MEAN Little deaf Queer: A Memoir by Terry Galloway
The baby Robert who died in his sleep The baby Robert who died in his sleep
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Publisher: Beacon Press
Hardcover: 248 pages
ISBN: 978-0-8070-7290-5

Available from:
Beacon Press

For media inquiries
please contact:
Caitlin Meyer
Telephone: 617-948-6584
Fax: 617-742-2290

View Annie Dearest Video on YouTube
Annie Dearest is a video short conceived, co-written, co-directed and co-produced by Terry Galloway. It is a parody of the classic film The Miracle Worker, which originally stared Patty Duke as deaf/blind Helen Keller and Anne Bancroft as Anne Sullivan, Helen's mentor and tormentor. Disability World heralded Annie Dearest as one of the 25 most outstanding disability films . . . in the last five years.

Book cover

Running with Scissors meets The Liar's Club in this edgy and wickedly hilarious memoir about one irrepressible, mean, little, deaf queer

When Terry Galloway was born on Halloween, no one knew that an experimental antibiotic given to her mother had wreaked havoc on her fetal nervous system. After her family moved from Berlin Germany, to Austin, Texas, hers became a deafening, hallucinatory childhood where everything, including her own body, changed for the worse. But those unwelcome changes awoke in this particular child a dark, defiant humor that fueled her lifelong obsessions with language, duplicity, and performance.

As a ten-year-old self-proclaimed “child freak,” she acted out her fury at her boxy hearing aids and Coke-bottle glasses by faking her own drowning at a camp for crippled children. Ever since that first real-life performance, Galloway has used theater and performance, whether onstage or off, to defy and transcend her reality. With disarming candor, Terry writes about her mental breakdown, her queer identity, and living in a silent, quirky world populated by unforgettable characters. What could have been a bitter litany of complaint is instead an unexpectedly hilarious and affecting take on life.

“You don´t have to be mean, little, deaf, or queer to take heart from this miraculously unsentimental, deliriously funny, refreshingly spite-free, joyously weirdo-embracing memoir. All you have to be is human. Like Augusten Burroughs, Frank McCourt, and Mary Karr, Terry Galloway has written a memoir that transcends its hilarious particularities to achieve the universality of true art.”
Sarah Bird, author of How Perfect is That and The Mommy Club

More praise


  • Prologue: Nine
  • Part I: Drowning
    • Them and Me
    • Visions
    • Presto Change-o
    • Meaner
    • The Performance of Drowning
              (Listen to it; MP3, 67 MB)
    • Lost Boy
  • Part II: Passing
    • Little-d Deaf
    • On Being Told No
    • Passing Strange
    • Drag Acts
    • Shhhhhh!
    • Jobs for the Deaf
    • The Shallow End
  • Part III: Emerging
    • Scare
    • Who Died and What Killed Them
    • Why I Should Matter
  • Epilogue: A Happy Life . . .
  • Acknowledgments


Since the publication of Mean Little deaf Queer in June 2009, Terry Galloway has visited over 13 different universities and almost as many book stores throughout the United States, giving readings from her memoir that were often coupled with performances of her autobiographically based solo show Out All Night & Lost My Shoes. She and Donna Marie Nudd, her partner, director, dramaturge, interpreter and traveling companion, have also given dozens of classroom presentations about the myriad intersections of queerness, disability and performance, using their compilation of disability themed comic video shorts The Mickee Faust Gimp Parade as a somewhat off-beat teaching tool.

Beacon Press will be releasing the paperback version of Mean Little deaf Queer in June 2010.
Terry’s at work now on two other books With her family members, including her sister Tenley Parr and her nephew Paul Dow Adams, she’s putting together a collection of life and death stories about the many animals buried in the nutrient rich dirt of the Ramshackle Ranch's pet cemetery She describes it as “the darker side to All Things Bright and Beautiful

She is also working on a sequel to Mean Little deaf Queer. Tenley suggested she call it Meaner ! deafer! Queerer! But on May 4th, after Terry undergoes surgery for her cochlear implant, that title will no longer be quite apt.

Look for Terry's upcoming video blog, sponsored by Beacon Press, about that operation, pet deaths and the sequel to Mean Little deaf Queer. Title suggestions welcomed!

... Book the Author

Terry Galloway

"For Terry, a lip-reader whose primary language is speech, a reading is an emotionally charged dialogue between her audience and herself. Each reading, although almost always shot through with humor, is a uniquely different experience."

Selected chapters include the much anthologized
"The Performance of Drowning",
Listen to it (MP3, 67 MB).

Yes, we are so so mesmerized by these photos

© 2009 Terry Galloway.