Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Stuttering Loudly on National Stuttering Awareness Week

I've been talking about launching a website for a while now, and my website/blog is now officially open on National Stuttering Awareness Week 2016!!

For my first post, I'd like to explain "Stuttering Loudly" and what this name means to me and the significance of it.

First, here are two common misconceptions about it:

1. A few people have misunderstood the name and thought that it means deliberate talking loudly or raising my volume. No, I don't deliberately speak with a raised volume. I speak with my natural voice, and if/when it comes out loud, I'm like that naturally. I've heard on some Facebook stuttering support groups that people who stutter (PWS) should deliberately speak louder, and this might increase their fluency, but that's not why I have a loud voice. I don't notice much difference in my fluency when I speak loudly (or speaking with my natural loud voice).

2. Some have wrongly assumed that "Stuttering Loudly" means annoying people and being obnoxious by deliberately speaking or "stuttering loudly" in public. No, purposely annoying others is something I would never approve of.


I decided to re-name and re-launch my online presence and call myself "Stuttering Loudly" because I've been told that I have a loud voice. And I still stutter when speaking at this volume, which is the "theatre voice" that I learned from my 5 years of doing improv comedy. Before improv, I used to be extremely quiet and I would barely speak. My loud voice is learned, but it's also become very natural to me, and I don't even think about it. I don't need to raise my voice deliberately.

Another reason why I chose "Stuttering Loudly" is I know that too many people who stutter are living in shame and hiding their stutter and avoiding speaking situations. "Stuttering Loudly" to me, means stuttering with no shame. It means stuttering with pride. There's nothing wrong with you just because you speak differently. Stuttering is just a trait, everyone is different and we all need to be accepting of people's differences. We're often accepting of everyone else's different traits, why not accept our own? Or even embrace it?

"Stuttering Loudly: A journey of faith, hope, pride, and growth" will be the name of my upcoming autobiographical comic book (drawn by Sarah M Stories) based on my personal experiences with stuttering. It's still in progress but I will talk more about it in a future blog.

It's National Stuttering Awareness Week, and many people who stutter are too afraid to raise awareness or even talk about stuttering because they have been living in shame and embarrassment for their whole lives. There's so much we can do to help fluent people understand us more, and people can't understand us if we hide.

Whether this is the first time you've heard of me, or you've been following me for years, feel free to look around my website; I've updated my bio in the "About" section.

Happy National Stuttering Awareness Week!!


If you'd like to get started on raising awareness and educating others about stuttering, feel free to share these comics on your social media (written by me and the artwork is by Sarah M Stories):


(this is me!)

(that's Nina G Comedian and it's adapted from one of her jokes)

(that's Grant Meredith, an Australian lecturer who stutters; you might call him a teacher/instructor/professor if you live in North America. He wrote an article on stuttering pride)

(that's me again; my friends call me Batman. I'm also a huge Justice League fan)





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