Growing up in New Jersey, Genovese said she endured bullies and stares, and was even submitted to humiliating medical exams that made her feel insignificant and devalued. But Genovese, who is 4-feet 3-inches tall, now enjoys a long and happy marriage with Bill, who is 5-foot The couple has two average-sized children. The world of little people has historically held a deep-rooted distrust for taller people - and rightly so. Society has relegated dwarfs to circus side-shows and comedy, treating them as if they were subhuman.
They met at an LPA convention, and though they talk every night, they've only spent about three weeks together in person.
Becky says they'll give it another year before one of them relocates so they can be together - she and her last boyfriend, who she also met at a convention, moved in together more quickly, and it put a lot of pressure on the relationship. He couldn't find a job in the area, and he didn't get along with her friends; they ended up breaking up.
Becky says some average-sized people think LPA conventions are "a big orgy," maybe because they've seen little people in porn. Actually, she says, even if they do go with dating or hooking up in mind, straight women can have trouble meeting men.
The conventions are often overwhelmingly female, so it's "a bunch of girls chasing after one guy.
There don't appear to be more female little people than male in the country at large, so those active in LPA aren't entirely sure why there aren't more men in their midst. Kara Ayers, a blogger and therapist who has written about the experience of parenting as a little person, says she thinks girls who are little people may be more open to going to conventions and talking with other little people from a young age.
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She and her husband both have the bone condition osteogenesis imperfecta, which affects their height, but growing up, he felt "too cool" for conventions: "He's glad his parents took him but he wasn't the one asking to go. Jim Kay, who is 75 and LPA's historian, thinks the unwillingness of men to go to conventions is a symptom of a bigger problem: "Girls today, whether they're little or average, are much more knowledgeable, much more assertive, and many of them will make the first move," and guys aren't keeping up.
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He thinks men who are little are "following the example of the average-sized guys, not going to places where they have to deal with an assertive woman. Of course, there are other places to meet besides conventions.
A number of dating sites purport to cater specifically to little people, but Smith says a lot of little people are wary of them - women especially worry that they might be populated with fetishists who only want to date them because of their size.
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