My college boyfriend lent me his laptop, hooked up a microphone and sat silently for an hour while the podcast was recorded.
I could tell that he was wholly, and wildly, proud of me.
I’m quickly approaching my 25th birthday and have come to the realization that I’ve never been in a long-term relationship. That's not uncommon among millennials, but as a Black gay man, I've begun to wonder how my race has affected my chances of finding love.
I like to think of myself as someone who’s adventurous when it comes to love and sex, someone who’d never rule out potential partners or new experiences.
Much later, after our lives headed down separate paths and we broke up, I would enter the complicated world of dating again — and find myself surprised.
Turns out, my college boyfriend was not the only man who would overlook, or even embrace, my stutter.
There’s even been a punk-rock musician, a gym rat, a hipster, a guy who worked at Lowe’s.
He was just one member of a much larger group of good-natured and compassionate people eager to connect.
I began to understand that my speech impediment, which had tortured me since childhood, was actually a useful tool in deciphering the quality of a person.
I’ve had close friends begin relationships with men seemingly (and suspiciously) perfect, only to learn much later that their boyfriends are privately debilitated by something. Because my disability isn’t something I can suppress or camouflage on first dates, I characterize myself as honestly as I can — and those who take the time to know me often follow suit.
A few months into dating my college boyfriend, I began introducing myself as person who stutters.