More and more normal

So I’m sure a lot of you saw this clip at the US Democratic National Convention.

As someone who has been stuttering for many decades, this is quite incredible to me. For those who don’t stutter, let help explain this.

When you’re a young person who stutters and don’t have anybody to look up to, you’re going to spend your early years in your own world. That means avoiding, changing out words, making excuses, and not living a full life. You’re not going to make decisions based on what’s best for your life and your future — you’re going to make them based on what you can say, right now, and what you’re comfortable saying. It’s extraordinarily restrictive.

By having Biden come out and help this young man, he’s normalizing what millions of us have been hiding for so long. Yes, there will be people who still make fun of us. Who don’t understand. Who interrupt us. Who talk over us. But history will soon forget them as our voices get louder and louder.

I never had anybody when I was younger to look up to for stuttering. Nobody in a position of leadership or power who normalized stuttering. It’s taken me many, many years to get to where I am now. I advertise my stuttering whenever I can. It’s more and more. And by doing that in front of strangers, I hope that I can normalize it for them. To let people know that I am not the mechanics of my voice, but rather the content of my speech.

I hope that in a few years the media checks back in with Brayden to see how he’s getting on. For almost all of us, there is no “overcoming” of the stuttering, but there is acceptance of who we really are. I think having more people who are openly stuttering on tv will continue to normalize all of us, and allow us to seek self-acceptance instead of banging our heads against the walls of absolute fluency.

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