I am always interested in identity issues especially in relation to deaf and hard of hearing people. I have students who claim they are hearing with their hearing aids or cochlear implants on, but feel as if or know that they are deaf without them. One of them would say, "Sometimes I am hearing, sometimes I am not." Labeling oneself is especially hard for someone who is hard of hearing, not severely-profoundly deaf, but mildly-moderately deaf. They are in between being hearing and deaf. I know that I am always stressing over what to call myself and others who have deafness. Deafness and hearing abilities of each individual varies. It is not so simple for some people to give themselves one label to describe his or her hearing loss.
For example, with my hearing aid on, I will still have some trouble hearing certain things such as high pitch sounds (microwave beeping, birds whistling, etc.) and speech in everyday situations. Without my hearing aid, I am pretty much deaf to these sounds, but I can hear everything else pretty well with my good ear.
I cannot hear anything with my left ear. It feels vibrations, but that's it. So, I never have talked on the phone using my left ear.
I am deaf in noisy areas. I am especially deaf in noisy areas when I am not wearing my hearing aid. I am deaf to everyday conversations with strangers if I cannot see their faces or if I do not know the topic of what they choose to talk about with me.
I am hearing in a completely quiet place engaging in a one-on-one conversation with someone, with or without my hearing aid (depending on how the person speaks or if I have good visibility of the person's face).
Like I said in my earlier post, I like to give a detail description of my hearing loss if time allows. If not, I simply say that I am hard of hearing or that I don't hear too well.
I don't know what to call myself sometimes. And that is OK.
I am who I am. We are who we are. It depends on the situation.