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Deaf Queen Boss
Episode 52nd May 2021 • Butterfly Kisses • Amy Gray-Cunningham
00:00:00 00:27:31

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Join Amy as she chats with Kellina Powell, the Deaf Queen Boss, about what it was like growing up with a disability and how she navigates in the hearing community. Kellina sees herself as an advocate for the deaf and has written a book-Everyday I am Deaf which is set to be released in June of 2021.

You can follow Kellina on Instagram @deafqueenboss.

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Amy:

Hello, and welcome to butterfly kisses podcast a journey of spiritual transformation. I am here today with Kellina Powell, she is the Deaf Queen boss and I am so excited to have her on our show today. She is here to tell us all about what it's like to live in the deaf community and what it's like to be a deaf person. We were just having a little conversation about that. And I have to say I am very impressed with the way Kellina presents herself and the things that she has to say. And her story is phenomenal. It's just amazing to hear where she comes from. And I can't wait for you guys to all hear about it. So right now I'm going to turn it over to Kellina and let her tell you a little bit about her background. And then we'll get into some questions.

Kellina:

So thank you so much for having me. I love it. I love it. I am deaf, I became deaf at the age of four. So right now I am graduating from psychology. I am located in Canada, Toronto, and I am starting off my own mental health coaching business for people who have a disability and for those who have any other mental health

Kellina:

struggles, so and also to have a big bigger mission, a book a book about me being deaf and in the hearing community. So I would love for the whole community to know and what it's like to deaf. Well,

Amy:

that is amazing. And you know, it's interesting, because I remember we were in school, I can't remember what grade we were in. But we were trying an experiment with what it would be like to either be deaf or blind and trying to walk in the shoes of that person. And I remember having a mask over my eyes. I was the blind person for the day. And that was extremely challenging for me. But my other senses kind of picked up where I heard things more. I was able to smell things it was it was really interesting for me. So what is life like for you on a daily basis? Not being able to one of those senses? Do you rely on your other senses more? Or how does that work?

Kellina:

Yes, that is very true. I rely on my eyes. The most So, for example, my eye, are my ears. If you put it in that way. Because I am a lip reader, I have to see your left in order to in order to print the complete sentence. For example, COVID right now, because the masks, I can't understand anybody. I will not get the full sentence. To the point where I chose not to go outside as much as I used to. Because not everybody feels safe taking off the masks. Due to being 2 distances apart, though it's very difficult, especially COVID made it really really difficult for people who are deaf, and people who have a disability because there are some people that cannot even stand being outside without the masks on. For me all I do and literally just go to work, come home, or unless go to my friend's house. But that's only occasionally.

Kellina:

And that's pretty much it. But that is definitely my daily struggle, a lot of time reading lips, especially someone have an accident. It can be really difficult time time, right? I'm trying to like okay, wait slow down for a second to finish the sentence. So that is something I struggle daily basis is to read someones lips and complete the sentence to the point where ears get tired of listening. My eyes get tired, because I have to constantly Watch your mouth moves. I can finish a complete sentence. Wow, I

Amy:

hadn't thought about that. That would Yeah, that would make life a whole lot difficult for you with mask on. And for me, I know that. I mean, it's difficult for me, even to and it's funny that you bring that up because even with myself, we when we communicate with people, we are actually reading people's lips as well. So with the mask on, it's actually harder for me to hear and to listen and communicate with people with the mask on. It's a lot easier without it.

Amy:

What is the difference between hard of hearing and deaf? You became deaf at the age of four. Can you kind of tell us a little bit about how that happened? And what is the difference between being completely deaf being born deaf and becoming deaf or hard of hearing?

Kellina:

No problem. So I became deaf Because I had an ear infection. So my doctor prescribed me ear drops. And I went to daycare with the daycare staff did not follow instruction to the pint where that one day when I went home, my ear levels just dropped. I was in front of the TV my mom called me. I didn't hear my mom. She tapped me on my shoulder and imagine I was four years old, don't know what's going on. And she said, I called you. But the god little did. I knew I was lip reader. So I as reading her lips And she, but you can speak though. And I said, No, I can't hear through my ear. I can read your lips. My mom was a young mom. She freaked out. She calls my grandma, my grandma is a nurse. And my grandma said, No, your joking. Kellina can hear. So my mom got really scared she started panicking. My grandma rushed to home to pick me up to check out what was going on with me. My grandma realized that I was deafwa. And the next day we went to my family doctor, they thought it was too late to do anything. And right on the spot, I was deaf.

Amy:

Wow.

Amy:

What did your mother do? I mean,

Kellina:

unfortunately, I grandma my passed away last year, that was another unfortunately gonna have to go after. But also my mom too. I know for sure that my mom and she still in school she was in college, she tried to get her degree everything, especially to find out I had a disability on top of that. But a lot of my mom and my mom, what she's did, eas she went to the daycare figured out what was going on. And I think they didn't lawsuit I'm not too sure was very emotional for my family talk about it. I tried some but they don't really talk about it. It's such an emotional story for them. from then on moving forward, I went to an audiologist find out what really went down what type of what type of pipe in my ears, I would damage, what the doctor could tell. So we found out that my shell in my ear, it's a cracked. But it's how I became sever hearing, which means my hearing is at the bottom line, which means I had zero hearing, like you know, sound, the only thing I can hear loud airplanes vibration, and thats all I can hear.

Amy:

Wow, when my son was really young, he had a lot of ear infections. And I didn't realize how bad the ear infections were to the point that it actually affected his speech. Because he couldn't hear correctly. He would speak it was right around the time when developmentally you begin to start talking, he started talking the way he would hear words,

Kellina:

exactly

Amy:

he had his own little language, which was rather interesting, but he ended up getting earplugs which helped with the ear infections, but he had chronic ear infections as a baby. So I can kind of relate a little bit with that. That's actually scary as a parent to, to know that, you know, you put your child in the care of somebody, and they're not caring for your child the way you would what you would want them I would be very angry.

Kellina:

She was really angry. She was really angry. You know, thank God I have, we had a lot of support in the family who was willing to step up towards that and kind of help a lot, actually a lot because I had a disability and I was the first person with them that it's up, but we're another home different switch for my family.

Amy:

So how is this affected you on a spiritual level?

Kellina:

there ever really really got me really confusing, I was lost. I was always crying. I was always doubting myself a lot. I would always thought negative. I always thought that I was not gonna go to school or not have fun. Because I became deaf at four and that was the first time I hear me when I was four. I never kept my hearing aid in at all. I kept taking it out and I just kind of frustrated I throw it in the garbage ebecause I remember one time I threw in the garbage. And too much to the point where I always have my phone every night every night I used to cry a lot over really, really tired and exhausting.

Amy:

were you resentful? Did you feel different?

Kellina:

I would say yes and no. What made me the opponent on people. I mean, I thought like do I mean by people with what made me really get so much anxiety. Because I was really nervous to speak. But the hearing community I I thought people would make fun of my speech. I thought people wouldn't take me serious just like everybody else. And I did not want people to oversee me so much and I was young too but I have to mature at such a young age, how to advocate for myself. In the hearing committee

Amy:

we were four so you were speaking fairly well, when you became hard of hearing? Where did you go through like speech therapy?

Amy:

Because you speak very well, for someone who can't hear you. And I can understand you very clearly. That I mean, that's very impressive. So did you go to like speech therapy? or How did you learn how to speak so well.

Kellina:

So it all started, I went to two different school, I ended up going to deaf school and a hearing school. So right there, I was able to pick up a lot of voices, different speech, and, and then I was there a year or two, I ended up having a speech therapist, a speech therapist, from when I was a baby that was from when I was six, to grade five, that whole year, I had a speech therapy, the whole time, when I was young, to be able to pick up the speech, though, luckily, I was able to have a speech therapsit to walk through me, all school year, which is very impressive, because a lot of people don't get that opportunity.

Amy:

Hearing that I commend you, because my son actually went through many years of speech therapy because of his hearing loss as well, from the ear infections. And he actually had a learning disability, a cognitive learning disability, trying to understand what he was reading, and because of the hearing, the hearing loss that he had, and he suffered when he was a little, little guy, but eventually he was able to work through that with lots of training and practice and help. I'm very grateful for that. How do you teach others to communicate with you, because I'm assuming that's what a lot of what your book is about. And I'm curious to know how you do that. For me,

Kellina:

I always tell people I'm very outspoken and being social over the years, and I ground myself. I always tell people, like, Hey, these are my rules. And if you can help me accommodate with me, so usually what I tell people is, you know, make sure you are using the right tool for me in terms of like closed caption, or speak very slowly, just be mindful that you have to be patient when you're speaking to me, though, I always tell people be patient always don't wait when they're speaking. And that's pretty much it. I don't really have that crazy like, support on me, because my hearing aids is Bluetooth. So that makes it even more easier for me. Before my previous hearing aid did not have Bluetooth. And that was really, really struggle for me for the past years. And luckily the technology improved.

Amy:

There. Thank God for technology.

Kellina:

Yes, yes.

Amy:

It's funny because when I when I look at you, one of the things that I do as I do Akashic Record readings, and when I when I look at you, I see the throat chakra is very is very prominent with you. And that's all in the hearing and the throat and speaking and you are very and I'm actually hearing you're very prominent when it comes to the throat chakra. So you have a message to portray and to get out there and I'm kudos for you for doing that. Now, let me ask you another question. When it comes to disabilities, do you feel you have a disability? Or do you feel that this is a blessing or, or part of what your soul is here to do? In this lifetime?

Kellina:

That's a really good question. I would say I do have a disability. Everybody called me that which I'm okay with that. But for me, I think I have a blessing and a gift. I feel like God created people everybody's different everybody unique way. And I will say for me, I knew I was gonna make a change in the world when I was young. I knew I was gonna. But then when I got older, I realized that there's no one like me and the hearing community Why? And when I got older, especially now I'm only 23 I'm going crazy right now with all the podcast meeting people in clubhouse, teaching people how to be inclusive. And when I realized when I went on Clubhouse and I taught people they were telling me like There's no one like you who have a strong message using your voice no one they ever met came across someone that is deaf and the reason for that and I realized that maybe I can make the change and maybe I can be the first one to go up on stage or even feature different people and so far things been changing for me like crazy people want to book with me that people that want me to be part of the project and it's just mind blowing how I'm actually only sign up to make a change, though. Yeah, and that Why decided to become a voice for the deaf community?

Amy:

I love it. I absolutely love it. You have got a mission and I love what is the name of your book. Do you have

Kellina:

a book? Yes. I just I every day I hear not a little bottom that I am just that's

Amy:

awesome when is it due to be released?

Kellina:

Well because of COVID in Canada, everything is strictly locked down like nothing is open except for a grocery store and Walmart. So unfortunately I called up the book company and they said it got to be delayed I wanted to get it released on my birthday which is may 29. But that it won't come out by then. So I'm just so I'm trying to hopefully we can get it going for maybe ending of June depending on how bad this lockdown is in Canada. So I'm just kind of waiting.

Amy:

Hopefully it won't last too much longer. Hopefully life will start getting back to normal. You'll definitely have to let me know when the book is out so I can put it out on the website and social media and we can help promote it because that's gonna be awesome book. So you you're graduating with a psychology degree?

Kellina:

Yes.

Amy:

That's awesome. Where

Amy:

are you going to school? So you don't mind me asking?

Kellina:

I go to York University in Canada Toronto.

Amy:

Is that where you're born and raised? Canada? Yes.

Amy:

One of the thing I wanted to touch on is that the feeling of being different Do you I had heard on a on another show that you were on that you had been bullied a lot as a kid. Can you talk a little bit about how you felt and what what made you feel different? Like

Kellina:

I would say I was bullied a lot a lot in high school Middle School elementary school I was pushed down the stairs kids were thrown rocks at me I came home with bruises took around the hospital I know teacher saw what the kids did they never really did anything at all and they said both to the kid but nothing to change the next day the kid that they bullied me even more because I told on them. and because my mom was in school and she would do social work they show up my mom showed up to school with her badge and little did they knew that was actually my mother. they had no idea and then my mom said I'm here about Kellina Powell that I can't oh my god she's showing her and like she has a disability and they were talking to him negative about me. So my mom thinks you just attack my daughter you're all getting fired. It was Crazy. Since that day there's no trouble in that school. But however there was a little bit bullying afterwards. Slowly as it goes back again. I remember I had two best friends. I'll never forget them we are still friends to this day? Yeah, they're like my best friend. They both stand up for me 24 seven, they were bullied them back to like, stop pickinf on Kellina just because she different. And right there, I realized that the people who actually want to help you and support you. And I always tell disability people that are always going to be someone especially if they don't have disability there was always going to be someone there to support you and help you with that being said thank goodness my best friend they all stand up for me no matter what happened. But how I thought were really confused. devastated because I was constantly telling them stop bullying me stop bullying me to the point where I didn't bother with the school for a couple of days or a couple of weeks because I'm too much and because you know a lot of time again I will check on my hearing aide but I was in school I would hide my ears and I never show my hearing aide and it's a lot of time but I was in school because I felt like that would change it the period of the track people like oh I can fit in that was something that I would always do and it was hiding my hearing aide 24 seven and that's when I you know my true best friend. They're always supporting me and everything they said now like two kids are deaf. I can't give you a gift I read and like I just viewed it as a blessing. So my best friend never really let me down. They They always supported and talk to me when I'm really down and it helped most of their time. There are times when I'm in the bathroom by myself and my best friend would look for me and like hey where's Kellina. I was in the bathroom, especially during recess time and we go outside. I never go outside. Sometimes I'd stay with the teacher or even staying the principles office and I don't want to go outside. So I was really exhausted and tired.

Amy:

I can completely relate. I was bullied as a kid. As a kid as well, it wasn't because I was deaf, I was just different than everybody else. And I always felt different. So I've never felt like I belonged anywhere. And I think I almost attracted to the bully, if that makes any sense, because I felt that I was easy to pick on.

Kellina:

Yes, that is a good way.

Amy:

However,

Amy:

the war in a word, like you said early, we are all uniquely created by by God. And we're all different. stepbrother has Down syndrome. And I just see him as being mad. He's just mad. But to look at him, he's different. But he's, he's just a different spice. He's a different flavor. And that's what makes everybody so unique and so wonderful in this world is we have different flavors. And you know, if everybody was like me, Lord forbid,

Amy:

boring place, so

Amu:

that we have a Kellina. And we have an Amy and we have a Dana and we have a Renee, and we have you know, we have all these different people that come together in this great big soup of a world to make it a beautiful, to me, it's a beautiful place. Some sometimes it could be a little crazy, but I love I love it when people like yourself stand up for a minority group such as being deaf. Yes. It brings up a really good point that I hadn't thought of before, is how do we communicate? And how do we communicate effectively amongst everybody? Because communication is the way that we learn how we interact with people in relationships as who we learn about who we are as a divine being, as well. And that to me is, that's huge. And when we have one of our senses missing?

Amy:

How do you do that?

Amy:

You know, how do we do that? And that that's, that's an interesting, interesting thing to ponder. And you do it very well.

kellina:

Thank you.

Amy:

So is there anything that you would like to bring up to any to everyone that you want anyone to know about? Death Queen boss, and what you do and you know where to find you? Number one, that would be

Kellina:

everybody can find me on my website, my website, Kellinasempowerment.com. My Instagram ID Deaf Queen Boss my Twitter QDKellina. So yeah, that's the three things you guys can find me on. And I just wanted to say one last thing. Please, please, please use your voice, you just never know, when you're going to get into a car accident or anything like crazy or anything that's going to happen to you. I alswys like to ask A lot of people to use their voice because like myself, when I adovicate for the deaf community, there are people who are deaf and who are mute and they don't have a voice. They don't speak. And I always encourage a lot of people. Be grateful for your voice. Always be grateful for your voice.

Amy:

I love that. I love that. And being someone who loves talking.

Amy:

Yes, I

Amy:

agree with you completely. Now, before I end, I always like to ask my guests one question. And it's funny for me to hear the answers. But if you could spend one hour on a park bench or some or any place talking with one person dead or alive, who would it be and why?

Kellina:

One person Oh, no. I would love to say one person is Michael Jackson. Because I love Michael Jackson, He is I look up to him like crazy. I even bought his book his biography when he passed away. Oh my God, my mom went crazy. I have a Michael Jackson mirror in my living room actually. Oh my God, we love Michael Jackson. I love him. I just love his moonwalk, oh my god. I would love to speak to Michael Jackson because he does so much for the kids alone and his charity work and his organization. And I just love his passion helping people even though he had a bit of drama, but I thought like people didn't really knew the true Michael Jackson by his heart. And instead of the publicity and all the bulkley drama that he had, and I just say no like and he did, he did a change and he made a point about the music video and all the thought he made and it was just so inspiring to a lot of people and try to make the two color coming together in one community especially the black and white music video he had which is really inspiring because he never wanted anybody to be different, he wants everybody to come together. And that's what I love about Michael Jackson.

Amy:

one of my favorite songs by him as we are the world.

Kellina:

Oh my goodness. Oh my God, my favorite. My favorite song A moment of time, I just love to do the dance move.

Amy:

I remember when my cousins were young, and I was babysitting them. My youngest cousin had the Michael Jackson glove and he used to do Oh, yeah. Oh, it's so fun.

Kellina:

Oh my god, it's so funny.

Amy:

Now he's probably shooting daggers at me like saying, I can't believe you're telling that story.

Amy:

We used to we we would always play Michael Jackson records records back in the day. It was records. He would do the moonwalk with Michael Jackson glove on. Well, thank you so much Kellina for joining us today and for telling your story. And we will definitely be keeping an eye out for your book. And again, tell us what the name of it is.

Kellina:

Every day I am Deaf. I am just dead at the bottom I say a little white thing. And yeah,

Amy:

that is awesome. By Kellina Powell. I love it. Thank you again so much for joining us and telling us your story. Good luck with everything and again you can find her at Deaf boss.

Kellina:

Deaf Queen Boss.

Amy:

Excuse me Deaf Queen boss. And then also her website is Kellinasempowerment.com. Thank you very much.

Kellina:

Thank you.

Amy:

Thank you for joining me on another episode of butterfly kisses a journey of spiritual transformation. If you like what you've heard, please subscribe by hitting the subscribe button. This way you won't miss it when a new episode is released. also join me on the Facebook page at butterfly kisses podcast. Here we can continue the conversations we've been discussing on these podcasts and you can also ask questions of our guests as well. Also, if you're interested in learning more about Akashic Record readings, you can schedule a free 15 minute consultation with me on the Facebook page. Or you can do so by visiting my website at Amy Greg Cunningham comm again, thank you and remember, always spread your gorgeous wings my friend and fly until next time. See ya

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