Watch This Woman Living With Dwarfism Explain Exactly Why Being Different Is Awesome

“I’m a female, black, little person,” is how Cara Reedy describes herself in the video above. “It’s a lot,” she explains, “because you kind of have nowhere to turn.” But Reedy is also something even more important: She’s strong, she’s unique, and she’s transforming what others perceive as weakness into power, fighting stigmas and inspiring others to view differences as strengths as opposed to drawbacks.

Reedy, who’s a comedian, is making great strides in changing the world. Knowing that her very existence is sometimes used as a punchline (she points to a cringe-worthy bit by Chris Rock), Reedy is speaking out not only about why calling little people “midgets” is terrible, but also educating others on why it’s inappropriate to belittle those like her. Little people, she makes it clear, aren’t something to gawk at. They’re people just like anyone else. “Do you think I live in a hut with my six friends?” she asks in response to people wanting to know whether she has knees or has sex with “regular people.”

“We’re in New York,” she adds. “Where would I get a hut?”

The video is poignant and painful and absolutely worth a watch. Both because it’s a reminder that we need to treat all people the way we’d like to be treated and because Reedy is bringing up important issues that are often uncomfortable to talk about. And she’s doing it with humor. She’s an inspiration not just for others like her, but for anyone who’s struggled or been misunderstood due to differences they have no control over.

“You’ve always had to fight,” Reedy says at the end of the video. “And if you’ve always known how to fight, you know how to fight. And you know how to survive.”