Miss America 1995, Heather Whitestone McCallum, says that she can identify with the characters from The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter because she too felt isolated when she was growing up deaf.
"When I grew up I felt lonely. Back at that time the hearing aid was not as good as it is today. It was very frustrating for me—I had a bitter feeling towards hearing people," Heather describes. "Today, people have a better attitude towards deaf people. Technology is much better, and that's what makes such a difference."