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I am a below knee amputee. More importantly, I am also Mommy to two boys, a very active 10 year old (Robby) and an mischievous toddler (Timmy). I have learned that being a parent with a disability can create some unusual and sometimes humorous situations. This blogger is available for hire! Let's talk and learn how a blog can expand your business.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

What is Normal?

It has been more than 36 hours since the video shoot and my mind is still reeling. Everything happened so quickly that it felt like a blur. I keep reliving the great humiliation, my dance routine, and always instinctively want to bang my head on the table and laugh.

In all fairness, I had no idea that I was going to be asked to dance. Had I been forewarned, I would have tried to learn some basic routine and a few moves. Left unprepared, I was forced to rely upon my past experiences. Unfortunate for everybody, my previous dance experience is limited to The Wiggles, The Chicken Dance, and The Hokey Pokey. Feeling pressured to perform, I resorted to  mimicking the moves from all of them during my dance routine.

After watching my disjointed attempts at dancing with a look of disbelief (keep in mind it is difficult to shock transgender and other unique performers), the crew tried to guide my movements. Standing behind the camera, they began dancing to the song, hoping that I would loosen up and follow suit. I tried my best to follow along, but my moves were always two beats behind the music. I think that they underestimated my dancing disability!

Although I want to face palm myself every time I relive the dancing, it was an experience that I will always cherish. It isn't often that somebody is invited into a completely different culture. From the crew to the performers on hand, it was enlightening to experience something completely foreign from my regular routine.

The shock I felt when meeting my fellow cast mates (the transgender performer named Clover, the nearly 8 foot lady with platform heels and the man in the bustier sporting velvet gloves and a riding crop) was reciprocated when they saw me remove my prosthesis. I found it odd that individuals who live such flamboyant lives would be surprised by me simply removing my leg. After all, I think nothing of people whipping off their prosthetic arms and legs.

 "Normal" is not a fixed state but rather fluid and based upon experiences. The performers I met are used to gaudy costumes, lace and leather, and over the top accessories. Their norm was more theatrical based, creating characters for gender exploration and shock value.

My norm involves keeping legs lined up against my bedroom wall so that I can choose appropriately in the morning. I'm sure that my wall of legs is a surprise to people who do not frequent my home, but we don't even give it a thought anymore. At the end of the day, it is all a matter of perspective and experience.

I've had been trying to figure out a similarity between me and the performers, but perhaps I have been over thinking it. I think that the answer was right in front of me the whole time. In the end, we all just want to be accepted and be able to live happy and fulfilling lives. It doesn't matter what somebody wears, whether it be clothing intended for another gender or a prosthesis for a missing limb. We all deserve to be respected and permitted to live to the best of our abilities.

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