Benjamin Lay (1682–1759)

Welcome to my blog, where I will be sharing topics of interest that I find good, bad, and fabulous, but my primary purpose is to conquer outdated misconceptions about little people in an effort to humanize our stories.

One of the most challenging aspects of my upbringing was being the only little person in my entire family and social circle.  There was no one I could related to, which was both discouraging and isolating, in addition, I was never exposed to positive examples of little people that I could look up to, especially in school.  Had I been exposed to one decent example of an inspiring little person, I know it would have made all the difference in my sense of ability.  One may argue that there simply haven’t been notable accomplishments made by little people to have impacted society significantly enough to include in standard curriculum, but in fact, that couldn’t be further from the truth.  The greatest benefit of being an adult is having full reign of your life and the freedom to pursue knowledge on your terms, and that is exactly what I’ve done.  I’ve taken it upon myself to research and learn about little people who have made great strides and contributions in society.  I was elated to discover a wealth of historical information about little people who made significant contributions to science, arts, politics, literature, entertainment, etc… and yet, these notable figures continue to be left of history books and cultural dialog.  There was a time when people of color, gays and women were intentionally omitted from history books, fortunately, that would be considered an outrage by today’s standards, but little people remain invisible, unless exploitable.

Taking the bad with the good, I’m taking a deep dive into the history of little people dating back to Ancient Egypt to modern-day Hollywood; my devotion to changing perceptions of little people is BIG. I will be sharing my findings about fascinating little people who have conquered society in the midst of discrimination.

My first post is dedicated to a personal hero of mine, Benjamin Lay (1682–1759), a four foot tall Quaker, philanthropist, abolitionist, activist, vegetarian, and published author who would not wear or consume anything made from the loss of animal life or provided by slave labor.  Lay was punk rock by 16th century standards, and his ‘bestie’ was none other than Benjamin Franklin, so WTF, why don’t we know more about Lay?

Lay was a zealous abolitionist in a time when Quakers still owned slaves, a radical who was repeatedly disowned by Quakers for his views on slavery and “false ministers.” He also opposed the death penalty. Lay once took a neighbor’s six-year-old child into his home, unbeknownst to the neighbor, who was panic stricken looking for his child. Lay explained to the neighbor that perhaps he could feel what slaves feel when their children are taken from them. The real crime here is the lack of recognition of Lay’s place in history.