Abigail Heringer made history with her appearance on the 25th season of BSC As the first deaf contestant in the franchise. Now, the 26-year-old is reflecting on her experience and sharing gratitude for how Bachelor Nation has welcomed her.
Herringer wrote alongside him: “With the start of 2021 in conclusion, I just wanted to say thank you all for the past year. The amount of support and love I experienced through my DM’s, comments and more continues to amaze me.” Slideshow of photos of her wearing a cochlear implant – a small electronic device that helps give her the sense of sound, even though she was born completely deaf.
“When I first got the call saying they wanted to direct me BSCShe wrote: I called my mom in a panic. “I was excited but also very scared and unsure if I wanted to talk about hearing loss on TV, especially on a show that doesn’t have a lot of disability representation.”
While Heringer was eventually celebrated for being on the show and bravely sharing her story during her first meeting with Bachelor Matt James, she made it clear that she had reservations about being very open about her disability on TV.
“After the countless confusing interactions that have arisen, I’ve become so used to trying to ‘act normally’ which for me means to undermine my hearing loss. Act like I have nothing different from me,” Heringer said. “I wasn’t going to tell new friends, first dates, teachers, and I felt so guilty about it. I had something beautifully different about me, and so when my mom said ‘If sharing your story can help one person, one family, you should do it’ that’s all I needed to say yes.”
Haringer went on to explain how the show changed her life “overnight.” More importantly, it was just the beginning of a longer journey to find the confidence to fully embrace the cochlear implant, which made her feel different for so long.
“It took me 26 years,” she said of reviewing her devices. “But I came here and I’m not ready to stop sharing. I like to think that many of you are here either because you have a similar situation, know someone who is deaf or hard of hearing, or are simply curious and want to know more. And I’m glad you’re here.”
Heringer has received a flood of love and support in the comments section from fellow Bachelor contestants-turned-friends.
“Speaking for myself (and the rest of the world), thank you, you said yes!” Chelsea Vaughn Model Books. “We are lucky to know you.”
Victoria Larson commented, “Very weak, real and inspiring.” Bachelor in Heaven.
Noah Earp, Heringer’s friend at The Nation, also showed his support. Goddess wrote.
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