From the Gallaudet Press article on how Alexandrea Hermann essentially "lost" even though she won the Miss Deaf California pageant crown in 1991 due to a "technicality" or rather more like people had a bit of snit-fit over her winning the crown.
Those who deviated from this model faced increasing challenges. For example, Alexandrea Hermann won the Miss Deaf California pageant in 1991, playing piano for the talent portion. After the pageant, however, members of the community roundly criticized for her “mainstream lifestyle”—reading lips and speaking, attending a hearing school, and socializing primarily with hearing people. Hermann was informed that she could not use her piano talent for the national competition. She did not win the national title. In the following year, a Deaf Life poll asked readers whether they felt pageant contestants should be allowed to sing or play music as part of their talent routines. Although most (62 percent) answered yes, a strong minority (39 percent) disagreed. One former judge in state deaf pageants suggested that contestants be aware that “some kind of fallout [might occur] if they decided to sign or play music.” Another opponent of “hearing”-style performances answered with an emphatic “No!” The respondent continued: “Most Deaf audience do not benefit from it [sic]. . . . They will talk to each other until the next contestant comes on stage with respect and pride in her culture!” This attitude pervaded many state and national pageants. As a current description of the pageant notes, “This is not an ordinary contest . . . beauty, poise, gracefulness are desirable qualities, but the biggest point is one’s cultural talent performance” and that “the women are judged across a broad spectrum of categories including . . . knowledge of deaf culture.”
Interesting history. I guess her identity as a pianist, preferring to read lips and speak, ability to socialize among hearing people isn't up to deaf culture standards, hence, no "deafhood" for her because her own personal journey doesn't jive with theirs. Yet they still want their music, too. So, tell me, where's the contradiction here? Maybe Beethoven's Nightmare isn't really a deaf culture thing and it's really all about practicing the a-wordism. No? With more and more deaf and hard of hearing people wearing hearing aids and cochlear implants nowadays, perhaps some rule changes are needed for these deaf pageant competitions?
More questions about the pageant win.
Many objected when the woman chosen Miss Deaf California played a Bach piano concerto for the pageant's talent competition. Should the title have gone to someone with enough hearing to play music, or picked for her ability to do something that other hard-of-hearing people could not appreciate?
And what about make Beethoven's Nightmare then?