In Narrating the Closet, Adams described “coming out” as a seemingly never-ending ongoing process. I reflected on the number of times I had to explain how a blind guy could see, and I had a better understanding of coming out. Although I do not have the same negative social stigma, I often get weary repeating myself, trying to explain how a blind guy can see. Autoethnography can provide the reader with an opportunity to embrace the cultural standpoint of the writer,1 especially if they find a way to associate the experience with their own journey. I am attempting to “seek dimensions of experience that will engender connection and recognition in the midst of complexity.”2 I offer this article to provide a perspective of the phenomenon created when an adventitiously blind person (a person who had sight long enough to have visual references, usually after the age of five) tries to re-enter the sight-biased world.
I Can’t Be Blind, I Can See
Vernon F. Humphrey was born into a military family in Germany and traveled extensively, as most U.S. Army families do. He graduated from Pasadena High School in Texas and started studying civil engineering. At nineteen he joined the Army and repaired medical equipment, as well as teaching. After a medical retirement just short of twenty years, he returned to higher education and received a BS in communication from Columbus State University (2005), a master’s in interpersonal/organizational communication from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette (2009), and a PhD in interpersonal/intercultural communication from the University of Southern Mississippi (2015). email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Vernon F. Humphrey; I Can’t Be Blind, I Can See. Journal of Autoethnography 21 September 2020; 1 (4): 370–377. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/joae.2020.1.4.370
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