Every day during the month of June, we will be spotlighting our 2022 Logo30. This powerful series profiles ordinary and extraordinary people who show pride in unique and provocative ways. Visit the Logo30 homepage to view current and past honorees.
By Athena Serrano
Becoming the first deaf winner of America’s Next Top Model in 2015, Nyle DiMarco asserts that his disability is anything but a disadvantage. In fact, it has given him a whole new outlook on his work in the fashion industry.
“Deaf people are incredibly visual. And so as deaf person, I rely on visual cues,” he says. “I rely on sort of what I’m seeing in my periphery all the time. And photographers often are giving feedback and tips and movement. I can read somebody’s body language and understand where they want me to move. Being able to emulate that in front of a camera lens, it’s a great advantage.”
Since then, the model, actor, producer, and filmmaker has used his platform to advocate for positive representation of LGBTQ people as well as those living with disabilities. He executive produced the Netflix series Deaf U, which follows a close-knit group of deaf college students attending Gallaudet University, and the short documentary Audible about a deaf football player named Amaree McKenstry-Hall; the latter was up for Best Documentary Short at the 94th Academy Awards in March. In addition to film projects, DiMarco also recently released his memoir, Deaf Utopia.
To DiMarco, Pride is about self-empowerment and being able to make decisions on one’s own terms. Through his various creative pursuits, his goal is to “work to represent queer deaf people, both on screen and behind the camera, bringing them into the writer’s rooms, bringing them into staff positions and interning them into the business.”
“My journey really got started in the world of modeling, then through acting and now to working behind the camera, but I think so many factors went into why that happened,” he continues. “A big part of it was to see more deaf queer representation in Hollywood, which has been missing. You can see that quite a bit of it is one layer because people always assume that deafness is just one-dimensional, but in fact, we have a beautiful spectrum within our community full of stories that I want to tell.”
Get to know DiMarco and the rest of our incredible 2022 Logo30 honorees in the video below.