November 2012

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 12 of 99

liveIn the Moment with Liysa Callsen A local author offers a unique perspective on self-acceptance Ask Liysa Callsen about her childhood, and she'll have a lot to say. Th e catch is, you won't just hear her stories—you'll also see them unfold through sign language. Growing up in Livonia, Mich. as a non- deaf child of two deaf parents, Callsen struggled to fi nd her place as someone who could hear and speak while communicat- ing with her family through sign language. After attempting to circumvent her iden- tity crisis during college and beyond, she gave in. "I kept fi nding there was a void in my life, so I decided to become an interpreter," she says. Callsen hit her stride. "For a long time I unintentionally segre- As an interpreter living in Chicago, gated the deaf and hearing cultures," she refl ects. "Once I started to mingle with the younger deaf generation, I rekindled my love for the deaf community." Callsen also found love with a deaf man Hear (and see) Callsen in Action Witness the powerful combination of Liysa Callsen signing while Kathryn Gahl nar- rates during the Wisconsin Book Festival. The pair will take the stage in the Rotunda at the Overture Center for the Arts on Saturday, Nov. 10. Visit wisconsinbook- named Karl, whom she would later marry. To refl ect on coming full circle, Callsen developed a comedy routine that lovingly pokes fun at her husband and their life together, while subtly spreading awareness about the deaf community. When Callsen was encouraged to submit her dynamic story to the Wisconsin Book Festival, she didn't skip a beat. With help from friend and local author Kathryn Gahl, Callsen fi nished her inspirational tale, aptly ti- tled, "Tell 'Em," just in time for spreading awareness through comedy, or promoting her new book, Callsen embrac- es her bi-cultural identity. She talks and signs—not because she has to, but because it defi nes who she is. "For so long, I didn't have the joy that the event this month. Whether working in her day job as an event coordinator at Manito- woc's Holy Family Memorial Hospital, came with complete acceptance of who I was," Callsen admits. "Somehow along the way, I discovered how to love myself with- out judgment. Th at has made me an entirely better person." —Mollie Busby November 2012 11 Photo by Sarah Maughan

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Brava - November 2012