Make Room For The Stuttering

Posts Tagged ‘famous people who stutter

With the election of Joe Biden as the 46th president of the United States, the stuttering community has our biggest platform yet for education and awareness of stuttering. The president who stutters can really raise awareness on the biggest stage.

But that’s only if Biden chooses to be open about his stuttering, rather than the often used “overcoming narrative.”

When Biden gave his inaugural speech last week, he was stuttering. Those of us with stuttering radar picked up on word changes, hesitations and filler words. It was OK, he is the new president and he delivered a great speech, conveying exactly what he wanted to.

The stuttering community at large is excited. Because a full presidential term is four years, the potential for stuttering awareness can be a sustained effort. The movie “The King’s Speech” did a lot for the community when it was released in 2010. But that buzz faded away pretty quickly.

During the 2020 campaign for USA president, the former president repeatedly mocked Biden and the media caught much of that. We could see it on TV and social media platforms. The former president had a “bully pulpit” and used it often to denigrate opponents and just about anyone he deemed as getting in his way. 

If we had to call it a contest between stuttering and bullying, stuttering clearly won!

 

 

Finally, a person getting media attention who actually stutters! And she’s a SHE!

Swedish golfer Sophie Gustafson did a media interview that got lots of attention from the stuttering community this week. This was a big deal for her, as she has shied away from most public speaking due to her stuttering.

It is refreshing to see someone who has dealt with the physical, emotional and social aspects of stuttering actually talk about it, and stutter. She is not one of those who miraculously outgrew or overcame her stuttering.

She still stutters and lets it be known in this NY Times article published March 27 and her television interview (which made the rounds this week on social media, even though it aired back in November 2011.)

In this 2002 Sports Illustrated interview, she talks about how she has tried to manage her stuttering throughout her life, including therapy at the Hollins Institute.

A couple of my friends suggested I try to contact Sophie and see if she would consider being a guest on the Women Who Stutter: Our Stories podcast. I contacted her through her Twitter account, and she actually responded. When I asked her if she would consider being a guest and sharing her story, she said she wasn’t ready for that.

Those of us who stutter can certainly understand that!


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© Pamela A Mertz and Make Room For The Stuttering, 2009 - 2021. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Pamela A Mertz and Make Room For The Stuttering with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Same protection applies to the podcasts linked to this blog, "Women Who Stutter: Our Stories" and "He Stutters: She Asks Him." Please give credit to owner/author Pamela A Mertz 2021.
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