What 'The Greatest Showman' Means to Me as a Person With a Disability

As a person who had a birth trauma and was left with mild athetoid cerebral palsy, I was consistently out of place everywhere I went as a kid. My parents decided they didn’t want me to feel like I was any different from my siblings and other kids, so they didn’t put me in any special education classrooms or anything of that sort. Not to say it was a bad thing – I’m glad they did. I did go to a mixed ability preschool that paired disabled kids with non-disabled kids as a way to not separate disabled and non-disabled people, which was awesome and I wish that school was still open today. That was the first and only place where I was consistently around other people with disabilities until I was 15. Even when I was the awkward in between. I am not in a wheelchair or a walker all day, although, I probably should be in my walker more than I am these days because I’m so hard on my body. I can walk independently for short distances and with someone’s arm for longer distances. I would consider myself an outcast because of this.

A few weeks ago I went to see “The Greatest Showman” and I loved it! I have to be honest through, I was skeptical about it at first. I heard a lot of people say it was amazing, but I’m not a huge fan of musicals and to be completely honest, I was only going because Zac Efron was in it. If you haven’t seen it yet, here’s what it’s about: “Inspired by the imagination of P. T. Barnum, ‘The Greatest Showman’ is an original musical that celebrates the birth of show business and tells of a visionary who rose from nothing to create a spectacle that became a worldwide sensation.”

“The Greatest Showman” might be the greatest movie ever made. I know I can relate to it a ton because of my disability. It’s inspiring to see a group of people with all kinds of disabilities come together and perform a musical, and it’s all because of an able-bodied man. The man himself being looked down upon, not because he has a disability, but because of his family line. The movie shows what the world is like when it comes to equality for many people of different countries and backgrounds. In the end they finally get the equality they deserve; more importantly they find a place where they fit in and aren’t judged for their differences.

If you haven’t seen “The Greatest Showman” yet, you really should. It is truly amazing. The world needs more movies with mixed-abilities actors like this.

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Lead photo courtesy of Greatest Showman Facebook page

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