Many of us have a family member who needs different accommodations than the rest of the family, such as hearing aids or a wheelchair. As a family, we do what we can to take care of them.
Outside of the home, unfortunately, not everyone will be so accommodating or open-minded.
Two siblings were surprised to find out there’s a time and a place for the accommodations they’ve always performed for their deaf older brother.
One sibling, “SnooPineapples4931” on Reddit, wrote in to the “Am I the A**hole?” subReddit, wondering where to draw the line.
The OP (Original Poster) asked the sub:
“AITA (Am I the A**hole) for using sign language in public even though I’m not disabled?”
The OP explained how integral sign language has become to their communications.
“My oldest brother is deaf from birth. And my younger brother and I were taught sign language when we were little so we could communicate with him.”
“It’s very often that when we are among friends or at family gatherings, my younger brother and I would still communicate with each other using sign language especially when we want to talk about something we don’t want other people to know.”
“My oldest brother has no problem with it.”
Despite the brother’s open-mindedness, the OP just found out others may not feel the same.
“But apparently some people think it’s so disrespectful to use sign language when we are neither deaf nor mute, especially in public.”
“Yesterday at a friend’s parent’s funeral, which we were attending, a family member of the friend, who is disabled, confronted us.”
“He told us we, who have no hearing or speaking disability, shouldn’t be communicating using sign language in public because, first, it’s offensive to him and other disabled people.”
“Second, because we are giving the wrong impression to people who don’t know us that we’re disabled, which is also offensive.”
Despite trying to explain the situation, the OP was still reprimanded.
“I told him my oldest brother is deaf so we have been communicating using sign language around the house for years since we were little and that we had no intention of offending anybody with disabilities. It’s just a habit.”
“He insisted that it’s still very offensive that we do it and asked us to stop.”
“I politely told him he’s not the boss of me and I can do whatever I want and then left.”
“Am I really the a**hole?”