Covid pandemic coverage — I was born with what you call a “double whammy”: I’m deaf and gay. I tend to not really dwell on being deaf. It’s just who I am. It never really occurred to me that I was different. I learned American Sign Language, or ASL, when I was a student at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. It’s the only liberal arts college specifically for deaf people in the world. Growing up, I was always fascinated by languages. I know a few other foreign languages, like Spanish. I’m somewhat of a linguist. The role of interpreter not only requires translating but also considering how people will understand what you’re saying to them. I have been an interpreter for 36 years, since 1984.