Georgia on Our Minds: Meet David Cowan

Written by | The Lens

Michael M. Santiago / Getty Images

The Peach State has dominated the news lately, but we just can’t stop watching one man’s fuzzy features, in particular. David Cowan is the American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter who has captured the spotlight with his expressive reactions and bearded daddy allure.

In an interview with Atlanta magazine last year, Cowan communicated bluntly yet charmingly. “I was born with what you call a ‘double whammy’: I’m deaf and gay. I tend to not really dwell on being deaf. It’s just who I am. It never really occurred to me that I was different.”

The sexy signer stands out due to his effortless appearances in which he transforms ASL into rousing performances. “A lot of people think I can hear; I can’t. People can’t see, but I’m interpreting sign language from a person who can hear and who’s off camera. They sign to me what that person is saying. I then interpret that and sign the meaning for the deaf audience.”

But Cowan’s stardom has transcended the Deaf Community; the entire world fell in love with his scruffy smile. Due to the current-events maelstrom of a contested presidential election and the senatorial run-off in Georgia, Cowan has been working overtime. His fans are elated.

“I’ve been getting recognized on the street. I really just go with the flow. I think I might still be a little bit in denial? I don’t consider myself famous. I woke up to 1,000 Facebook friend requests! I wish more of them were from men. I’m single, guys.”

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Be careful what you wish for, David. Millions have taken a shine to Cowan’s brilliant white facial hair, and he doesn’t waste time with false modesty. “I like to say the person who’s working with me is the brains and I’m the beauty. But I am intelligent!”

Indeed, Cowan deconstructs linguistics as fluidly as he masters each hand gesture. “English is a spoken language. ASL is a visual language. When an interpreter is signing to me lyrics to a song, I’m thinking, what do those lyrics mean? For example, the Beyoncé song: In the deaf community, we don’t use the word ‘booty.’ That’s just not in our vocabulary. I have to act it out.”

And we are SO here for it! In fact, David Cowan twerked onto the scene with his aforementioned rendition of Beyoncé’s Got Me Bodied at Atlanta Pride, 2019. Sign us up for the next dance, hot stuff.

Photo: Michael M. Santiago / Getty Images

Last modified: January 8, 2021