Miguel Marquez

Miguel opens his speaking programs by comparing himself to the cover of a book. You know, the one that says you can never judge a book by its cover. Born in Jacksonville, Florida into a military family, Miguel experienced mMARQUEZ, MIGUELany of the traumas associated with growing up with cerebral palsy. Name calling, bullying and the constant reminder that he was different all played a large part in the development of his “I can do it” character. Encouraged by his parents to explore doing everything, failure became no greater an obstacle for him than for anyone else.

After high school Miguel set out for Hollywood with his boyish good looks, modeling, and theater arts training under his belt. Enrolled in some of Hollywood’s finest acting classes and some on ca­­mera experiences, it was obvious that he was about to learn what so many people with disabilities have learned before him, the entertainment industry is not ready to put people with differences on a level playing field with everyone else.

In his presentation, Miguel openly talks about his past and present and how his Latin heritage and being gay has affected his family values in every aspect of the word “family”. When he came out to his parents, it was like a knife just stabbed him in the heart. His mother said its bad enough that you’re Latino, have a disability and now your gay. That’s like having three strikes against you even before you start your life as an adult. Miguel has certainly adjusted well and his speaking presentations have help and inspired many to rise up and meet their personal challenges.