Whether you lisp or someone in your life has a lisp, it's important to be aware of the challenges that can be associated.
A sharper, more “sibilant” production of “s” has become associated with the speech of gay men. The lack of distinction between disorder vs. difference has lead many to associate any type of “s” variation in a male speaker with assumptions of that speaker’s sexuality. However, real lisps, as functional speech disorders, have no correlation with sexual orientation.
What similar characteristics do Drew Barrymore, Micheal Phelps, and Barbara Walters have in common? Aside from their respective fame, they all share a functional speech impediment, otherwise known as a lisp.
Lisping does not necessarily make a person less understandable. Rather, it can be a distraction that leads the listener to focus less on the content of the message and more on the assumptions the listener makes about the speaker.