Nyle DiMarco talks about his deeply personal new memoir ‘Deaf Utopia’ | EW.com

When Nyle DiMarco walks into a room, all eyes are on him. His chiseled features, inviting smile and striking blue eyes may have something to do with it. But his hands are the real center of attention, parlaying words and sentences visually through the beautiful and complex language that is American Sign Language. DiMarco, 32, is an activist, model, actor, producer and icon in the Deaf community, one that he represents with pride. So it’s fitting that the back cover of DiMarco’s new memoir Deaf Utopia, out now, has him proudly displaying the Deaf Power pose. As for the front cover, “Funny enough, the [blue] background color, we didn’t pick,” DiMarco recalls during a conversation at the EW offices in Los Angeles in late April. “[William Morrow] just thought it looked really good. And I said, well, do you know that turquoise is actually the color of the deaf flag?”

Serendipitous events like this have followed DiMarco his whole life. He grew up fourth generation deaf in his large Italian American family. Yes, you read that correctly, fourth generation. Only 10% of deaf children have deaf parents, let alone siblings, grandparents and great grandparents like DiMarco does. “I consider myself incredibly fortunate because from the first day of my existence I had access to language, communication, to love,” DiMarco says of his upbringing. “I was born to a family that was entirely deaf, just like I was. So I chose to name my book Deaf Utopia because I’ve always described my childhood as perfect.”

Read more and watch the video: