Monday, December 22, 2008

Diversity Lesson 101: LGBT/Queer Little People

Little People or people with Dwarfism are adults under the height of 4'10. Dwarfism occurs in people who have developed a non-traditional bone growth and therefore some have a larger than average face, some with shorter limbs on their body and all are dramatically shorter than the general population. There are 200 different types of Dwarfism.

Little People like LGBT people are considered "freaks of nature", they get stares and people misunderstand them. In looking for resources for Little LGBT People, I found virtually nothing. I decided, to make an entry to educate people about little people as well as provide as much info as I can for LGBT Little People. It is my sincere hope that LGBT Little People can find solace, comfort and community and that they can begin to network and build a foundation and support system for their own sub-section of the community.

The parallels between being Little and Queer:
Both of these groups suffer tremendous misunderstanding by a society that deems them to be unnatural, or genetic deviants. As a result, people with one or both of these identities are subject to teasing, bullying, stares and public humiliation. Both groups must constantly be reminded of their differences, the Little Person must always look up in a giant world, and have to alter their ways to get by in a world designed for bigger people, whereas the queer person must always be reminded of the heteronormative structure, and if remaining in the closet alter their own worldview so that they can blend in with society at large.

Faggots, Dykes and Midgets oh my:
All of these words are degrading to LGBT people and people with Dwarfism. A "midget" is a "small sandfly" and the term is used by the oppressor to torment the other, and to negate their sense of humanity and dignity. Just like words like faggot and dyke are used to belittle an individual and to rid them of their sense of humanity, "midget" is a term used to assert dominance over another.

LGBT Little People and Their Unique Struggle:
LGBT Little People go through an experience unlike any other Little Person. Not only are they disadvantaged because they live in a world that does not make accommodations for people of their size, they also live in a world that does not understand sexual and gender variance. Dating is exceptionally hard for Little People, most average sized individuals regard them "as cute" but do not take them seriously for romantic encounters. In addition it is hard enough to find a soulmate, among the general population, it is doubly troublesome to find another queer person who is either a Little Person or can see past proportional variations.

Fetishizing and Objectifying Little People:
One of the problems with straight and queer culture and society is the fetishization of Little People. Whether it is through the use of "midgets" in pornography or the entertainment industry using Little People as a form of comedy. Little People are being subject to being used for others self gratification and pleasure rather than getting known for who they are and what their unique experience brings to the table.

Some links for LGBT Little People:

Laurie's Personal Page

A Discussion Topic on Gay Dwarfs at Real Jock Forums

A Discussion about Little Lesbians

Miss Trina Rose

General Links for Little People:

Little People of America

Dwarf Products

Little People the Book by Dan Kennedy

I hope I can do justice to this topic, there is little information out there for LGBT Little People. I hope to update this topic when I find more information and resources in the future. If you know of something please don't hesitate to share!


Anonymous said...

I would be careful about the way you phrase things, such as: "Little People like LGBT people are considered 'freaks of nature'." It suggests that little people are considered by everyone to be "freaks of nature," rather than by ignorant people.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this article. I feel, as a gay man, many of us are over looked just on looks alone. I can see how the little people of our community could be seriously misunderstood or disregarded. I have never met a GLBT little person, but I'm sure I'd offer as much acceptance to them as I would to the rest of us. Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

Someone sould send this to HRC!

Queers United said...

Anon-Well I think most of society is ignorant with regards to LP and LGBT people.

Steven-Thanks! I have never met an LGBT LP yet either, but I sure hope to! Maybe, someone will post here and share their story and possibly some resources.

Anon-Why should this be sent to HRC? Have they done something against LP?

Anonymous said...

...I'm sure this is very well intentioned, but the tone of this sounds a little like "the poor" LGBTQI people of short stature have been waiting for your magnanimous entry in order to create community and be happy as individuals.

I think it's a touchy space; you're obviously posting this as an ally, but it's not something that it directly within your range of experience, either, and it is easy to make generalizations and assumptions on a population.

Queers United said...

Nik, it isn't within my range of experience, but neither are many of the things I post about, I seek to create education for the community, myself, and its allies. I hope through this blog 'Queers United' that I can attempt to provide a voice and platform for all sexual and gender minorities. I am just trying to learn and advocate like everyone else, and always welcome input and correction when I am wrong or misinformed.

Anonymous said...

My best friend is a gay little person!

Anonymous said...

I know this article is a bit old, but I just had to say I'm more than a bit offended by this article. You mention the "fetishization" of little people in porn, etc. I'm of average height, I like porn, and yes, sometimes I like sex that doesn't involve getting to really know who someone really is. So do a lot of other people gay, straight, tall, short, whatever. You make it sound as though any type of porn or casual encounter is victimization of some sort. I sincerely disagree. Are you trying to tell us that there aren't little people who enjoy sex outside of a meaningful relationship? Last time I checked, little people were the same as anybody else. Some like porn and casual sex, others don't. Please don't try to paint everybody with the same brush.

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