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#DeafBing? Yes, #DeafBing. It's a thing.

 

September 23, 2019

 By Natalie Hendrix-Evans, American Sign Language (ASL) teacher at Southport Highschool

This month, Natalie Hendrix-Evans, is our guest blogger and is sharing her experiences with #DeafBing.

Have you heard about #DeafBing? The Deaf Culture Experience has been around for many years but it isn't until 2016 that #DeafBing went viral on social media. Prior to 2016, Deaf people did vent to each other about “DeafBing” but without the hashtag. Once #DeafBing started, Deaf people around the world started to realize they’re not alone in their experiences. It’s an experience or culture behavior that is typical of those who are Deaf, have gone to Deaf schools, or may be from Deaf families. “Bing” is actually the ASL sign for “Tend-To” with the mouth movement “bing”. Many videos found online are only from the Deaf perspective, although a couple of these #DeafBing moments can be experienced by a hearing person as well. For example, the spilling of beverages while signing can be experienced by a person who is either Deaf or hearing. Another example would be the signing hazard of two people conversing in ASL and one person runs into a light pole or some object in the way. 

I enjoy all these #DeafBing videos because I can relate to many of them as a Deaf person myself. There are jokes that come up as a result of this, too.  For example, my personal favorite is the popcorn. I love popcorn. I tell people that microwave popcorn is for Hearing people because it requires you to listen for the popping to slow down. “Deaf popcorn” would be the awesome air poppers that shoot out the popcorn as they pop or even popping corn on the stove and feeling the popcorn pop inside the pot. I’ve also learned that I developed Deaf cultural habits without realizing it, such as waving to get someone’s attention or tapping on people’s shoulders, or even being late to events when I go out. One thing I’m always annoyed with is the fact that sometimes I leave the sink running, and my husband, who is hearing, will inform me when he sees me come out of the bathroom. I have several Deaf friends who have accidentally left their sink faucet running and left the house only to come home later and realized that it’s been running all day. When I go out to eat, if there’s too many things in the way on the table, I move those over to the side or out of the way because it blocks my view of the signing conversation.  I have seen glasses go flying in mid-signing conversations, or even eye / hand injuries happen from signing, and water glasses getting knocked over by signing. #DeafBing is a way for us to connect through our experiences as Deaf people. Not everyone in the world is Deaf, but we can all experience and appreciate #DeafBing.