Monthly Archives: August 2020
My “Gay” Voice
I am neither effeminate nor hyper-masculine. If being effeminate was a 10 and being masculine was a 1, on a scale of 1-10, I’d guess I’m a 7. During my years in the closet, I tried to appear straight. But according to the bullies who tortured me at school, I did a really crappy job. When I was in school in the 80s and 90s, being smart was seen as gay and uncool, and in Alabama, if you were a guy and didn’t play football and every other sport, you were gay, a sissy. I remember I used to wish I’d been born a girl so I wouldn’t have the constant pressure to play sports. After I discovered the joys of having a penis, I rarely wished that anymore. A dick is a wonderful thing; it can bring so much joy to your life.
Many gay men are self-conscious about “sounding gay,” and I am one of them. Allow me to explain this whole “sounding gay” thing. “Sounding gay” continues to be a trigger for mockery, bullying, and violence. LGBT kids are far more likely to commit suicide or drop out of school because they feel unsafe. I was always made fun of for my “gay voice,” and sometimes I still am. It has always, even to this day, raised my hackles. Hard to believe, but few, if any, studies have explored the phenomenon of “sounding gay.” Voice and sexuality—two fundamental features of human existence, and yet most people don’t have a clue how they are related. Instead, we have stupid stereotypes. A lot of people think it’s okay to be gay as long as you don’t act—or sound—that way. The daily pressure to cover, hide, or “pass” affects many sexual minorities.
I remember two incidents very clearly. One was when I was a four-year-old in kindergarten. I always preferred to play with the girls; they were my friends. I didn’t count any boys among my friends. I guess this worried my kindergarten teacher. One day she handed me a truck and told me to go play with the boys. That was the last thing I wanted to do, but I didn’t feel I had a choice. It’s like she thought she could change me by making me play with a toy dump truck. People need to let children express their sexuality any way they desire. It would make growing up gay much easier. We would be able to explore our feminine or masculine traits more freely and without fear of ridicule.
A few years later, probably around the fifth grade, the boys at recess always played flag football. I preferred to play on the swings with the girls. One day my dad came to pick me up from school. Recess was at the end of the day. He noticed all the boys playing football, but I was playing with the girls. He was furious. From then on, if Daddy was coming to pick me up (thankfully, a rare occurrence), I had to steel myself to play flag football. I HATED it with a passion. I love to watch college football, but I never wanted to play it. While I wasn’t bad at it, I couldn’t catch a ball to save my life. But, if they handed me the football, I could usually outrun anyone chasing me.
There was only one sport I ever really wanted to play; that was baseball. There’s just something about baseball players with bats and balls that appealed to me. However, I’ve never had good eyesight (another thing that put me in the “gay” category: wearing glasses—eventually I got contacts). Without good eyesight, I couldn’t hit the ball; I just couldn’t see it well enough, and quite honestly, I am just not very coordinated. When my parents forced me to play a sport during my middle and high school years, I played basketball (normally I warmed the bench). I also ran track for a couple of years, and in my senior year, I played golf. I wanted to learn golf so when I became a lawyer, I’d know how and could take clients to play golf. These days, I rarely play golf. I haven’t played in years, and I never became a lawyer.
So, those are the underlying impressions of me when I was in school. I’ve always been self-conscious about “sounding gay.” I got mocked constantly for it. It’s one of the main things people have told me “gives me away” as gay. Add in the Southern accent, and I’m just slightly more butch sounding than actor Leslie Jordan. Some people tell me they don’t notice it; others find it very noticeable. I think because of my accent, it’s more apparent to Southerners than those outside the South.
The worst is when I’m on the phone. I have always been called ma’am over the phone, and because if this, I usually dread phone calls with someone I don’t know. I remember once calling my bank. The operator actually argued with me that I was not who I said I was. She said I must be my mother. I had to recite my date of birth, my social security number, bank account number, and all those other ridiculous security questions, and I don’t think she was ever truly convinced I was a man. Because it happens so frequently, I usually just laugh it off when the person is apologetic, but because this operator was so rude, insistent, and unapologetic, I was rude back and complained to her supervisor. In the South, I always got called ma’am in a drive thru. At first it annoyed me, but then I realized how funny it was to see their faces when they realized they’d taken an order from a man. Sometimes, they’d apologize, but mostly it was just a shocked look on their face after which they’d pretend it hadn’t happened.
When I first began to talk, I had a terrible speech impediment. Only a few people could understand me. One was my sister; she used to translate what I had said. I never had speech therapy, so I learned on my own to speak more clearly. Also, I had what they called tongue-tie (ankyloglossia), a congenital oral anomaly that decreases the mobility of the tongue tip and is caused by an unusually short, thick lingual frenulum, a membrane connecting the underside of the tongue to the floor of the mouth. To fix this, my pediatrician “clipped my tongue,” also known as a frenotomy, a procedure where they cut the lingual frenulum to allow the tongue to move more freely. By the way, children undergoing a frenotomy had to be restrained during the procedure; very little, if any, anesthesia was used back in those days. Luckily, like circumcision, I do not remember the procedure, but my mother said I bled like a stuck pig and screamed bloody murder. I was probably two or three at the time. The procedure left me with a slight lisp at times and the inability to say certain words, especially those with “sm” or “th” sounds in them.
Several years ago, there was a documentary called Do I Sound Gay? which examined the gay voice. The film explored the existence and accuracy of stereotypes about the speech patterns of gay men, and the ways in which one’s degree of conformity to the stereotype contribute to internalized homophobia in some gay men. The documentary claims the gay voice is generally depicted as having five characteristics:
- Gay men tend to pronounce their vowels more clearly.
- We tend to draw out our vowels longer.
- Our Ss are longer often giving us the stereotypical lisp.
- We pronounce our Ls longer.
- We over articulate Ps, Ts, and Ks.
One thing many gay men who are considered to have a gay voice had when they were young is a speech impediment. Some had speech therapy, others like me did not. Having a lisp or speech impediment caused many gay men to be more precise in their speech. More masculine speech tends to be less articulate. Of course, the deepness of someone’s voice also plays a factor. Upper class voices are considered gayer which is a stereotype from the dandies in old movies. My voice has never been deep. David Thorpe, the filmmaker of Do I Sound Gay? came to the realization that sounding educated, cosmopolitan, and refined equals the gay voice.
So, why is the gay voice derided by both gay and straight people? One reason is it’s seen as more feminine. Gay men say they want a “man.” If they wanted a woman, they’d be straight. Also, “dandies” in old movies were either depicted as villains or comic relief. They were not characters to be admired. Then you have what Disney did for the gay voice. Disney used the “gay voice” for its male villains. Think of the voices of Captain Hook (Peter Pan), Jafar (Aladdin), Prince John (Robin Hood), Professor Ratigan (The Great Mouse Detective), and Scar (The Lion King). Each of these characters is portrayed with what we would consider an exaggerated stereotypical gay voice. No wonder we hate our own voices.
Thorpe is a fellow Southerner from Columbia, South Carolina. When he went to a speech therapist, one of the things she tried to do is to remove the last vestiges of his Southern accent. Often, gay Southerners have it worse because we do draw out our words, we do over articulate, and we are more precise in our language. And if you think of any Southern gentleman in a comedic role, he usually has the gay voice. I do not want to lose my Southern accent, and besides, my accent is more noticeable than my “gay voice” up here in Vermont. It’s also seen as charming, and of course, I am charming when I want to be.
Gay stereotypes exist. You cannot deny men are judged because of stereotypes. All people, no matter their gender, face stereotypes. I suspect stereotypes will always exist. Maybe one day, we can overcome them, but I suspect that will not be in my lifetime. As long as there are hateful people out there, we will be judged by stereotypes. Most everyone judges people by their first impressions, but the better person keeps an open mind and doesn’t judge until getting to know the person.
Since we are talking about my voice, I thought you might be curious so I recorded it for anyone who would care to listen. I’ll let you judge if I sound gay. You may listen to this and realize you hate the sound of my voice; you wouldn’t be the first, nor do I expect you will be the last. I’ll be brutally honest, when I first wrote this post and recorded my voice for it, I thought it would enrich what I had to say and be something extra my readers might enjoy. However, with my voice insecurities, I agonized over whether to actually post it. What if one or more of you are so disappointed by what you hear you decide you don’t want to read my blog anymore? What if one or more of you leave a nasty comment? Ultimately, I decided if I am judged by the sound of my voice and found lacking, that just proves my point about negative perceptions and stereotypes based on the sound of someone’s voice. So, here it is to listen to or not; it’s up to you:
In a post on his blog, New Homo Blogo, Jeremy Ryan suggested the TEDx Georgetown talk “Why am I ‘so gay?’” by Thomas Lloyd, a graduate of Georgetown University. I watched the video, and it fits perfectly with some of what I talk about here. Lloyd speaks about being in middle school and becoming aware of being different. Here is an excerpt:
It was around this time that, even though I didn’t necessarily feel all that different from my peers, other people did. And what had started as, “Oh, you’re so gay!” became whispers, became rumors, became slurs. This is when we, as a community, human beings, have a sort of tendency that, when we detect difference, when we detect something we don’t understand, even if we can’t name it yet – and we were all too young at this age to name what was different, or to act on what was different – we try to correct it through less than honorable means. And so, people would make fun of the way that I walked…. So, I would suddenly think about every single step that I took. It became deliberate. And people started to make fun of the way that I moved my hands when I talked….And then people would make fun of my voice, even though none of our voices had changed yet….So, you can imagine how difficult, as a New Yorker, it was to walk and talk, and have a conversation while I’m motivating every single motion of my voice and my speech. The things that we take for granted, the ways that we navigate the world in normal ways were critical things that I had to think about every second of the day. I had to expend all of my creative energy on covering what it was that made me different.
I identify with what he says. My voice may have been part of what made me seem gay, but I was told I walked like a sissy, and people made fun of that too. I tried to walk more “butch,” but I honestly didn’t know how to walk any other way. It was the same with my voice. I once tried to deepen it when I talked, but not only was that exhausting, it hurt my throat. I also used to talk with my hands. As I got older, and had to be in front of the class, I would clutch the podium so I couldn’t move my hands. When you are in the closet, or even before you understand you are gay, you begin to change things about yourself so people won’t bully you for how you talk or how you walk or that you move your hands when you talk. You even dress differently than you want, because you don’t want to go through another day of people making fun of everything you do. To hear Lloyd talk about how hard it was as a New Yorker; it could not have compared to how hard it was in the South.
The Blind Men and the Elephant
The Blind Men and the Elephant
By John Godfrey Saxe
A Hindoo Fable
IT was six men of Indostan
To learning much inclined,
Who went to see the Elephant
(Though all of them were blind),
That each by observation
Might satisfy his mind.
The First approached the Elephant,
And happening to fall
Against his broad and sturdy side,
At once began to bawl:
“God bless me!—but the Elephant
Is very like a wall!”
The Second, feeling of the tusk,
Cried: “Ho!—what have we here
So very round and smooth and sharp?
To me ‘t is mighty clear
This wonder of an Elephant
Is very like a spear!”
The Third approached the animal,
And happening to take
The squirming trunk within his hands,
Thus boldly up and spake:
“I see,” quoth he, “the Elephant
Is very like a snake!”
The Fourth reached out his eager hand,
And felt about the knee.
“What most this wondrous beast is like
Is mighty plain,” quoth he;
“‘T is clear enough the Elephant
Is very like a tree!”
The Fifth, who chanced to touch the ear,
Said: “E’en the blindest man
Can tell what this resembles most;
Deny the fact who can,
This marvel of an Elephant
Is very like a fan!”
The Sixth no sooner had begun
About the beast to grope,
Than, seizing on the swinging tail
That fell within his scope,
“I see,” quoth he, “the Elephant
Is very like a rope!”
And so these men of Indostan
Disputed loud and long,
Each in his own opinion
Exceeding stiff and strong,
Though each was partly in the right,
And all were in the wrong!
So, oft in theologic wars
The disputants, I ween,
Rail on in utter ignorance
Of what each other mean,
And prate about an Elephant
Not one of them has seen!
About the Poem and the Parable of the Blind Men and an Elephant:
The parable of the Blind Men and an Elephant originated in the ancient Indian subcontinent, from where it has been widely diffused. It is a story of a group of blind men who have never come across an elephant before and who learn and conceptualize what the elephant is like by touching it. Each blind man feels a different part of the elephant’s body, but only one part, such as the side or the tusk. They then describe the elephant based on their limited experience and their descriptions of the elephant are different from each other. In some versions, they come to suspect that the other person is dishonest, and they come to blows. The moral of the parable is that humans have a tendency to claim absolute truth based on their limited, subjective experience as they ignore other people’s limited, subjective experiences which may be equally true.
An alternate version of the parable describes sighted men, experiencing a large statue on a dark night, or feeling a large object while being blindfolded. They then describe what it is they have experienced. In its various versions, it is a parable that has crossed between many religious traditions and is part of Jain, Hindu and Buddhist texts of 1st millennium CE or before. The story also appears in 2nd millennium Sufi and Bahá’í lore. The tale later became well known in Europe, with 19th century American poet John Godfrey Saxe creating his own version as a poem, with a final verse that explains that the elephant is a metaphor for God, and the various blind men represent religions that disagree on something no one has fully experienced. Natalie Merchant sang this poem in full on her Leave Your Sleep album (Disc 1, track 13). The story has been published in many books for adults and children and interpreted in a variety of ways.
About the Poet:
John Godfrey Saxe was born on June 2, 1816, in Highgate, Vermont. He was born on his family’s farm, Saxe’s Mills, to Peter Saxe, a miller and judge, and Elizabeth Jewett. In 1835, Saxe went to Wesleyan University. After only a year, he transferred to Middlebury College, where he graduated in 1839. In 1841, he married Sophia Newell Sollace, whom Saxe had met through a classmate. Together they had a son, John Theodore Saxe.
In 1843, Saxe was admitted to the Vermont bar association. Saxe continued to work in the legal field in Franklin County. In 1850, he became the state’s attorney for Chittenden County. From 1850-1856, Saxe served as the editor of the Sentinel in Burlington, Vermont, and in 1856, he served as the attorney-general of Vermont. Legal work did not hold Saxe’s attention through this period, however. He began publishing poems for a literary magazine in New York, The Knickerbocker. His poems gained the attention of a Boston publishing house, Ticknor and Fields, and his first volume of poetry ran for ten reprintings.
His poetry also could be serious and somber, such as a ballad he wrote about the sad death of the man who ran the sawmill on his father’s property. Probably Saxe’s most notable achievement as a poet was introducing western audiences to the fable of “The Blind Men and The Elephant.” In total, he published nine volumes of his poetry, and it was collected and republished many times. He died in 1887 in Albany, N.Y.
Saxe became a highly sought-after speaker. He toured and wrote prolifically throughout the 1850s. In 1859, Saxe ran for governor of Vermont. He lost due to his Democratic learning, particularly on issues of slavery and his support of “popular sovereignty.” Following his defeat, he left Vermont for Albany, New York, in 1860, where he continued to contribute articles for Harper’s, The Atlantic, and The Knickerbocker. After moving to New York, his life suffered from a series of tribulations.
The death of his oldest brother in 1867 made Saxe’s already unsteady temperament even more erratic. His son took control of the family’s finances and business interests. Starting the 1870s, Saxe experienced a series of unfortunate events. In the earlier part of the decade, his youngest daughter died of tuberculosis. In 1875, he suffered head injuries from which he never fully recovered. Over the next several years, his two oldest daughters, his oldest son, and his daughter-in-law also died of tuberculosis. In 1879, his wife died from a burst blood vessel in her brain. Saxe began to suffer from a deep depression. Saxe eventually died in 1887. The New York State Assembly, sympathizing with the poet’s swift decline, ordered Saxe’s likeness to be chiseled into the “poet’s corner” of the Great Western Staircase in the New York State Capitol.
They Hate Their Country
“[Insert name of Democrat] hates America” is a trope constantly thrown around by Republicans and their pundits. While many Democrats do have concerns about the direction of the United States, I don’t think any of them hate their country. It is likely also that Republicans don’t hate the United States, but they do seem to hate all the “others” that make up American society whether they be Black, Asian, Hispanic, Gay, Women, etc. The Democratic party is one of inclusion; the Republican Party is one of exclusion. Democrats generally have positive ideology; Republicans have consistently negative ideology. The Democratic Party tells you what they stand for while the Republican Party only tells you what they are against. Republicans shroud this ideology in their allegations that Democrats are unpatriotic and hate America.
A prime example is what Tucker Carlson said about Tammy Duckworth during the opening monologue of his July 6, 2020 show:
“Most people just ignore her. But when Duckworth does speak in public, you’re reminded what a deeply silly and unimpressive person she is.” He then added, “It’s long been considered out of bounds to question a person’s patriotism. It’s a very strong charge, and we try not ever to make it. But in the face of all of this, the conclusion can’t be avoided. These people actually hate America. There’s no longer a question about that.”
Duckworth responded on Twitter that night: “Does @TuckerCarlson want to walk a mile in my legs and then tell me whether or not I love America?” If you don’t know Duckworth’s story, on November 12, 2004, Captain Duckworth was flying a Black Hawk to her base in Iraq, roughly 50 miles north of Baghdad, when a rocket-propelled grenade hit the helicopter, taking down Duckworth and three of her crew members. All survived, but the fiery crash left Duckworth a double amputee and later the recipient of a Purple Heart. Since then, Duckworth has gone on to an impressive career, first serving in the House of Representatives after being elected from her Illinois district in 2012, and then moving up to the U.S. Senate four years later winning the seat once held by Barack Obama.
Carlson’s claim, like much of what he says, that calling a person unpatriotic is “It’s a very strong charge, and we try not ever to make it,” is completely untrue. Trump and his minions use that tired expression all the time. It’s also not new. Republicans have spent the past half-century portraying themselves as more patriotic, more committed to national security than Democrats. Richard Nixon’s victory in 1972, Ronald Reagan’s victory in 1980 and George W. Bush’s victory in 2004 (the only presidential election out of the past seven in which the Republican won the popular vote) all depended in part on posing as the candidate more prepared to confront menacing foreigners. Trump’s ongoing feud with four freshmen Democratic lawmakers, commonly referred to as “the Squad,” is a prime example as he has accused Democratic Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.), Ilhan Omar (Minn.), Rashida Tlaib (Mich.) and Ayanna Pressley (Mass.) of hating America. “I don’t believe the four Congresswomen are capable of loving our Country. They should apologize to America (and Israel) for the horrible (hateful) things they have said. They are destroying the Democrat Party, but are weak & insecure people who can never destroy our great Nation!” he tweeted.
Republican claims that their opponents hate America seems to have increased over the last four years, and really started gaining steam when Barack Obama became President. Obama faced constant accusations of being too deferential to foreign rulers, of being unpatriotic, and even of not being a real American. Republicans, particularly Trump, even tried to question Kamala Harris’ citizenship. I shouldn’t even have to say this, but the Fourteenth Amendment states, “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside” Harris was born in in Oakland, California, clearly making her a natural born citizen. The stupidity of people is truly astounding at times, because we all know some of Trump’s supporters will believe she’s not a citizen because her parents were immigrants.
Republicans love to call their opponents unpatriotic, but now we have a president who really is unpatriotic to the point of betraying American values and interests. We don’t know the full extent of Donald Trump’s malfeasance, though more and more of it is coming out especially with the recent bipartisan Senate report from the Senate Intelligence Committee that provided the most comprehensive and thorough examination to date of how Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election, and how the Trump campaign welcomed the foreign adversary’s help. It revealed new information about contacts between Russian officials and associates of President Donald Trump during and after the campaign. What we have learned about Trump’s treasonous behavior would have had Republicans howling about treason if a Democrat had committed these acts.
The irony is that in the past few years this paranoid fantasy in which a major U.S. political party is de facto allied with an international movement hostile to American values has become true. But the party in question is the Republican Party which under Trump has effectively become part of a cross-national coalition of authoritarian white nationalists. Republicans were never the patriots they pretended to be, but at this point, they’ve pretty much crossed the line into being foreign agents. They tout they are the party of law and order, yet, they allow chaos by those who support them. Asked by a reporter about QAnon, a conspiracy group labeled a potential domestic terrorism threat by the FBI, Trump said this:
“Well, I don’t know much about the movement other than I understand they like me very much, which I appreciate. But I don’t know much about the movement. I have heard that it is gaining in popularity and from what I hear it’s — these are people that — they watch the streets of Portland — when they watch what happened in New York City in just the last six or seven months, but this was starting even four years ago when I came here. Almost four years, can you believe it?
“These are people that don’t like seeing what’s going on in places like Portland, and places like Chicago, and New York and other cities and states. And I’ve heard these are people that love our country and they just don’t like seeing it.”
For Trump, patriotism is only based on whether you like him. If you don’t, then he claims you are unpatriotic. Trump tries to crush any dissention of himself. No matter how evil, nasty, racist, misogynistic, homophobic, etc. someone is, as long as they like and support him, then they must be good people who love their country. It’s so disgusting, it makes you want to cry.
In Joe Biden’s acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention last week, he said:
“But while I will be a Democratic candidate, I will be an American president. I will work as hard for those who didn’t support me as I will for those who did. That’s the job of a president. To represent all of us, not just our base or our party. This is not a partisan moment. This must be an American moment.”
Later in the speech he talked about the failures of Trump:
“Our current President has failed in his most basic duty to the nation. He has failed to protect us; he has failed to protect America. And, my fellow Americans, that is unforgivable. As president, I will make you this promise: I will protect America. I will defend us from every attack. Seen. And unseen. Always. Without exception. Every time.”
Biden is appealing to those who want to save democracy. He is appealing to compassion. He is appealing to intelligence and reason. We cannot allow the failures of Trump to continue to destroy our country for another four years. I don’t think the democratic institutions of our great republic can survive if people re-elect Donald Trump. Trump has consistently attempted to chip away at the very core of our democracy: free and fair elections. He must be defeated!
Nearly a year ago when Nancy Pelosi announced that the House of Representatives was moving forward with an official impeachment inquiry, she quoted Thomas Paine. Reflecting the historic gravity of the moment, she repeated a line she had used before:
“Getting back to our founders, in the darkest days of the American Revolution, Thomas Paine wrote, ‘The times have found us.’ The times found them to fight for and establish our democracy. The times have found us today.”
The times have continued to find us and beg us to save the Republic. We need Joe Biden to save/restore the Republic and usher in a new era of compassion, equality, and renewed health. I hope on January 20, 2021, we can quote the opening lines of Paine’s 1783 pamphlet, The American Crisis, “These are times that tried men’s souls, and they are over.”
He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.Psalms 23:3
Have you ever emerged from a long hot shower and felt completely restored? Maybe it’s when you first wake up in the morning and hop in the shower and you feel refreshed and ready for the day ahead. Maybe it’s after a good workout and you are tired and sore, but you take that long hot shower and you step out feeling like a new person. God can do that for us too. Maybe you are sad or frustrated after receiving bad news. Maybe you are going through trying times I think we’ve all experienced trying times to some degree during 2020 and the pandemic. God can act as our long hot shower to refresh you and restore your faith. Always remember that God wants us to appreciate life even when we’re going through tough situations. Next time you’re in one of those situations, whether a family member is sick, you’re out of work, or things just aren’t falling into place, remember that God has a bigger plan for you.
The world is facing inescapable challenges: a rapidly changing climate, the risk of nuclear conflict, trade wars, a rising China, and an aggressive Russia, millions of refugees seeking shelter and security, and attacks on universal human rights and fundamental freedoms. Our next leader must repair our relationships with our allies and stand up to strongmen and thugs on the global stage to rally the world to meet these challenges. We can reclaim our longstanding position as a moral and economic leader of the world.
Today, we are in a battle for the soul of our nation. With the Black Lives Matter Movement, LGBTQ+ discrimination by the current administration, the health and welfare of the citizens of the world during this pandemic, and the last 3+ years of the Trump Administration, we are at a dangerous crossroads. Do we allow a Christian Right that props up a leader without morals and who lacks compassion, or do we try to restore the soul of the United States? Right now, we need to remember who we are. We’re Americans: tough, resilient, but always full of hope. It’s time to treat each other with dignity. Build an economy that works for everybody. Fight back against the incredible abuses of power we’re seeing. It’s time to dig deep and remember that our best days still lie ahead if we elect a true leader who is filled with empathy, compassion, and Christian faith. We must win the battle for the soul of the nation to preserve the dignity of the Republic.
Needed to Share
I rarely do random posts, but I was checking my Twitter feed and came across this, and I had to share. Brayden Harrington’s speech at the DNC Convention on Thursday night was a very emotional moment, and this is a video of the moment that Joe Biden first met this kid. I don’t care what you may think of Biden, but this is a major contrast to anything I have ever seen from a President, especially the one currently in the White House. The time and compassion Biden took is astounding. The fact that Biden regularly gives kids who stutter his personal phone number is one of the most beautiful things I know. I have a post I’ve written for next week that discusses my own speech impediment, and because of having a similar issue, this really resonated with me on a deeper level. Tears streamed down my eyes as I watched Brayden’s speech, and again tears rolled down my eyes when I saw this video.
I can’t say enough how badly we need compassion and empathy in the White House. It is so important that we elect Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on November 3, 2020.