Giving a TEDx Talk is a high-level bucket list item. I am incredibly grateful and humbled to have had the opportunity to share my voice with the world. This process started in March when I signed up to audition. I asked myself, “what is my idea worth sharing?” My colleague, Kepler, turned the question around and asked, “what frustrates you?” I thought about his question for a moment and it became obvious. When people don’t take the moment when meeting or seeing me for the first time they can misread me and who I am as a person. As a Little Person I can be mistaken for a child and it happens more times than I’d like.
I know I’m not the only one in the world who struggles with how I’m viewed in the world whether it’s identity, expression, disability, or religious clothing. I wanted to use this opportunity to give people a tool to use when meeting or seeing someone. I want people to get out of their own way. I wrote the talk with that in mind. I wrote many versions. My friends and family were wonderful in the journey over the months of listening and editing.
It came down to me wanting people to know that they have a choice on how they treat other people. We all have judgments and perceptions, but it’s what we do or how we act on them that matter. We can take 5 seconds to realize that whatever category our brains are trying to put people in might not be the category that the other person lives in. Let the other person show you who they are. We can give more respect first instead of apologies later. Please S.T.O.P. “See The Other Person”. Let’s create a connection and understanding together.
I have been so humbled by the responses on social media and on YouTube. I won’t take this opportunity for granted. Thank you, everyone, who supported my journey.
Next Step Outreach Coordinator