us to take off the sunglasses. They interfered with reading facial expressions, which is a vital part of sign language.

After dinner, Miranda and I went to the night, starry sky back drop for formal pictures... and goofy ones with us wearing bright feather bows and another with me in Mickey Mouse ears and Miranda in a hat with propellers. (I'm told I am smirking in that one.)

The prom guests were adults and college students, but the atmosphere was pure high school awkwardness on the dance floor.
Everyone was waiting for someone else to start. I "jumped in" for YMCA and the worm, plus other fast dances. I sat in my mobility chair while Miranda and some guys helped me with the moves.

Some things have changed. Nominations for king and queen were taken via text messages. The top five hearing nominees and top tow deaf moved onto the final round of voting. Alex and Avery were voted hearing prom king and queen. Louis was voted deaf king for the second year in a row. At this point, I told Miranda I wanted to leave right away. She just laughed.

The deaf prom queen was............... me!

I let out a huge mock, shock reaction as I went forward for my crown. Louis and I did a slow dance together. It wasn't a dream come true, I never dreamed I'd be prom queen. It was still pretty cool. I accepted congratulations from my fans and smiled for
1,000 pictures.

From being a master to a prom queen at age 43... It's not inspirational, just fun.

Angie C. Orlando
April 2017
Permission is granted to share.

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