Hi Reddit!

My name is Alex, and I have albinism.

I did an AmA about albinism back in April. With the recent theatrical release of The Heat—and the fact that April was three months ago—I'm back to answer your questions again!

Proof: (Please bear in mind that I'm not particularly good at taking selfies) http://www.flickr.com/photos/applealexc/9386863554/

More proof: http://www.flickr.com/photos/applealexc/8663697459/

And even more proof, because why not? http://www.flickr.com/photos/applealexc/8663699147/

So go ahead, ask me anything :)

Edit: Good morning Reddit! I'm back and ready for round 2!

Comments: 3623 • Responses: 72  • Date: 

ZombieSouffle1892 karma

First off as a fellow albino living in California I'd like to say despite our troubles with sight and higher chances of getting sunburns we are a unique and might I add gorgeous human beings so don't let anyone else tell you otherwise.

For my question do you find more albino males or females, because I've only meet albino males and I would like to meet an albino female, hang out, reproduce, create a master race of albinos, take over the world. Shit like that.

AlbinoAlex1397 karma

We are. As the community says, dare to be rare.

Um... we've discussed this one a lot. I've personally seen more females with albinism. I've asked the expert on the condition, but he didn't respond. I know PLENTY of females with albinism. PM me if you'd like some information ;) The catch is: I want in on this taking over the world.

friedjumboshrimp1201 karma

Are you a black white guy or a white white guy?

AlbinoAlex1872 karma

I'm actually Mexican, but I'll pick white white guy.

MasterGolbez998 karma

Is Mexican a color now?

AlbinoAlex1429 karma

When I was in World History, we were watching a film on African apartheid. I can't remember who was on the stand, but the judge asked "Why do we call black people black if they're more brown than black?" The man responded, "Why do we call white people white if they're more pink than white?"

someauthor801 karma

You're handling the weird questions here like a boss. I've got a feeling everything's going to be all white.

AlbinoAlex616 karma

When you say AmA, you're going to get those. And, generally, it's just plain curiosity. You can't blame people for being curious. You're correct, everything is all white.

ChiefTyrol617 karma

What is the biggest misconception about albinism you've found?

AlbinoAlex1174 karma

That we all have red eyes. I can't tell you how often I've heard, "You're not albino, you don't have red eyes!"

ChiefTyrol395 karma

The one albino girl I knew at highschool had to wear dark glasses due to light sensitivity, but she had blue eyes. Is this the case for yourself also? And, is the photophobia why you are classed as legally blind?

(Thanks for the response, and for the AMA :) )

AlbinoAlex732 karma

I'm somewhat light sensitive. I squint when it's a bright, sunny day. But the problem with photophobia is that they experience pain when exposed to bright light. I don't.

Photophobia is one of the symptoms of albinism, but I'm legally blind because of that eye chart with the giant E at the top. I can't even see the big E...

My eyes are a blue/green mix with a yellow center, because of pigment in my iris. That pigment prevents me from being photophobic. Here's a picture:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/applealexc/8664834598/

KashiMaeve367 karma

Just gotta say, your eyes are gorgeous!

AlbinoAlex103 karma

Thank you :)

ryanjc3087 karma

I've gotta admit, I thought that when I saw the pictures, and figured it'd get answered here.

AlbinoAlex121 karma

I'm surprised people haven't asked if I have red eyes yet. There are plenty of misconceptions but that's the main one that really gets old after a while.

widdersyns78 karma

Do some albinos have red eyes or is it entirely a misconception? I am referring of course to humans because clearly most other albino animals seem to have red eyes.

AlbinoAlex37 karma

Most people with albinism have light blue eyes (light blue being the least pigmented colour).

kloiberin_time515 karma

Have you ever thought of teaming up with a 1 handed dwarf and using superscience to battle The Guild of Calamitous Intent?

On a serious note, are you offended by the fact that most fiction, whether it be film, television or literature tends to stereotype those with albinism into villainous roles?

AlbinoAlex432 karma

I have not, I'll put it on my to-do list!

I'm not really offended by it, but it just gets old after a while. The sad part is that there really aren't films that portray albinism in a good light. They just all pull the evil albino joke. The albinism community HATES it with a passion.

stbilyumchill238 karma

Powder. I consider him more of a hero than anything else.

AlbinoAlex205 karma

I REALLY should see the film before I make comments about it but... a fashion photographer who now takes pictures of people with rare genetic conditions once slammed Powder. I think he said it was bad because the guy had albinism because his mother was struck by lightning. Again, I should probably see it before I talk about it. And someday I will.

Mrsbobdobbs490 karma

Do you have moles or other skin things that are a different pigment than the rest of you? Dark/light spots? ...and...I feel horrible and dumb...are your pubes all the same color as your hair? Sorry, just really curious! :(

AlbinoAlex727 karma

Yes, several on my hands and arms that are sort of light brown.

Don't feel bad, I said AmA :) Yes, they are.

You_R_Dum487 karma

Couple of questions...

When you were a child were your peers more cruel or curious?

Did that shape what you want to do as a career?(I saw that you want to be a child psychiatrist)

Is there a history of albinism in your family?

AlbinoAlex693 karma

If I recall correctly, they were pretty neutral. I don't remember being bullied very often, but no one asked questions. They probably just threw around theories amongst themselves.

Well, it definitely limits what I can do for a career. But I just like helping people, so mental health is a great path. And since all you need to do is sit in a chair and listen and give advice, I can do it!

We think my great grandfather had albinism. There are no photos, but everyone says he had blue eyes and white hair. I also have a cousin in Mexico who's a little older and also has albinism, but that's it.

Indydegrees2471 karma

How is your love life?

AlbinoAlex1373 karma

Pretty awful. It's really hard to date when you look different from everyone else, because we live in a society that places a very heavy emphasis on looks.

Edit: Thank you SO MUCH to whoever gave me gold! I have no idea what gold is, or what it does, but gold! I think this is very appropriate considering that I live in the golden state.

Rapesilly_Chilldick625 karma

You just need to start a rumour that an albino's semen has magical properties.

AlbinoAlex565 karma

I need someone famous to start the romour. It would spread better that way.

B-E-A-S-T-I-E420 karma

Really? I'd think people would be drawn to the exotic. I am, anyways.

AlbinoAlex498 karma

You're probably just as rare as I am :P

scerpalman436 karma

Are there any other medical side effects to having albinism besides the lack of colour pigment in your body?

AlbinoAlex646 karma

Visual impairment. Most with albinism are legally blind, someone are just above the cutoff. However, some have relatively good vision, and I've heard of someone with albinism with 20/20 vision.

duffmcshark208 karma

Are your eyes correctable to 20/20? Also, do you have any form of color blindness?

AlbinoAlex374 karma

I can get up to 20/20 with a monocular, but not with regular glasses. No colour blindness, thankfully :)

scerpalman90 karma

thanks for the reply :)

AlbinoAlex136 karma

You're welcome :)

fast_at_last369 karma

I don't have any questions, but you seem like a very nice and positive dude. Have a great day!

AlbinoAlex252 karma

Thank you :) You too!

friedjumboshrimp318 karma

Is the stories about medicine men offering huge money for Albino's bones true? If you were strapped for cash would you consider it?

AlbinoAlex570 karma

Yes. In Tanzania, witch doctors who make potions that apparently make you rich or whatever do. They use body parts to make them. Limbs, mainly, but also skin, hair, blood, etc. It's a huge problem that has even gotten the attention of the UN.

I wouldn't do it simply because it'd be supporting the horrid, horrid crime. Plus, I could always make money by selling my junk on eBay :P

HiImDan436 karma

No, but seriously, I'd become immortal if I ate you wouldn't I? Don't lie to me.

AlbinoAlex702 karma

Yes, but you MUST eat my left arm. The right arm just makes you rich. Each part has its own magical power.

Hatwhale185 karma

What sort of magical properties do your legs have?

AlbinoAlex381 karma

The left one gives you super strength. The right one gives you super speed. Take your pick.

ramsyzool313 karma

I am now tempted to do an AMA titled "I have gingerism"

I have bright orange hair and pale skin. I hesitated though, because the thread would die after "Do you have a soul?" and "Does the carpet match the drapes?" etc.

AlbinoAlex184 karma

Do it! I mean, you're going to get stupid questions, that's just it. But I'm sure there are plenty of people with legitimate questions. I have a few myself :)

watch_your_language307 karma

What color are your nipples?

AlbinoAlex407 karma

Light pink? It's kinda hard to see, believe it or not.

LSavvy260 karma

You are funny. Your sense of humour has really made this AMA entertaining, as well as educational. This might be a shallow and vapid question, but I'm curious. Are you attracted to people with albinism?

AlbinoAlex280 karma

Thank you :) Um... somewhat. I've dated people with albinism before and the connection is just indescribable. But I don't really pursue people with albinism more or anything.

AtillaTheHung233 karma

Does it irritate you when people assume that someone or something has albinism just because of their pale complexion?

AlbinoAlex447 karma

Somewhat. I'll have people tell me that someone they know has albinism because they're really pale. I even had someone tell me that someone they know "used to be albino." Sure, we're both pale. But I'm blind, they aren't.

rcristabel232 karma

Since you're Mexican (and I am hispanic too) I was curious, what your parents have told you about their reaction to your albinism when you were born?

AlbinoAlex316 karma

I think I remember them saying they were shocked. But overall in the first year they were just really scared. Because they didn't know what caused it or what it meant to have albinism or what would happen. And they were SO scared when they found out about the vision part. And that part really broke my heart. I hear a lot of these stories from new parents of children with albinism, and I'm glad there are support groups now.

sacredblasphemies228 karma

Does being an albino Mexican give you an insight into race/prejudice that others might not see? Do people treat you like a 'white' guy until they find out that you're Mexican?

AlbinoAlex525 karma

Somewhat.

ABSOLUTELY! No one ever believes I speak Spanish, ever. They always think I'm just another American. My favourite part is when people talk about me, out loud, right in front of me in Spanish because they think I can't understand them.

bropez200 karma

Does the albino code actually exist?

AlbinoAlex231 karma

I don't think so. We should create one!

Sp00kie188 karma

What are the odds that you will have a albino child? I think you are handsome, btw.

AlbinoAlex375 karma

If I have kids with someone else who has albinism, the odds are 100% (Yes, every single child) the child will have albinism. However, if that person has a different type of albinism than mine, than none of the kids will have albinism, but they'd be carriers for both types.

If I have kids with someone who doesn't have albinism, the odds are 50% if they carry the gene for albinism, and 0% if they don't.

the_summoner_166 karma

not to sound mean but have you ever dyed your hair? I've always wondered why albino people don't dye their hair?

AlbinoAlex286 karma

I have not, personally. But people with albinism do dye their hair—I know several that do. My best guess is that those who don't are happy with who they are, and see no need to change it.

SirFadakar416 karma

Yeah please never do, your platinum afro must always remain.

AlbinoAlex321 karma

Then so it shall be.

davis98164 karma

Can I touch your hair?

Darth_Meatloaf148 karma

Dat afro...

AlbinoAlex1341 karma

It's so big because it's full of secrets.

OisinGOR167 karma

Does it know anything about HL3?

AlbinoAlex189 karma

HL3 is coming in... in.... damn! Just lost it! Ask me again tomorrow :)

AlbinoAlex109 karma

Sure :)

Javalavadingdong2145 karma

Is it true that its hard for albinos to go outside because the sun hurts their skin? I forgot where I heard that from.

AlbinoAlex280 karma

It doesn't necessarily hurt our skin just going in the sun, but we do sunburn a lot easier than everyone else. The skin cancer risk is much higher, too.

gvmntcheese143 karma

You're one of my people. I'm albino as well only OCA2 though.

AlbinoAlex150 karma

Hooray! :) Hey, albinism and albinism.

RalarenOTC29 karma

[deleted]

AlbinoAlex19 karma

OCA 2 is a type of albinism, there are four. And it doesn't make him ant less of a person.

MahlertheBaller133 karma

Have you ever wished you didn't have albinism?

AlbinoAlex244 karma

When I was younger, but I don't anymore.

MahlertheBaller87 karma

Thanks for answering man. Good luck in all of your future endeavors!

AlbinoAlex96 karma

You're welcome, and thank you :)

sdonaghy131 karma

would you rather be albino or ginger?

AlbinoAlex511 karma

I'd rather have albinism.

thiscrazyginger386 karma

As a ginger, I was momentarily offended...but now I shamefully agree. I'll be going now.

AlbinoAlex297 karma

It wasn't really that albinism is BETTER or anything, I didn't make a mental comparison. I picked albinism because I already have it.

DETRITUS_TROLL123 karma

What do plan to do for a living?

AlbinoAlex220 karma

I'd love to be a child and adolescent psychiatrist. If that doesn't work out, I'll go to graduate school and become a psychologist.

cddonaldson121 karma

You have nice hair.

Just wanted to say that

AlbinoAlex85 karma

Thank you :)

goolygosh109 karma

I have a pretty rare condition myself (arterioveinous malformation in my leg) and I find it so frustrating that there is next to nothing known about my condition.

What's the most frustrating thing about albinism?

AlbinoAlex106 karma

When I was a kid, it was the same. No one around here knew about albinism. No one could answer my questions. Post-conference, I've become an expert in the condition. I do SO MUCH research.

Now.. probably the social implications. It's hard, socially, when you stand out.

lbr218108 karma

Are there Albinism support groups/conventions like there are for Little People? If so, do you attend? Are you active in the Albino community?

AlbinoAlex232 karma

Oh yes. There's the National Organization for Albinism and Hypopigmentation (NOAH). They host conferences every two years. I attended the last one in St. Louis and I'm going to the one in San Diego next year. The Albinism Fellowship of Australia also hosts conferences, and I'm going to Sydney to their conference this October.

I try to be as active as possible. In research, in event attendance, in public awareness, etc. NOAH publishes a quarterly magazine called Albinism InSight, and I write for it every single quarter.

rimshottt97 karma

Do people stare it you often? You hair is pretty unusual (not bad!) and I would imagine you could stick out in a crowd. Do you let it bother you? Do kids ever ask you weird questions?

Your legally blind? That SUCKS dude.

AlbinoAlex276 karma

I'm told that when I walk down the street, EVERYONE in a passing car stares. But being legally blind, I don't notice. I definitely do stick out in a crowd, which is why I hate when people tell me to find them. It's like, dude, find ME! Way easier! I did think about it when I was walking through a park yesterday, but the way I see it... when people stare, it's because they're fascinated. So, say you saw someone on the street with like three arms or someone. You'd stop and stare because you're thinking, "Whoa! That's weird!" You're not staring because you think the person is a freak. Hmm... kids never really ask questions.

It can have its pros. I get to cut lines in places, I never have to do jury duty, and I get priority registration for classes at my college. But, the not driving part does suck.

kloiberin_time50 karma

Legally blind doesn't mean that he cannot see at all, although that could be the case and it would still suck even if he is not totally blind. Honestly I am replying in the hopes that OP can see, just not well enough to drive. Don't want the guy to be totally blind.

AlbinoAlex82 karma

I'm not, thankfully. I'm actually 20/400, which is sort of close to the borderline. I actually probably could drive in a different state, but not in mine.

TheatreHooligan84 karma

You mentioned above that there are different kinds of albinism. How are these classified?

AlbinoAlex119 karma

They're classified by the gene that causes the albinism. TRY, OCA2, TYRP1, and SLC45AZ.

xgloryfades81 karma

How do you prefer to be referred to? Is "an albino" offensive? Should I always refer to people with your condition as just "people with albinism"? And finally people with albinism are often portrayed as evil in the media, how do you feel about this? Thank you!

AlbinoAlex124 karma

People with conditions generally like the "people first" use. "Person with albinism" is generally better, and is used by NOAH. "Albino" is accepted in Australia and the UK. It just depends. Some people HATE it with a passion, others will call themselves albino. I don't really mind, but I always use "person with albinism" just because, again, there are some that HATE the alternative.

Yes, the evil albino card is player over and over and over again. I don't really mind it, personally, I just wish there was a balance.

fastfishy80 karma

Are there any major set-backs that you have because you are albino?

AlbinoAlex147 karma

Vision, mainly. Being legally blind means I can't drive in my state, I have a hard time seeing the board in class. I sometimes bump into the most obvious things. I just have to get really close to everything.

AllyBeth70 karma

Is it creepy that I find albinism to be kind of a turn on? (I'm not hitting on you, don't worry. I'm a lesbian!) Have you met other people who feel this way? What have relationships been like for you?

AlbinoAlex73 karma

Not really. Everyone has their own turns on and fetishes and whatnot. Free country. But I haven't met anyone else who feels that way, pretty interesting. Relationships, and dating in general, have always been difficult.

abbyroselew69 karma

This is a weird question, but I was wondering, ginger pale person to you, if they have any sort of makeup foundation for albino people. because i use like the lightest shade.

AlbinoAlex115 karma

I don't know of any makeup like marketed towards people with albinism, but I've met plenty of people with albinism who were able to find makeup just fine. The fun part is challenging the cosmetics person to match you. It takes ages! :P

Fatdevil42055 karma

What are your superpowers?

No seriously, how has being am albino affected your identity? Was/is it a big part of who you are?

AlbinoAlex196 karma

I see dead people...

It is in a sense that I wouldn't change it even if I could. But I try my best to live life as normally as possible. Albinism identifies me, it doesn't define me.

WhenCornAttacks52 karma

OCA Type 1?

AlbinoAlex100 karma

We're pretty sure I'm type 1B. Researchers at the National Institutes of Health are currently sequencing my DNA to find out my type. I should have the results within a few weeks.

WhenCornAttacks56 karma

Interesting. The only reason I know about this is because my biology class had to do reports on genetic disorders and I picked albinism. It's a cool topic.

AlbinoAlex164 karma

When I was in Life Science, we did the same, and I also picked albinism. Easier paper ever :P

MOLDY_QUEEF_BARF34 karma

Are there any cool benefits to being albino?

AlbinoAlex69 karma

Just being really really unique. The global occurrence is one in every 20,000 people.

fattycakerva26 karma

Are you pale all over or are your goodies a shade darker?

Also, are your palms and the bottom of your feet a shade paler than the rest of your body?

AlbinoAlex36 karma

It's pretty much white all over. My palms are more red than darker (colured). When I was at NIH, they used a reflectometer on my body to see how "white" parts were. I don't have the results, though.

Zoeymae22 karma

My nephew is albino and is unfortunately mostly blind. Do you have any tips for the family? Or him for when he's old enough! Here he is: http://i.imgur.com/nFU3DaB.jpg

AlbinoAlex29 karma

Contact the National Organization for Albinism and Hypopigmentation immediately. They have SO MUCH. Groups, conferences, books, just so so much.

beatbox3219 karma

When did you first find out you were living in Albania?

AlbinoAlex80 karma

When I was six and I read about this show called American Idol. I turned on the TV, but only managed to catch Albanian Idol. I was sad.

IamUltrabeast13 karma

someone find the picture of the cute asian albino that did a ama...she was purdy.

AlbinoAlex4 karma

Aww! She's adorable! I hope she goes to the next conference.

MikeHorishny12 karma

What would you say are the most negative and positive aspects about your disorder?

AlbinoAlex34 karma

Positive would probably be how rare the condition is. I like being unique :) And it's a lot of fun to answer questions about it.

Negative, aside from the skin and the vision and whatnot, would be the limitations of it. I would love to just go out on the beach for a day and tan like everyone else, but I'd just burn to a crisp. I can't drive, legally. It's also hard to fit in because not everyone accepts people who are different.

zeroandfalling7 karma

If there was a "cure" would you take it? Why? (Personally, I wouldn't)

AlbinoAlex15 karma

There might be a cure, eventually. Nitisinone looks promising. But either way, I wouldn't. Albinism is a part of who I am. I've grown up with it and adjusted to it. Dare to be rare :)

recourse96 karma

Are you magical?

AlbinoAlex33 karma

I am. I can solve a Rubik's Cube :)

GimmeSomeSugar6 karma

How's it going? Are you allwhite?

AlbinoAlex8 karma

Fine, enjoying this AmA. Yes.

maassizzle5 karma

Here's a question that is important to me, do I have albinism?

Obviously, I am the very excited guy. http://i.imgur.com/Lm9PFoS.jpg

Here's me with Reed Timmer a couple years ago http://i.imgur.com/aB5GZ14.jpg

I have been bullied a lot through high school and even now into college. I am constantly called albino, whitey, q-tip and others that I can't think of now. I have never really had a problem with getting a decent tan (only on the arms and face because I am a gaming nerd) during summer, so I am not sure if I am not just a guy with really blond hair.

Sexual_Horseradish3 karma

I'm not an expert at all, but I don't think you can get a tan if you have albinism(which is a lack of pigment.) you're probably just really pale:) I know of one albino guy that runs for another school at some of my track meets, and he has to always wear sunglasses and a hat because any sun exposure is very dangerous for him. So you probably aren't:) but again, I'm no expert.

AlbinoAlex5 karma

You actually can. OCA 2 and 3 involve having pigment, but not as much as your parents. OA 1 is the same thing. That's why you also use visual indicators when diagnosing albinism.

sreckko4 karma

So, any contact from the Vatican yet?

AlbinoAlex15 karma

Not yet, maybe when I visit Italy and rome around for a bit.

throwawwayaway3 karma

Isn't your AMA supposed to be after the mulatto and before the mosquito ?

AlbinoAlex5 karma

I hate mosquitos.

Jespar3 karma

Can you control electricity and read people's minds?

AlbinoAlex7 karma

I can only control electricity. When I was in the womb, I had to pick between controlling electricity and reading minds... I still kick myself for picking stupid electricity.

Mind1013 karma

Can i touch your hair?

AlbinoAlex3 karma

Sure :)

OMG_a_Mexican2 karma

What happens when you get sunburn or try to tan?

AlbinoAlex4 karma

I sunburn when I try to tan. The worst sunburn I've had was just really red skin that hurt to touch. Never had it blister, thankfully.