I love reading art and culture magazines called “Juxtapoz” and Hi-Fructose. If you do not know,
go to Barnes and Nobles bookstore, They sell those magazines. Their focus is on street and local artists.
Really, its non-traditional form of art. That, I am drawn to. Its not like going to an art museum or art gallery.
Most are similar and basic. This one is completely different. Looking at the magazines inspires me.
Where are the Deaf? Their unique arts? Where is that bond? I asked my brother, hearing and coda,
who is an outstanding artist as well as specializes in English. So, I thought why not ask him to work as a team?
to set this up? At first, the original idea was for Deaf only. My brother is a coda, so we decided to target signers.
A signing magazine. Make it unique. We both had a chat and went with it. Once I have an idea, I tend to do it.
My brother and I brainstormed different names. From there, we noticed a repetitive pattern -
that was when we responded to anything we love such as I “kissfist” reading, I “kissfist” art and culture magazines,
I “kiss-fist” my friend’s art, I “kiss-fist” that thing. See that sign “kiss-fist’? We kept using it over and over.
Why not call it “Kiss-Fist Magazine”? Some people even asked if we came up with that term.
No, no. That name, “Kiss-Fist” has been here for a long time. I met up with Bernard Bragg at World Deaf Cinema Festival.
He told me that he knew the person who invented the word, “Kiss-Fist” long time ago before his time.
WOW! Meaning I do not know how many years, but its a long time.
Kiss-Fist Magazine is an online/internet based magazine. How did we set it up? Through a free program called Issuu
Really, its a website not a program. They offer a platform for any of us to upload files in order to make a magazine.
Then it will change into a page-turning mode. Like an actual magazine! Free.
That was a perfect for our company - we just started. We grabbed the opportunity to upload everything there.
Plus, our goal is to spread widely all over the world. People who have computers can have access to it and pay nothing.
One thing is that its very time-consuming...we took a lot of our time to invest this from our hearts.
We enjoyed doing what we do.
Out of the ten magazines...This March will be the tenth issue. Which issue is my favorite?
I love the portrait - we did one for adults only then another one for children only. That kind, I kissfist. See the kissfist?
Why? It is those captured moments, how they communicated their thoughts, and represented mannnny
faces of our community. Different cultures, different backgrounds. I’ve always been intrigued by that.
You know, you do not have to use words. The picture itself is a statement alone. That’s my favorite.
First, I’d like to publish in paper. I admit I am a magazine addict - lovvve magazines! I get excited when the mail
arrives. I picked up the magazine - ah, it smells fresh. I ban my husband from touching them. It is my first.
Here I am turning the pages in the right corner with the dimmed lights and candles.
Serve myself tea or wine, coffee - whatever and browse through. That vision I want to see everywhere,
people who sign, deaf, hard of hearing, interpreters, CODAs can have that experience.
The mail arrives - yes, here is the Kiss-Fist magazine! A plus, Deaf-Blind can read that as opposed to the internet.
Not everyone have computers or understand how to use them. That is the goal. I know it is not environment-friendly
paper and the trees. Yes, but it would be nice to perhaps do on a recycled paper, Expensive, I know. But
with a lot of money, we can do that. Secondly, I want to hire staff such as writers, photographers, layout, marketer,
and many more. To expand Kiss-Fist, be more sophisticated, pay them to fly to countries to interview and film.
When they're finished, Then show it through Kiss-Fist all over the world, our community. That is my fantasy.
I did look at them. Wow, its hard to pick because I know everyone works hard to get where they are today.
We know they have their own passion, dreams, struggles, successes. Hard to pick! I feel we are all the same.
I work at Kiss-Fist - sometimes, it does get lonely. Meeting deadlines, interviewing, getting things together, stressing
out, as soon its finished, do they like it? Is it worth it? We're not sure. We are the same, working hard to be successful.
They just do it. Same, same. We feel we are not alone. So, it is nice to have all of us to have something in common
Deaf Women being successful. Again, hard to pick one.
What does a pearl mean? I am sure each had similar answer. Rare, unique, hard to find, takes time to a pearl.
That is the same as Deaf women. Rare, unique, hard to find, and takes time to work on things in order to take off.
A perfect word. There are many hidden pearls all over so to have an opportunity to find, recognize, and applaud...
We have too many hearing people who gets recognized alllll the time. Wow!!! TV, magazines, awards - its all over.
Where is that for Deaf women? A pearl is a perfect match - special, rare, beautiful too.
Should The Pearls take place again, who would I nominate? Of course, my mom. My mom name is Laurene Simms.
She is indeed a pioneer. Amazing! Black Deaf Woman who has a PHD. If you look at institutions, the average of a Deaf Black,
man or woman, to graduate from high school, go to college, and be successful...Counting with this hand only. That's all.
Really, its so small. Most Deaf Black students are undereducated, often misunderstood as well as
taken out of class for being a trouble maker. Or are oppressed, discriminated or lacked the encouragement in growth.
My mom failed kindergarten TWICE in which gave her the diagnose as mentally retarded.
IQ is low and her future is no good. Understand that my mom has no deaf family, no deaf family members.
Her language was developed late. From that to being a high school graduate being one of the top students
to receiving a PHD to college professor at Gallaudet. She is one of the most successful activist
with deaf education all over the world. What she does is continuing to impact everywhere. I get shivers seeing her
seeing her work, determination, fight, stamina. She is a pearl.