Justin Bachman's Living Loud
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Justin Bachman was disqualified from a school invitational cross country meet in 2010 because officials perceived he had a behavioral problem.
Often, when Justin was out in public, his behavior caused people to stare. Sometimes, they made hurtful comments directly to him. These actions were not based on any knowledge about Justin. Instead, they were made solely because he acted differently than others.
What these people didn’t know was that Justin has Tourette syndrome, a neurological disorder characterized by repetitive, stereotyped, involuntary movements, and vocalizations called tics. If the meet officials had known about Justin’s condition, perhaps they might have made a different call that day.
Aware of the intolerance that surrounded him, Justin knew he couldn’t be alone in feeling this way. He believed there were others like him, different, who must be facing the same kind of prejudice he was. He had two choices: be a victim, or do something about it. He chose the latter and decided to enact change. He wanted to show the world that being different was okay. He went from living in the shadows to becoming a spokesperson for tolerance and acceptance.
It was then that Living Loud was born.