Deaf Utopia: A Memoir–And a Love Letter to a Way of Life

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AUTHOR: Nyle DiMarco
PUBLISHER: William Morrow
DATE: 2022
PAGES: 317

Deaf Utopia: A Memoir — And a Love Letter to a Way of Life

by Nyle DiMarco

A heartfelt and inspiring memoir and Deaf culture anthem by Nyle DiMarco, actor, producer, two-time reality show winner, and cultural icon of the international Deaf community.

Before becoming the actor, producer, advocate, and model that people know today, Nyle DiMarco was half of a pair of Deaf twins born to a multi-generational Deaf family in Queens, New York. At the hospital one day after he was born, Nyle “failed” his first test—a hearing test—to the joy and excitement of his parents.

In this moving and engrossing memoir, Nyle shares stories, both heartbreaking and humorous, of what it means to navigate a world built for hearing people. From growing up in a rough-and-tumble childhood in Queens with his big and loving Italian-American family to where he is now, Nyle has always been driven to explore beyond the boundaries given him.

A college math major and athlete at Gallaudet—the famed university for the Deaf in Washington, DC—Nyle was drawn as a young man to acting, and dove headfirst into the reality show competitions America’s Next Top Model and Dancing with the Stars—ultimately winning both competitions.

Deaf Utopia is more than a memoir, it is a cultural anthem—a proud and defiant song of Deaf culture and a love letter to American Sign Language, Nyle’s primary language. Through his stories and those of his Deaf brothers, parents, and grandparents, Nyle opens many windows into the Deaf experience.

Deaf Utopia is intimate, suspenseful, hilarious, eye-opening, and smart—both a memoir and a celebration of what makes Deaf culture unique and beautiful.


Author Nyle Dimarco identifies as sexually fluid.

  • Author’s Note
  • How I Failed My First Test the Day After I Was Born
  • Queens, New York
  • Fire in the Belly
  • Roadside Arts and Crafts
  • Wanderings
  • Them Hearing, Me Deaf
  • Storms
  • The Kitchen Light
  • Fighting Back
  • Guatemala
  • Explorations
  • Use Your Voice
  • I’m Sold
  • War Heroes
  • Tears of Joy
  • Fluid
  • Boombox
  • Silence, Deaf History, and the Last Dance
  • Embracing Me
  • Home Movies
  • Acknowledgments

“Unfortunately, the Deaf vlogger who’d outed me put me in a situation where I felt trapped, pressured by all my friends asking about my sexual identity, making me feel like I needed to say something quickly. But if I was going to come out, I was determined to do it on my own terms.
Another reason I didn’t want to make a big announcement was that I wasn’t sure how to define my current sexual identity. That was my second question: What do I come out as? I knew from my brief encounters with men in the past that I liked men romantically. But I also thought I was still into women. I’d met a Deaf woman recently, and we were texting every day. In that direction, the sparks still flew. What did that mean? What did it make me? I had no idea. The only thing I knew was what I was not, and that was straight. But I didn’t know what I was.”
– from Deaf Utopia: A Memoir — And a Love Letter to a Way of Life by Nyle DiMarco

“There it was—the word “fluidity.” It clicked with me, feeling just right. I googled the word and combined it with the term “sexual.” Boom. I found what I was looking for: “sexually fluid,” an actual term that some people used to describe their sexual orientation. As I read an article explaining the concept of being sexually fluid, my first thought was THAT-THAT-THAT.
Sexually fluid. That’s me.”
– from Deaf Utopia: A Memoir — And a Love Letter to a Way of Life by Nyle DiMarco

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