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Freaks 'Say No To Normal,' Want Word Eradicated From English Language

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VENICE BEACH FREAKSHOW
Todd Ray and his friends want to eradicate the word "normal" from the language because it is devisive. | David Moye

Todd Ray has a beef against a certain word that begins with "N" and wants to eliminate it from the English language.

That word, of course, is "normal," and Ray says it has no real meaning since there's no such thing as normal.

"It's one of the most devious words that's ever been invented," Ray told The Huffington Post. "It's one of the most devious concepts we've ever had to deal with. If you've ever been young and felt like you weren't good enough because you were comparing yourself to those you thought were normal, or you wished you were better or anything like that, than you understand what it feels like when you're not 'so-called' normal."

Ray has dedicated his life to celebrating those people and animals that aren't "normal." He has the largest collection of two-headed animals in the world, according to Guinness World Records.

He also runs the Venice Beach Freakshow, which features performances by people such as Larry Gomez the Wolf Boy, an entertainer who has a genetic condition called "hypertrichosis" that causes people to sprout thick hair on their faces and bodies.

It also showcases Jason Brott, who has been able to make a name for himself as a sideshow performer and tattoo artist under the name "Illustrated Penguin," despite being less than four feet tall and having no arms.

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"I don't mind the term 'freak,' Brott told The Huffington Post. "I don't like the term 'weird.' To me, a freak does stuff, while a weirdo just stays in his room."

Ray, Gomez, Penguin and other self-proclaimed freaks have started a movement called "Say No To Normal" that includes a petition at Change.org, and a rally taking place Dec. 15 at the Venice Beach Boardwalk in Los Angeles that will include a funeral procession for the concept of normal.

The topic will also be addressed on "Freakshow," an upcoming reality series starring Ray, his family, his animals and his unusual friends. The show will debut on AMC in Februrary.

Getting rid of a word that has existed for hundreds of years won't be easy, but Ray takes inspiration from a sideshow performer named Otis Jordan, who was known as the "Human Cigarette Factory."

"He had ossified limbs that were like stone, but he was able to make perfect cigarettes from a can of Prince Albert without using limbs, just his shoulders, lips and tongue," Ray said. "I saw him at a sideshow when I was a kid when I was trying to be a magician and told him I didn't think I'd ever become as dextrous as him.

"He looked at me and said, 'Look at what I did with no arms. Now look at you. You should be able to do anything."

Also on The Huffington Post

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