‘You would be perfect, if it wasn’t for your hearing aids…’
I looked on a gape, at the Spanish guy outside the nightclub in Madrid.
He just did not say that.
‘So would you be if it wasn’t for your ignorance!’ I brushed past him, into the nightclub to party with my friends to forget about this awful brief encounter.
I could have laughed it off, muttering to myself that it’s his loss. He would never know of this kind-hearted and cheeky British travel blogger in his lifetime.
But tonight, it hurt. I felt tears stinging my eyes. My cheeks puffed up and I made a detour into the bathroom, thankfully quiet.
I stared in the mirror, judging my face. My boyish rugged looks had eyes holding proof of seeing a thousand beauties across the world. But it was missing something:
A sparkle of wanting to be loved and the yearning of loving another man.
Suddenly, my hearing aid bleeped to announce moisture in my ear mold. Taking it out, I looked at it. How can this small technological device, that has given back my hearing and made the person I am today, can also affect my dating life big time?
With a sigh, I cleaned up the ear mold and looked again in the mirror. This time, the red eyes were gone.
No, I am proud of my deafness and there isn’t an ignorant guy who couldn’t take it away from me. It’s definitely his loss.
There were crushes during my five years traveling- my heart pounding every time I saw my potential ‘Mr Ed’ walk into the room. Some were mutually felt, but if you’re out on the road, I would have to wave goodbye, my disappointment a whirlwind romance has puttered out.
So, surely LGBTI people across the globe doesn’t have an issue with deafness? I hope not. But when it comes down to it, I often get struck out.
Case in point, if I ever go into a party wearing my hearing aids, it’s very rarely that I would get chatted up. However, without my hearing aids, it brings different results. Lots of people would talk to me, some more eagerly than others. It’s not a brag but it just shows how much a difference stereotyping can be.
Now, in London, used to people staring at my hearing aids on the tube, I am proud of my deafness and no one is going to make me feel small because of it.
The dating apps were, sometimes, a disappointment. Some endlessly want to exchange hellos, only blocking me upon discovering my deafness.
A chance encounter in a bar may stop in mid flow, their eyes moving sideways to the side of my head. What was a burgeoning conversation was soon stopped as they went to get a drink and never return.
Would you like to know I have my type too? A killer smile to light my day. A tall man to match my six-foot frame to lean against. A wealth of banter to duel with, silliness too. But above all else, a loyal and loving trait that will make me feel content. Even a mutual love for cheesy pop music might just beat that!
You definitely meet some wonders involving hilarious situations with my deafness:
When I was in a loud bar, my date kept leaning into my ear. Unable to hear him, my fall back option of lip-reading wasn’t there as his head was pressed against mine. Pushing him back, I simply tapped on my lips with one finger conveying I needed to see his face. But instead he took it as a cue to kiss me! That’s a win for all!
Could I have given up, only seeing the rest of my year traveling the London Underground twice a day with only music for company in my headphones, making eye contact with those who are mildly inquisitive of my weird headphones on my hearing aids?
No. I know my ‘Mr Ed’ is out there. But will we cross paths? Sure. I know someone is out there to share my life with. One to be teasing me when I mishear anything. One to call me out when I selectively hear that I want a cup of tea, not the washing up. One to be my ears if I miss out anything. And definitely, one to treat me as a person who tells bad dad jokes and a person that loves, not someone with just a disability.
You know guys, I’m totally worth it.
Follow Ed Rex on his adventures here: RexyEdventures Travel Blog