Deaf actor says there are definitely other celebs hiding their hearing aids

Georgia Meacham only got her ears pierced recently because she’d been afraid of drawing attention to her hearing aids (Picture: Belinda Jiao)

An actor who recently ‘came out’ as deaf says there are ‘100%’ other celebrities or public figures hiding their disability.

Georgia Meacham revealed her hearing aids for the first time last month, and while on Good Morning Britain explained that half of her friends and most people she had worked with throughout her life had no idea she is deaf.

She used to rely on lip reading and hiding her hearing aids behind her hair and felt isolated from both the deaf and hearing communities, having gone to a ‘normal school’, never learning British Sign Language (BSL), and to this day never making a deaf friend.

Although most cases of deafness are genetic, Georgia, from west London, is the only deaf person in her family and she’s been wearing hearing aids since she was 17-months-old.

The actor, who has credits in Bridget Jones’s Baby, The Windsors, and Wonder Woman 1984, believes there are more famous faces out there who are hiding their disability out of embarrassment or shame.

Despite deafness being the third biggest disability in the UK, with hearing loss affecting about 12million people, 32-year-old Georgia says the main representation in media of people with hearing loss is elderly people.

She now wears her hair up more often as she’s no longer ashamed of her hearing aids being visible (Picture: Belinda Jiao)

She was inspired by Rose Ayling-Ellis and Tasha Ghouri (Picture: Belinda Jiao)

That’s why she was so inspired and empowered by Love Island star Tasha Ghouri and Strictly contestant Rose Ayling-Ellis for bringing younger deaf people into the spotlight.

Georgia told ‘I was starting to see in the media a few people talk about their deafness, and they spoke about it for the first time in a more positive light.

‘I couldn’t quite believe it, I’d always seen it in such a negative way so it was very new to me and such a different approach. 

‘That’s what started my journey to accepting what I have, after all these years. I had only ever seen hearing aids on older people, school friends would tell me “my dad has one” or “my grandad’s got one” so I was never seeing anyone my own age with one.

‘I’ve always been the only person I know with a hearing aid, which is crazy.’

On whether there could be other public figures hiding their deafness, she said: ‘100%, with hearing aid technology advancing you can get ones that go right in the ear so you can hardly see them, and you can hide it.

‘If you have a visible disability you don’t have to tell everyone you meet.

‘With hearing, you can’t necessarily see it so that made it harder for me because I knew I had to tell people.

‘If I had been more obvious or had a stronger deaf accent I don’t think I would have had to explain myself and would have found the process much easier.’

Tasha Ghouri and Georgia Meacham spoke about their deafness on Good Morning Britain (Picture: Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock)

Georgia has been wearing hearing aids since she was 17-months-old (Picture: Georgia Meacham)

Although her brother went to public school, Georgia’s mum sent her to a private school to benefit from smaller class sizes and more attention to ensure she was keeping up with her classmates.

A consultant from the NHS visited the school regularly – as it wasn’t a specialist school – to make sure she was sitting at the front of the class and getting everything she needed from teachers.

And while her peers went out to play at lunchtime, Georgia went to sessions with a speech therapist to help her learn to speak.

The situation was difficult for her family to adjust to, she says, as she had no other deaf relatives.

‘My mum had to learn a lot, she didn’t know if she had to put me in a regular school, if I should learn British Sign Language (BSL), or push me to speak, she had so many decisions,’ Georgia explained.

‘There’s a lack of help for families who don’t have anyone else that’s deaf – a lot of the time it’s genetic but with me it wasn’t.

‘If I’d had someone who was deaf in my family I probably wouldn’t have been in this position.

My mum openly admitted she was in disbelief for quite a while, she didn’t believe or accept it – being diagnosed as deaf is hard for the actual person but we have to think about the family, it’s a whole new world to them.’

She reckons there are other celebrities and public figures who are hiding their deafness (Picture: Belinda Jiao)

Georgia never learned BSL, but is looking forward to taking lessons next month – and says she’s even more excited about the new BSL GCSE qualification which will be available in schools from September 2025.

She said: ‘I think it’s amazing and will bridge a huge gap between the deaf community and the non-deaf community.

‘We learn French or German at school, why are we not learning another British language?

‘If I had BSL as a back up when I was in difficult environments when I couldn’t hear, I think my life would have been different.

‘I think of myself as quite confident – being in the acting world you have to have a certain level of confidence – but I was unable to talk about it, felt embarrassed and ashamed, so think about all the other people who don’t have even 10% of my confidence.

‘We just need more people learning BSL so more deaf people can come out and be proud.’

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