A 27-year-old designer, John-Charles has had more than one bad date. As he explains in the video above, “I’ve had plenty of experience with dating but it never goes anywhere after the first date. That’s always been the way.”
That could be because John-Charles is deaf. And to communicate, he and his date often pass a phone back and forth with text messages on them.
This was revealed on a TV reality show, First Dates Ireland, which featured, for the first time, a date that was carried out entirely in sign language. John-Charles and Stephen, who is a hearing person and knows sign language, swapped stories about dating deaf people.
The pair hit it off quickly, carrying on a smooth conversation in sign language. Stephen, who also happens to be the reigning Mr Gay Ireland, had a severe speech impediment while growing up, as he explains in the video below. This drove him to study sign language in college.
“It would have been so strange for me being deaf to be paired with a hearing person who couldn’t sign,” John-Charles told Stephen at the start of the date. “It would’ve been so awkward if there was an interpreter in between us translating,” Stephen replied.
The date moved people across the world, for all the best reasons. And support and approval came pouring in.