Dancing with the Stars and America’s Next Top Model winner Nyle DiMarco spoke at the Human Rights Campaign National Gala over the weekend and gave an inspiring speech about what it means to him to be deaf, and also LGBTQ.
“Tonight is about embracing our identities and our differences to find confidence to do whatever we are inspired to do. My passion, personally, is being my true self while inspiring young people who are struggling with their identities to love themselves for who they are. And myself, as a sexually fluid deaf man, I know that embracing all our identities is the way to thrive and to overcome the limitations and prejudices that surround us. There is no doubt in my mind that human diversity is what colors our world. For all LGBTQ Americans, we know from experience that labels can’t hold us back. We can change the world one person at a time simply by being our true selves.”
DiMarco also joked that one major advantage he has over people who can hear is that he doesn’t have to listen to Donald Trump:
“Seriously, I don’t find not being able to hear an obstacle or a boundary. For me and for many of us, it is an advantage and it’s a part of my identity in fact. It’s a huge part of who I am. And in this very turbulent political year, trust me, don’t you want to sometimes just turn the volume off completely when Donald Trump starts to rant? I have a tremendous advantage there as well. I don’t hear a thing.”
Watch DiMarco’s inspiring speech: