Deafula #8 - The Relationships Issue - by Kerri Radley
Deafula is a personal zine written by Kerri Radley, tracing her experiences as a deaf person in a hearing world. In this issue, Kerri focuses on the topic of relationships, exploring her history of dating hearing people and interviewing her husband, Andy. I found the zine incredibly valuable in terms of providing insight into what it can be like to be deaf in an ableist society.
While some of Kerri's relationship experiences were directly related to being deaf and negotiating that particular realm, I identified with many of her stories—the memory of first realizing your difference (whatever that may be), moving and growing with a partner, and anxiety/navigating a relationship where one person is more social or outgoing than the other. I also learned a lot from this zine, particularly during the Q&A with Andy (who I absolutely cherished by the end of the 42 pages). I loved how open both writers were about their struggles, failures, and successes.
The personal stories Kerri uses to illustrate her points are poignant and impeccably chosen; the writing and editing are superb. I was particularly struck by the layout. What at first glance seems like simple "cut and paste" zine construction is really a carefully chosen visual structure that paces the reader and draws attention to certain points—almost like line breaks in a poem.
Deafula is a zine that has already made me consider the compassion reflected in my thoughts and actions. So glad that this one came across my radar (and yay for Philly-based writers!).
Cover illustration by Sara Bear.