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Eugene*Grant @MrEugeneGrant
, 14 tweets, 6 min read Read on Twitter
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. 

1/
Born in England 1682, Benjamin Lay was among the first known radical abolitionists. 

He was fearless, compassionate, and principled. 

He was also a #dwarf

2/
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.

3/
His time as a sailor and living in Barbados left him with a hatred of #slavery and slave owners.

He'd later become known for shocking and theatrical protests at Quaker meetings. 

4/
Lay & his wife Sarah, also a #dwarf, were Quakers.

The Quakers opposed Lay's abolitionist views. 

They disowned Lay, denounced his book, denied his right to speak at meetings, and even withheld his marriage certificate. 

5/
An autodidact, Lay vehemently criticised Quakers who owned slaves, loudly and spectacularly disrupted Quaker meetings, and boycotted slave-produced commodities.  

6/
Not much taller than 4'0", life in a #dwarf body shaped Lay's abolitionist beliefs.

As a dwarf, he had to struggle to be taken seriously and considered equal.

Even in death, some historians dismissed Lay as a "little hunchback".

7/
As a #dwarf person, Lay had to have cutting repartee.

A man once mocked him, announcing "I am your servant" to Lay... 

...who stuck out his foot and replied "Then clean my shoe" - embarrassing the bully. 

8/
His humility is attributed to his poor background, but also his life as a #dwarf person.

Lay said "I know my self to be so very mean & contemptible in the sight of Men, almost in every respect".

9/
Benjamin Lay was a #vegetarian, an animal rights activist, & held anti-consumption views.

He lived in a cave, grew his food, & tailored his clothes.

A philanthropist, he donated to the construction of a local hospital. 

10/
He died in 1759.

A devoted #Quaker, his abolitionist views meant he lies in an unmarked grave, buried as "a stranger to the faith he loved".

He left money to poor Quakers - more than 50% of whom were women - and to the school at one of the meetings that disowned him.

11/
Benjamin Lay "confronted power fearlessly".

He paved the way for other Quaker abolitionists.

(Source for 1-12: Marcus Rediker: The Fearless Benjamin Lay")

#dwarfism #disability #dwarf

12/
Why haven't you heard of Lay? Rediker points out some historians have written off because he was a #dwarf person - dismissing him as a "little hunchback". 

13/
When I have kids I'm going to tell them stories about Benjamin Lay. 

They will know his name and deeds long before they hear of the names of those who have fuelled the stereotypes about us. 

#dwarfism #disability #dwarf 

END/
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