Eugene*Grant Profile picture
Feb 28, 2018 11 tweets 4 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
Thread: following my tweet about the word "M*dget", lots of people are asking "but what do we call people with #dwarfism?". Listen close...

Please RT 1/
I promise you: the best thing to call someone with #dwarfism is *their name*.

If you don't know their name, ask yourself why you need to refer to their body before knowing who they are. This is important. 2/
3/ Know their name? Good. Then politely ask them how they like to refer to themselves.

It's for them to decide, not you. They are the author of the dictionary that defines them*

Don't know their name? See 2/.

(* I stole this from Zadie Smith)
4/ If you don't have an opportunity to ask 2/ or 3/ you really should question why you feel you need to have a conversation about someone's body that excludes the very person you're talking about.

Would you like to be in this position?

#dwarfism #disability
5/ Many #dwarf people prefer different terms. That's fine. Remember: it's their body, not yours. I would suggest you're safe starting with 'person with #dwarfism'. I personally also use 'dwarf person'.
6/ 'Little Person' is preferred by some - especially in the U.S. Personally, I don't like 'Little Person'.

It suggests I have less innate power and value than a 'big person' and I don't believe I do (although society tries to make me believe it). See 7/
7/ Think about it. Synonyms for big - huge, grand, giant - and synonyms for small - tiny, petite, miniature - all imply *power*.

The media is besotted with this power disparity: "little people, big world", "small person, big dreams", etc. Blah, blah, blah. It's nauseating.
8/ "Little/small person, Big world" makes it sound like I am a guest in someone else's house. I am not.

The world is as much of our making as it is of yours.

I do not need permission to be here. #dwarfism #disability
9/ I sometimes use "#dwarf" for brevity but I'd suggest you use the word "person" - 'person with #dwarfism', 'dwarf person', 'Little Person'".

Not sure which one to use? No worries. See 1/ and work down. I don't speak for all people with dwarfism. That's why 1/ is so important.
10 / "M*dget" is a horrible slur. It should never be used. Tell your friends. And call them out when they use it.

If you feel uncomfortable calling out your friends using the m-word, well think about how *we* feel when we hear it in conversations, when strangers shout it at us.
11/ Finally, the best thing you can do is be *respectful*.

Don't assume, don't generalise, ask 1/ & 2/. Personally, I think it's better to use the wrong term ignorantly but respectfully than the right term maliciously.

Intentions are everything. If in doubt, start with 1/.

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More from @MrEugeneGrant

Aug 10, 2018
Thread: Just finished this beautiful book in which the protagonist is a strong, powerful woman with #dwarfism - Trudi - living in Germany before, through, and after WW2.

This is the first piece of adult non-fantasy fiction I've read with a #dwarf main character.

A dwarf person in an average height town, Trudi is, in a way, an outsider, and yet central to the community, too.

As a child, she yearns to be average height - she asks the doctor for pills to make her tall, she hangs by her arms from doorways trying to stretch her body.

Children shy away from Trudi as if touching her might turn them into #dwarf people, too.

Adults act as if she is invisible and they say things they wouldn't say if other children were around. For Trudi, this is the beginning of something key...

Read 18 tweets
Jul 24, 2018

Thread: Some advice for parents when your small child sees someone with #dwarfism for the first time.

Please read, RT, and, if you yourself are a #dwarf or #disabled person,​add your own ​advice.


I can imagine you feel embarrassed right now…

...but what you do next helps set the foundations on which your child will build their understanding of #dwarfism, #disability, and difference.

The first thing to say is: don't ever encourage your child to point and laugh at people who are different. Ever.

That might ​seem​ obvious, but I've encountered parents who’ve done so - and even filmed me, too.

But these are a tiny minority, so let's move on...

Read 14 tweets
Jul 8, 2018
Thread: Heard of the Seven Dwarfs? Mini-Me? Tyrion?

Cool. Pull up a seat.

Let me tell you about Jeffrey Hudson - a real #dwarf person whose incredible life featured Kings and Queens, pirates and prisoners, soldiers and slaves.

He once shot a man dead for mocking him.

Hudson was born in England in 1619 to poor average height parents.

Not long after, the Duke of Buckingham moved nearby.

When he was 7, the Duchess of Buckingham asked his father to permit Jeffery to live with her.

The Duke 'gave' Jeffrey (you read that right) in **a pie** (you read that right, too) to Queen Henrietta Maria.

If that sounds disgusting and barbaric it's because it is (sadly, this is not the only time this humiliating practice occurred in history).

Read 27 tweets
Apr 8, 2018
Thread: I have #dwarfism.

I knew who the Seven #Dwarfs were by the age of ten.

I knew who Mini Me was by 13. 

I was 31 when I learned who Benjamin Lay was. 

This is important. Please read and RT. 

Born in England 1682, Benjamin Lay was among the first known radical abolitionists. 

He was fearless, compassionate, and principled. 

He was also a #dwarf

A "living stick of dynamite", Benjamin Lay was "one of the very first to call for the abolition of slavery".

He wrote one of the world's first abolitionist books - calling for the church to cast out slave owners.

Read 14 tweets

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