This is post 3 in my dwarfism awareness series. See post 1 HERE and post 2 HERE!
Last night I sat down with Katie and asked her a few questions about being little. She was eager to share. Katie’s answers are italicized.
How does being little effect you?
Being little doesn’t really effect anything in my life besides my size.
How do you feel about being little?
I like being little because I’m unique and different from others.
How do you feel when people stare at you?
It doesn’t really bother me. I’m used to it. Sometimes I wish they wouldn’t but it’s just part of my life.
Do people ever call you mean names?
Not usually but people will tease. They say in an ugly voice “Why are you so little?”
How do you feel about the word midget?
It doesn’t really bother me because people don’t understand that it’s a really mean word.
Do people ever call you that word?
Barely. A lot of people at school understand that I’m a little person. My friend Carson (who is also little) has come to my school and talked about it to spread awareness and my mom has taught the teachers and students that midget isn’t a nice word and picking on me because of my size isn’t right.
Isn’t she sweet? Obviously I have a bias, but it was a lot of fun to hear how she feels.
Now, I wanna touch on something a little more serious.
The m-word. That’s what we call it.
But like Katie said, people use it simply because they don’t understand how mean it is.
I feel that as an advocate for dwarfism and as someone who stands up for what LPA is trying to do, I have to take a stand against the m-word. There are people who compare this word to the n-word. Is the n-word ever acceptable? No. That is how you should feel about the m-word. It’s derogatory, belittling, demeaning, and makes reference to circus acts.
It hurts me to hear people refer to my baby (not-so-baby) sister as a circus act. Physically hurts me. But I also know I need to give grace to those that simply do not understand the negativity that comes along with using that word.
If you see a little person and are wondering what you refer to them as? Short stature, Little person, LP, and person with dwarfism are all acceptable and respectful.
But the most preferred terminology is simply the person’s name. Please, let that sink in.
If you think that midget is acceptable and respectful I beg you to look a little further at the meaning of the word and decide against using it in all situations – not just situations where a little person is involved.
Do you feel informed? I feel more informed after writing these posts. Leave your questions in the comments! We love hearing from you and Katie (obviously) loves answering questions.
Thanks for listening! Happy Day!