The Bachelor's Abigail Heringer Opens Up About the Response She's Received from the Deaf Community
"I've been blown away," says Abigail Heringer, who is the show's first Deaf contestant
In a sneak peek at Monday night's Women Tell All special, the 25-year-old client financial manager opens up about being the show's first Deaf contestant, admitting that she was initially "scared" to join the show because of her hearing impairment.
"I was really scared when I decided to come on just because I think people view the hearing community and then the Deaf community — with a capital 'D' — as black and white," she says. "I'm kind of that grey space because I don't use sign language, I'm able to communicate vocally."
"I had no idea how people were going to receive me," she adds.
But the reality star says she's been "blown away" by the positive response she's received from fans and fellow members of her community.
"The response has been incredible," she says. "I've had so many people reach out and say, 'Thank you for sharing your story, I have a very similar one.'"
Abigail was an early fan favorite on Matt James' season. On the season premiere, she seemed to catch Matt's eye from the moment she stepped out of the limo, and later in the night opened up to him about being Deaf. She went on to score the coveted First Impression rose over the 31 other women — as well as the season's first kiss — from the Bachelor.
Though she was eventually sent home before going on a one-on-one date, she made a lasting impact on Bachelor Nation.
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"I knew going into that night that I wanted to talk about it," she said. "Just because, going back on what my dating has been like, it's normally something I don't really say on a first date. It is a huge part of who I am."
"It was something I had been so insecure about and so to open up about it and to not only have him acknowledge it, but to actually see it as a really attractive quality," she continued. "It was just a really special moment."
The Bachelor airs Mondays (8 p.m. ET) on ABC.