Mean Little Deaf Queer: A Memoir | Print |

Full of dark humor and melancholy wit, Mean Little Deaf Queer stories the triumphs and stumbling blocks of one woman's handicapped life.

When Terry Galloway was but a fetus, her mother was injected with an experimental antibiotic by a German military doctor. Her mother felt her feet grow cold and the baby roll over, and before Galloway was even born, her life was fixed to be different. The drugs caused permanent deafness and sporadic hallucinations in her childhood, and her young adult life was marked by Galloway coming to terms with both her disability and her queerness. Though the author’s path was threaded with struggles, this is a memoir where tragedy is spun into quirky hilarity. When Galloway was just a kid she left a doctor’s appointment with glasses “as thick as a cow’s tongue” and a “box-sized” hearing aid that wrapped around her head and tucked into her training bra. Looking in the mirror, she thought, “This next part of my life is gonna suck. I bet I can milk it for every tear it’s worth.” And that’s precisely what she did. From proud reenactments of scenes from The Miracle Worker in her front yard to staging her own drowning at a camp for crippled children, Galloway channeled her trauma into drama and pioneered a life in theater. Like discovering a lost Sedaris, this is the kind of writing that encourages laughing and reading out loud. While the book addresses serious and personal life issues, at its core it is a funny and colorful tangle of episodes that anyone can enjoy—mean, little, deaf, queer, or not.