Hey there everyone! Today I’ll be talking about an awesome project that I have been lucky enough to get involved in called #SuperheroLikeMe.
They are currently working on a very exciting sounding graphic novel called Eximius…on their front page it says “Be prepared to redefine the word Superhero!” which of course caught my eye straight away!
The beautifully unique thing about the Eximius graphic novel is that all the characters in the novel are special needs in some way. Of course once I learned this I felt so empowered as a disabled person myself and contacted the creator Sean Adelman straight away to get involved any way I could.
Let’s take a look at the word Super by itself:
Wikipedia definition: very good or pleasant; excellent
Now… let’s take a look at the word hero by itself:
Wikipedia definition: a person who is admired for their courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities
Finally, let’s take a look at those words combined SuperHero:
Wikipedia definition: a benevolent fictional character with superhuman powers
Wait… slow down! Where did the superhuman powers part come from?!
I know so many courageous, strong, and GOOD people – and they don’t have superhuman powers! I bet you know so many people that are courageous and strong too!
I think it’s safe to say that when we use the word Superhero, we don’t always have to be talking about the ones we see in comics at bookstores that have superhuman powers and abilities. We can be talking about the amazing people we know personally that are our very own and very special Superheroes. You certainly don’t need superhuman powers to be a superhero in life!
To me personally, my Superheroes are all of my amazing family and friends, because I simply don’t know what I would do without them and all their endless love and support towards me! My family and friends are all incredibly good people, like many in the world; some of them have had their own struggles and difficult back-stories just like some of the Superheroes you read about in comics. What shines through all of the time though, is their courage, which is of course another very popular trait in Superheroes. They push through and defeat every single struggle that they face, inspiring others, including me, along the way.
I’m inspired by the determination and strength that I have witnessed within my family; it has made me the person that I am today. I’ve learned how to be strong from all of them and how to face challenges with a can-do attitude! My family has taught me to always be proud of who I am, rather than ashamed. They have always treated me like their very own superhero for being so strong and courageous through all of my surgeries. They have helped me through any negativity I have ever experienced from others towards my disability. My family has helped keep me strong enough to fight through it all.
What kind of people inspire me? The type of people that I find inspirational, whether it be a celebrity or a family member, are the people that have been through personal challenges in life and still carried on fighting strong. This is because I admire the traits strength and courage so much; I almost feel like being around a strong or courageous person helps YOU feel stronger!
I know firsthand that life can be difficult when you have a disability, and it can be a struggle to find the motivation to carry on when times are particularly hard; but keeping a positive attitude and pushing forward despite your challenges is what will make YOU an inspiration to others also.
My personal role model and Superhero is Lady Gaga, many of you probably know her as the crazy musician that dresses up in outlandish outfits; but I’m lucky enough to have been a fan of hers for a while and have followed her and her career closely. Lady Gaga created a charity called the Born This Way foundation; the motto for her charity is “Empowering youth – inspiring bravery”. Her charity helps youth all around the world with the many challenges that young people face; from mental health issues, bullying, to helping children with disabilities, Lady Gaga has done it all and this is the reason she inspires me. Lady Gaga has also been so brave and admitted to the world that she suffers from mental health issues herself – of course this made many people around the world relate to her on a personal level and sharing her issues has helped youth all over the world to be brave and admit their difficulties too.
When I was a child, I really wish I’d had the opportunity to read something like the Eximius novel and witness Superheroes having special needs, I would’ve felt super in myself! I would’ve been able to show all of my friends at school that my disability can’t and wont stop me doing great things. I can’t even imagine how empowered I would’ve felt as a young child seeing a comic that had a superhero in that also was an amputee! It would’ve been a perfect way to help other children learn about disability! In fact, looking back on my school days I’m certain it would’ve been well-received by disabled and non disabled people alike.
Reading a novel like this as a young disabled child would’ve taught me very early on that I can achieve great things in life regardless of my disability… I can even be a superhero!
I bet as you’re reading this you’re also thinking of someone you know close to you that is your very own superhero – tell them! Let them know how much you appreciate them and how much they inspire you. Let’s bring the word superhero out of comics and use it in real circumstances, for real people everywhere!
Diversity is something that should be celebrated everywhere – graphic novels and comics included! Thanks to Sean, we may finally be getting the message out that the more people with disabilities are included not excluded, the more we teach the world all about us and the less negativity and stigma we will face.
Let this brilliant graphic novel Eximius be a lesson to creators everywhere that including people with disabilities can change the world! We can raise awareness this way for so many different conditions and disabilities; we can fight off the negative stigma, the villains that have excluded us for so long as if we aren’t a part of society.
We are REAL people, with REAL lives and we are SUPERHEROES! 🙂