Hi Reddit!

My name is Alex, and I have albinism. I’m back for another exciting AmA!

Proof

More Proof

DNA test results

So go ahead, ask me anything.

Comments: 3706 • Responses: 128  • Date: 

bomdfbgm2341 karma

Would you ever dye your hair and eyebrows a different color to see what you would look like without albinism?

AlbinoAlex1671 karma

Absolutely.

Th3assman933 karma

Why haven't you?

AlbinoAlex1776 karma

I can't pick a colour, or find a stylist who thinks it's possible. But it's on my list!

nerdybird881011 karma

One of my best friends also has albinism and regularly dyes her hair all sorts of awesome colors!

AlbinoAlex816 karma

And it sticks? Does it fade?

aioncan661 karma

Depends on the product. Some last a few showers and some are 'semi-permanent'.

AlbinoAlex408 karma

I'm assuming the amount of pigment one's hair has wouldn't make a difference in how temporary the dye is?

qwerqwert519 karma

No, in fact if a dark haired person wants to put in bright color they have to get their natural color bleached out first. Darker colors hold longer. If you consult with the stylist ahead of time, some dye companies also offer shampoo to help hold the particular color you get. Washing in cold water also helps hold. Maintaining color is just a tricky reality of vibrant hair dye.

AlbinoAlex117 karma

Makes sense, thanks for sharing :)

saltporksuit357 karma

Go ask /r/fancyfollicles. I bet they could point you in the right direction!

AlbinoAlex248 karma

I didn't know that sub existed! Definitely posting there after.

Craftminexx139 karma

I mean you don't have to pick one, just go with temporary dye so you can change it whenever you want!! Except for Splat! brand... They say they are temporary but seriously, their reds and pinks NEVER go away. They turn highlighter pink and never come off. xD

AlbinoAlex80 karma

I've heard good things about... I think it was manic panic, can't remember if they make temp though.

satansmum157 karma

I know a girl who is also an abino and tints her eyelashes and eyebrows a bit darker, it looks good but honestly I don't think she needs it! I have always been so jealous of her blonde blonde hair though. Would you say that being albino has hindered you or enabled or not affected making social connections with people? Also the girl I know has these cool purpley eyes. Do you have this too?

AlbinoAlex459 karma

Albinism hasn't hindered me in making friends but it's hard to say if that's the case with dating. So much emphasis is placed on physical appearance when it comes to dating.

My eyes are actually a mix of colours

coach111111133 karma

Let's go! I vote ginger, like a really deep ginger.

AlbinoAlex214 karma

If this was an actual poll and 4chan brigaded it, what would be the top answer?

FrenchToast_Styx265 karma

Leopard print. Then you could be a snow leopard!

AlbinoAlex113 karma

Could I then be featured on Planet Earth?

CruelCrow211 karma

Top vote would be white, probably

AlbinoAlex120 karma

Eggshell white

Moarbadass1683 karma

This may sound dumb but when you'll get old, is your hair gonna get gray? Or not since it's already white?

AlbinoAlex2156 karma

I remember when I asked my teacher that in like middle school, got a lot of good laughs from my class.

Anyway, it'll be white, probably moreso than it is now.

TheSpanxxx113 karma

That's making the hopeful assumption you get to keep your hair... =/

AlbinoAlex516 karma

If I end up bald, I want a comically shiny head. Like so shiny you can use it as a mirror!

Matiomo1231336 karma

Do albinos really get kidnapped and their bones get sold on the black market?

AlbinoAlex1780 karma

Yes, but only in certain African countries, namely northern Tanzania.

Earthsoundone726 karma

That's fucking crazy. Why specifically albinos?

AlbinoAlex2344 karma

Witch doctors outnumber real doctors like 3:1, and they believe that people with albinism have magical powers. They use our bones, skin, and hair to make potions that will make the people who drink them rich and powerful.

I wish I was kidding.

person_180845 karma

Well... Do you have magical powers?

AlbinoAlex1894 karma

...no comment.

lappro541 karma

If we were to put you on a scale against a duck which way would the scales tip?

AlbinoAlex387 karma

It would be even.

StopFightingTheDog366 karma

Hair? Dude, find a witch doctor with an eBay account and start selling him locks of hair for $$$ at a time!

AlbinoAlex432 karma

But what if they track me down and kill me?

richwitchdoctor902 karma

Hey where do you live?

AlbinoAlex1063 karma

42 Wallaby Way, Sydney.

Ozzytudor202 karma

ur the dentist from finding nemo?

AlbinoAlex612 karma

I'm actually his sadistic niece.

HRCsmellslikeFARTS266 karma

What the fucking fuck.

AlbinoAlex184 karma

I don't know man, it's really awful.

squrr11111 karma

I have known one person with albinism in my life. He drove a Segway everywhere.

Therefore, my question is: do you drive a Segway?

AlbinoAlex813 karma

No, but I really want one. Do they require excellent balance like bicycles?

hedgehiggle427 karma

Exact opposite - they're designed to balance by themselves (afaik).

AlbinoAlex799 karma

Sweet, I should totally get one.

Looks up segway prices Holy shit!!

GutchSeeker219 karma

You underestimate the power of Reddit

AlbinoAlex49 karma

What can Reddit do?

InsaneAnon68 karma

Come on guys, let's buy this lovely fellow a Segway

AlbinoAlex289 karma

Thanks guys, but ya'll should donate that money to an albinism charity. I'll get my own segway, and deck it out with blackjack and hookers.

TheLastGiant1079 karma

How's your vision?

AlbinoAlex1748 karma

Pretty terrible, around 20/400 uncorrected, slight photosensitivity.

Ninjabassist777512 karma

How well can that be corrected? I have about the same vision uncorrected, but I have 20/20 with glasses/contacts. I couldn't imagine living with 20/400!

AlbinoAlex760 karma

Someone mentioned they were 20/600 without correction but 20/20 with glasses, so jealous! I can get to around 20/180 with glasses, 20/100 if I really strain, but distance glasses are good enough for most applications. I have a monocular that can easily get me up to 20/20, but it's quite cumbersome.

Hoppss235 karma

Do you know if laser eye surgery would bring your vision to 20/20?

AlbinoAlex157 karma

No, it would probably just permanently bring me up to 20/100, if even that.

ravenwildegir2 karma

Mine is 200/20!!!!! Only I just have bad eye genes not albinism

AlbinoAlex1 karma

But is it correctible?

YouThatReadWrong2772 karma

How has albinism impacted your life?

AlbinoAlex1075 karma

That's actually an interesting question. In many ways it has and in many ways it hasn't. For daily life, obviously I look WAY different from everyone else, but it's never in the back of my mind anymore. The vision problem are a little less easy to ignore, but with monoculars and accommodations it's pretty easy to get around and still be successful in school.

Over my entire life? I'd never have experienced albinism conferences and research opportunities had I not had the condition. But I can also still travel, go to the beach, attend outdoor events, etc. With some extra precautions obviously, but it's not like I'm unable.

pingouin_gaufrier622 karma

You said you "look WAY different from everyone else". I don't know where you live, but I guarantee you that here in western Europe you could just be someone with bright hair and pale skin. You look completely normal, if it makes you feel better!

AlbinoAlex564 karma

I've always been told that I'd definitely blend in in most Nordic countries. I mean there are plenty of caucasians here, but most of them don't have white hair.

Kuugjuaq481 karma

Dude maybe it's just the picture, but even in northern Canada if I saw you out I wouldn't think twice, let alone imagine you have albinism.

AlbinoAlex516 karma

This is why we think albinism is underdiagnosed in these places, people with albinism just blend in!

VladimirPootietang630 karma

Hear that bullies? Single these damn kids out!

AlbinoAlex710 karma

For science!

footytang211 karma

"Beatings for Science" I'll start mass producing the light pink t-shirts

AlbinoAlex145 karma

Best band name ever!

morxy4970 karma

Definitely. You kinda look like a lot of people i know in Sweden. Nothing weird at all to be that bright.

AlbinoAlex283 karma

I should totally move there, especially with the impending doom that will surely come with our new president.

LeCyclimse21 karma

I'm very fair with light blond hair, you say you have to take extra precautions for outdoor activities, are they different than the precautions I have to take?

AlbinoAlex30 karma

I don't do much other than avoiding going outside unless I have to, staying in the shade as much as possible, and wearing sunscreen when I know I'll be out for long periods of time. Large brimmed hats and long sleeves are also options, but not ones I use.

rainslaughter539 karma

Do you have to take any precautions in your daily life to protect your skin, or as a result of your albinism?

PS, nice glasses!

AlbinoAlex779 karma

I walk really fast to limit my sun exposure and try to stay in the shade whenever I'm outside. I really should be wearing sunscreen, but it smells bad, takes ages to apply and seep in, and it just doesn't seem worth it when you only need 10 minutes of protection to walk to class.

Aero5664 karma

I'm actually so shocked you don't wear sunscreen! I'm not albino, but I'm very, very fair skinned and blonde. I live further from the equator (around 38 deg north), but in college I could and would get sunburned just walking to class. I wear sunscreen every day I leave the house, full stop.

A lot of American sunscreens are uncomfortable as you describe, but Asian countries have it figured out. Head over to /r/skincareaddiction or /r/asianbeauty and do some reading. Biore watery gel/essence is a popular one, it feels like nothing on your skin. Your skin has almost no natural protection like most people, you are damaging it much more than you realize.

AlbinoAlex49 karma

I guess it depends on your definition of a sunburn. Even with my sun exposure, my skin is never red and never hurts, but definitely darkens compared to the rest of my body.

But still, great suggestion! I've been recommended Australian sunscreen but never told about Asian sunscreens—other than apparently people try everything they can to get and maintain fair skin over there. Anyway, I'll look into them further once the AmA is over.

MaxCharlieHorse70 karma

Why don't you wear a physical sunscreen you can put on in the morning and it lasts all day? Then you wouldn't have to worry about it.

AlbinoAlex146 karma

I still don't really trust that brands like Blue Lizard actually do last all day, especially when sweat is involved (the Texas heat is brutal and I regularly walk 20 minutes to class). It's a good idea that I honestly never thought of before, but mainly because I discounted those claims ages ago.

SettleDownButtercup62 karma

There are spray on sunscreens that dry fast and aren't greasy. Spray ons are the easiest and quickest to put on.

AlbinoAlex105 karma

The jury is still out on spray-on sunscreens. It's possible to not apply enough or to not get a good enough coverage because you're spraying. There's a possibility of breathing in the sunscreen. And overall, they tend to cost more per application than lotion sunscreen. A solid idea, but the coverage problem keeps me to manually applying.

prpldrank86 karma

I have really sensitive skin and hate the stink of sunscreen. It stings my skin, gives me rashes, ugh.

So I was really bad about caring for my skin in the sun. Then two things happened:

  1. My mom got skin cancer. Shit got real for me quick.
  2. I had a child

As it turns out, sunscreen for infants is amazing. Smells so much less. It's very gentle. Not greasy. Still very strong. And it's cheaper than noncomodogenic adult sunscreen.

Now I always keep a bottle of Aveeno Baby sunscreen around for both me and my son.

AlbinoAlex82 karma

My former boss has albinism and is in her 50's. She constantly berates me about wearing sunscreen because she had to have cancerous moles removed from her hands. It hurts and doesn't look pretty. We all ignore the risks until it happens, myself included.

But thanks for the tip. Sunscreen doesn't irritate my skin but it's greasy and takes about 15 minutes to fully seep in so you're not greasy anymore. I wish we could have like sunscreen pills.

DontOpenNewTabs2 karma

Wear long sleeves and hats

AlbinoAlex14 karma

Wouldn't that get kinda hot? Even in 40º weather, I'm sweating by the time I finally make it to class, and that's in only a t-shirt.

zubymary-3 karma

How does walking fast in the sun limit your exposure from the suns ray , aren't you running into the suns rays faster if your walking much faster?

AlbinoAlex1 karma

Didn't Mythbusters test this about walking v. running in the rain?

JimMarch496 karma

Can you jump?

AlbinoAlex495 karma

I can!

bozobozo453 karma

What is your favorite dinosaur?

AlbinoAlex522 karma

Tyrannosaurus rex.

kelkelt416 karma

So ethnically, are you a black or white dude? If black, have you ever had a weird moment when you get into a group of white dudes, something racist is said, and then you're like "eeeeeh, double agent here fam."

AlbinoAlex824 karma

Oh man, I'm having flashbacks to the last AmA where there was a long argument over the difference between race and ethnicity and where caucasians came from... it was bad.

Anyway, I normally put down white for race and Hispanic for ethnicity. My parents are both from Mexico, ancestrally I'm mostly Native American and Southern European.

It's really freaky for people when I speak Spanish, especially fellow Hispanics. They just think I'm another white guy and BAM! Fluent Spanish with the accent y todo! Most people I meet, not just Hispanics, think I'm just another white guy.

ocassionalmexican273 karma

"With the accent y todo!" LOL

AlbinoAlex189 karma

Spanglish!

Gigabeto77 karma

Orale, chingón! Follow up question: Favorite Mexican dish?

AlbinoAlex150 karma

Tamales, or those tiny street tacos, carne asada!

thatfatgamer390 karma

Have you tried working in Japanese movies?

I can totally see you working in Japanese regular movie industry.

I had to stress regular there.

AlbinoAlex1142 karma

Never, though if you know a guy who knows a guy who casts for those, I'd be down.

Even if it's irregular Japanese films. I'm not gay, but $20 is $20.

pawnedskis433 karma

My man

AlbinoAlex427 karma

Fistbump

thatfatgamer44 karma

I don't sorry :(

AlbinoAlex101 karma

Well I mean if you ever meet someone, you know where to find me!

thatfatgamer43 karma

I will contact your agent.

AlbinoAlex201 karma

Your people can call my people.

19toofar298 karma

Has albinism stopped you from doing certain things? If so, what things?

AlbinoAlex591 karma

Definitely playing sports. I have problems with depth perception and stereoacuity (I can almost never see 3D effects) so tracking moving objects (along with a lifelong fear of being hit by them) makes playing sports almost impossible. Tabletop games like ping pong, foosball, air hockey, etc. are good, but anything on the field and you're gonna have a bad time. There's a reason I was always picked last for sports teams.

Awesomefusion125 karma

should go do running or weightlifting or something dont need to see well for that

AlbinoAlex166 karma

Swimming is another option. I definitely exercise enough, I can go out, but yeah weightlifting would be fun.

parrmorgan189 karma

A shredded Albino dude? you would be like Saitama if you shaved your head.

AlbinoAlex68 karma

Let's do it!

Berugamesh16 karma

How about video games? Can you enjoy them?

AlbinoAlex99 karma

I have to get kinda close to the screen to play, so split-screen multiplayer was never fun (I hear that's dead now, though). My cousins would always complain that I got too close to the screen and blocked their view.

Single player? I played the shit out of The Sims when I was a kid. Halo, GTA, Max Payne, Simpson Hit & Run, etc. Today I don't have a console or even a TV, but I play Minecraft and GTA San Andreas on my iPad mini when I get a chance. And Sim Tower.

PM_ME_STEAM_KEY_PLZ2 karma

Eric Cartman did it right ;D

AlbinoAlex13 karma

Respect my authority?

DeadPrateRoberts246 karma

Have you heard of this chick? She uncovered a fetish for albinos I never knew I had.

AlbinoAlex197 karma

I'm sure she's been covered by AI or Positive Exposure at some point. I just can't quite remember. But she's cute, totally following!

fartfacepooper241 karma

What color are parts of your body that vary by pigmentation in non-albinics? I guess what I'm asking is, "is your butthole brown?"

AlbinoAlex473 karma

I don't know, I can't see it.

DessertPizza207 karma

For science I need you to look at it in a mirror. This has been an ongoing discussion with my friends. Pink vs White vs Brown.

I need to know this

AlbinoAlex448 karma

Why don't you just come over and find out? ;)

Sockscake81 karma

Need some time to yourselves?

AlbinoAlex67 karma

Yes please.

RadikulRAM153 karma

He has terrible vision, he'd need to hook a telescope to his ass to see.

AlbinoAlex489 karma

Same with my penis.

Hahaha ha ha... Sobs

RadikulRAM146 karma

That must be the white in you then.

AlbinoAlex256 karma

Sobbing intensifies

cavemanrogers63 karma

Lmao.....Is the tip white?

AlbinoAlex195 karma

My fingertip? Yeah.

EasterEggshells70 karma

Nah, son. That's not what we wanna know.

AlbinoAlex98 karma

The tip of my nose? I mean I can't see it but I presume white as well.

JamesH93207 karma

What is it like living in Albania?

AlbinoAlex164 karma

It sucks. We don't get any of the cool American TV shows like Jersey Shore.

_Buff_Tucker_189 karma

Do you know another person with your disease condition? Did you ever share your experiences with someone who knows first hand what you're talking about? If so, how did you feel about it?

AlbinoAlex434 karma

I've met loads of people with albinism. Every year, there are these conferences for people with albinism (and their families). Usually 100 - 300 attend depending on the event. I could go on for ages about how incredible they are, but they're best summarized by someone who went and said, "For the first time in my life, I felt normal."

scrupulousness141 karma

Do you find you're more attracted to other people with the same condition?

AlbinoAlex444 karma

Girls with albinism are absolutely gorgeous and the condition itself is very beautiful, but I still place a strong emphasis on personality.

BlueRaincoat3780 karma

You clearly have a rock star personality.

AlbinoAlex20 karma

Thank you!

mratmartinez181 karma

I can't see it in the proof, so, are your eyes red?

Edit: Wait, I just remembered that maybe I can't see it in that picture because I'm colorblind

andibee180 karma

I spent some time in East Africa and I was so surprised to find how frequently you saw albinos around town! Do you have any idea if albinism occurs more frequently there or in any specific countries and why? I thought, maybe it's the same frequency, it just stands out much more in a country where everyone is black. Any thoughts?

AlbinoAlex263 karma

I wrote an article on this, I should know it!

The highest incidence of albinism is in the San Bias region of Panama, but OCA 2 (type of albinism) is most common in parts of Africa. I'm pretty sure the incidence of albinism is higher in Africa than other continents (obviously higher than Antarctica) but I'm not entirely sure why.

agent_uno63 karma

This seems like an appropriate place to ask my questions -- Is there any association between albinism and vitamin D? Do you need to take supplements because you can't be in the sun? Do African (black) albinos suffer the same problems in the sun as whites, or is it different?

As far as you know, are there any medical conditions which are prone to one ethnicity more than another whose rates are different among that ethnicity's albino population? (Example: sickle cell anemia)

AlbinoAlex99 karma

Is it theorized that some people with albinism are vitamin D deficient because of all the precautions they take to avoid sun exposure. The amount of sun exposure actually needed for a day's vitamin D is actually really short, like 15 minutes or less, but still. I personally don't take supplements, but I do try to go out and walk around at leas once a day.

Africans with albinism have to take the same precautions as everyone else. They may or may not develop slightly more pigment than the average person with albinism (because often they have OCA 2) but overall they will still sunburn.

One study found that people with albinism have an above average prevalence of ADHD, but the study has not been conducted again. I haven't heard of any linkages, but albinism research is still fairly young. Excellent question!

VerySmallCyclops132 karma

How often do you find yourself explaining albinism? What common misconceptions do you always find yourself explaining?

AlbinoAlex347 karma

Just these AmAs, which is part of why I do them. It's very rare to be asked about it in public. Even friends/classmates rarely ask about it.

By far the most common is the myth that all people with albinism have red eyes. I've had someone tell me that I don't have albinism because I don't have red eyes. Second isn't truly a misconception, but a lot of people are unaware of the severe visual impairment associated with albinism.

ntlekt123 karma

Can you watch Always Sunny in Philadelphia or are you too sensitive?

AlbinoAlex92 karma

I've been meaning to watch that entire show. I saw the D.E.N.N.I.S. System episode and fucking loved it.

I got my box of Magnum condoms, and my wad of hundreds!

amonalpha66 karma

How has albinism effected you socially?

AlbinoAlex145 karma

Interesting question. I have no problem making friends or exploring cities or really interacting with society. However, the terrible vision makes it hard to pick up on nonverbal cues. Easy sunburns mean I can't just go for a spur of the moment outdoor picnic or concert or even conversation. Shade or indoors.

JimMarch131 karma

It's not "albinism". It's "acute hyper-honkeyism".

AlbinoAlex81 karma

That makes it sound much sexier!

LibAtheist2 karma

Can you enjoy the outdoors for long periods of time with precautions?

AlbinoAlex3 karma

Not without burning!

Thesisitpansit60 karma

What would you like to tell a kid that has it?

AlbinoAlex76 karma

NOAH actually proposed a challenge where you had to answer two questions:

  • What do you want the world to know about living with albinism?
  • What message or words of wisdom would you share with a young child with albinism or the parent of a newly diagnosed child?

The catch is that you could only use three words. I think my answer was "it gets better" or something like that.

Here are other people's answers

TheWatermelonGuy48 karma

Hey great ama! Have a couple of questions. Will your vision get worse with time or will it stay the same? Does cold weather affect you differently?

AlbinoAlex61 karma

People with albinism are still susceptible to cataracts, macular degeneration, etc. But overall, my vision won't get worse due to albinism alone even with age.

Albinism makes me impervious to the cold! :P As far as I'm aware the condition doesn't change how a person is affected by the cold, I've just gotten used to cold weather to the point where I seldom wear a sweater, even when it's 30º out.

thehyruler47 karma

What do you like to do for fun?

AlbinoAlex146 karma

Reddit, all day every day.

Seriously, lots of Reddit, TED talks and TEDx events, watch documentaries. A lot of indoor activities, as you can tell :P

ladyhelena46 karma

I care for a little girl with type two ocular albinism!! What challenges did you face growing up? Did people make fun of you? I just want to know what I should be prepared to help her through (besides applying thick layers of sunscreen every 45 minutes in the summer 😁).

AlbinoAlex37 karma

Not many other than just staying out of the sun. I wasn't bullied often thankfully. Oh and not being able to see the board in class.

Lauren Berglund has does a great series of videos for kids with albinism and their parents. Watch it and feel free to ask any follow up questions you may have. I'm about an hour behind on answering questions but I'll be here all day.

ld4323342 karma

How has it impacted your daily life having the sun as a mortal enemy?

AlbinoAlex105 karma

I walk faster than most people and stock up on SPF 100 sunscreen (but seldom use it because I'm a rebel).

Cloudy days are the best days!

havebananas75 karma

You should move to the UK. You'll never have to worry about the Sun being a hindrance ever again.

AlbinoAlex57 karma

Or Seattle, but then it's always raining. Is the UK just constantly overcast without it actually raining?

galliumArtist43 karma

The Seattle rain tends to be drizzly, not downpour-y. Honestly, it's probably an awesome city for you. Get a North Face jacket with a hood, and DON'T get an umbrella, and you're ready to go!

AlbinoAlex32 karma

I've been to Seattle and absolutely loved it. And yes, I heard the joke that only tourists use umbrellas, the locals just get wet. It's definitely somewhere I'd consider moving to once I finish school.

havebananas12 karma

Overcast with cold wind and spurts of drizzle.

AlbinoAlex49 karma

I mean I would come over but... I wanna see the Brexit stuff calm down first.

But then again, with Inauguration Day looming... maybe I should pop over.

darkcloud226611113 karma

As someone who has been jokingly called an albino due to my fair skin I'd have to disagree with you. I get burnt more when it's over cast versus when it's sunny.

AlbinoAlex16 karma

I've been told that UV rays pass through the clouds. Cloudy days are better because of photosensitivity, not sunburns—though you definitely don't feel like you're burning alive as much when it's cloudy.

We also probably have different definitions of a sunburn.

patrickdaitya37 karma

What are the medical effects you suffer from this? And how was your school life being an albino? Were your classmates nice or were there some assholes in there? Cheers!

AlbinoAlex68 karma

Albinism, medically speaking, is primarily classified by a severe lack of pigmentation. This affects visual acuity to a degree, which varies from person to person.

I grew up in a small town and with all my classmates. The people I walked with on my high school graduation night where the same people I played in the sandbox with in pre-K. So they were all well used to me and fairly nice. Though I've heard some horror stories...

LordTrav36 karma

Do you have any worries about having a child that doesn't have albinism? Just the implications of as they got older, wanting to play sports, generally be outside, etc.

AlbinoAlex105 karma

This is an interesting dilemma. On one hand, having a child with albinism means that I would understand exactly what they're going through. On the other hand, would you want your child to go through the same hell and struggles you went through? It's a difficult and very personal decision. For me, well I don't really feel like even having children for reasons other than albinism. But overall, my stance is that I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

CorsarioNero36 karma

What's your favorite portrayal of albinism in a movie?

AlbinoAlex65 karma

I haven't seen many films that portray people with albinism, but I've heard very good things about Me, Myself, and Irene. It's not a film, but I loved the MTV True Life episode on albinism.

ironicsharkhada24 karma

First off I know nothing about albinism. Can you get a sunburn? And are they severe?

AlbinoAlex31 karma

I can get a sunburn, much more easily than most people. I've never gotten a sunburn that blistered, the severity is the same as it is for most people, it's just that I can get them more easily.

ledditlememefaceleme18 karma

Wait what happens if you have a child with someone whom is really really black? I mean dark, well dark black. 11:59PM dark.

AlbinoAlex32 karma

I don't know, let's find out! I volunteer as tribute!

wafflenewb13 karma

Did you catch the Falcons game yesterday? They were BALLIN.

AlbinoAlex11 karma

I didn't, no TV here :(

Who's going to play the next Super Bowl?

RabidDustBin11 karma

Is this true albinism or lucism?

AlbinoAlex24 karma

True, genetically verified oculocutaneous albinism.

BobKim11 karma

Do you listen to Brother Ali and Krondon?

AlbinoAlex7 karma

Not regularly, but I've heard their stuff.

spamazor8 karma

So you mentioned not being able to see even someone's eye colour stood in front of them. How are you currently typing? Have you learnt the position of keys or using a accessibility feature like speech to text?

The reason I ask is because your grammar and punctuation is amazing, if I had something that made it harder to type, I don't think I'd give it as much effort as you do.

AlbinoAlex13 karma

I've learned the position of the keys but I chicken peck. I also make frequent mistakes that I have to either backspace and correct or that autocorrect takes care of for me. I don't look at the keyboard when typing. They tried to teach me touch typing many many times but because of how close I have to get to the screen, my elbows would dig into my side if I did the whole home row thing.

pugmommy4life4206 karma

Have you ever tried dying your hair just to mess around with people? Your hair is the perfect canvas!

AlbinoAlex10 karma

Never tried it, but always wanted to.

713Chick5 karma

Do you notice a lot of people stare when in public? Or have you gotten so used to it you don't notice it anymore?

AlbinoAlex15 karma

I'm sure they do, I just can't actually see them doing so. Even being face to face with a person, my vision is too terrible to see where they're looking or tell their eye colour. From a distance? Forget about it! (fuhgeddaboudit?)

I was once walking with my cousin down a main road and after a few blocks she just says "Dude, everyone is staring at you." I couldn't even tell.

scoobysnaxxx3 karma

is it the hot albino dude? it is!! what's it like being vaguely internet famous?

AlbinoAlex9 karma

Pretty cool, though the more famous you get the more trolls come your way. Haters gonna hate, you just gotta shake it off!

bluesconte3 karma

What's that one joke every person says when meeting you that they always thinks is clever and original but it's been said a million times?

AlbinoAlex9 karma

None, people rarely bring it up. But the "Are you allwhite?" question in these AmAs gets kind of old after a while. I get they're trying to be clever but... no.

Cue everyone asking that in response to this comment

Thefuzzy_monster2 karma

As I have got older my dick has gone a few shades darker. Has your duck changed colour?

AlbinoAlex25 karma

My duck has stayed the same colour all these years.

Please forward any further questions about my duck to /u/fuckswithducks

sverdavbjorn2 karma

Have you ever dyed your hair, such as brown? You honestly look quite normal (Then again I've never viewed those with Albinism as different.) it'll be a cool change!

AlbinoAlex3 karma

Wouldn't brown come off a little strong? I mean I generally wear black clothing, but people I've talked to suggest brown would be too strong, maybe like a light blue or purple?

Either way, I've never dyed my hair. Always wanted to, but stylists keep saying that it's not possible, and even then I can't pick a colour.

_Buff_Tucker_2 karma

Can you spend your holiday on a beach without suffering heavy sunburns? I imagine it is difficult to avoid the sun during holidays.

AlbinoAlex15 karma

I just use SPF 100 sunscreen, applied liberally and frequently according to guidelines. It works wonders!

ownedbydogs2 karma

I had a classmate with albinism back in grade school who was ethnic Han Chinese. Very odd to see the East Asian features combined with the fair hair, very pale skin tone and blue eyes albinism gave him. When we got to high school virtually everyone referred to him as "the white Chinese guy" as if he were mixed-race instead of having albinism. (It got to the point where only teachers who were taking roll call and the people who'd been in elementary school with him would ever use his actual name.)

One thing I noticed with my classmate was he was prone to severe acne breakouts (borderline cystic) in addition to the usual UV hazards. I was wondering if albinism made acne any better or worse for you? Assuming that you did get zits as a teenager along with the rest that puberty has to offer. ;P

AlbinoAlex5 karma

I still get acne now! But that's a really interesting question that I'll definitely have to ask about, like the person who noticed that people with albinism tend to have curly hair. I'm pretty sure that albinism's only affect on the skin is lack of pigment (which is internal) and so oil production and such remain normal. But I'm not entire positive.

havebananas1 karma

Dude, how many AMA's have you done?

Has your albinism evolved into a final form or something, what's with the updates?

AlbinoAlex4 karma

This is my 16th if I'm counting correctly.

I have a feeling that people who ask this question are just trolling, but for those genuinely curious:

  1. Exposure. What if someone stumbled across my AmAs doing research or even 24 hours after I started? What if they're new to Reddit? The entirety of Reddit doesn't see every AmA every time, so there's always opportunities to ask questions when I do another one, as evidenced by people asking questions this time around, despite it being the 16th time. Also evidenced by the fact that people get mad about this being "like my 5th AmA." Ya'll are way off.

  2. It's fun. I genuinely enjoy interacting with the Reddit community and answering all questions, from the serious to the silly. I'll be here for another 12 hours at least, regardless of how quickly or slowly new questions roll in. I wouldn't dedicate this much time and effort if it was something I hated.

Dreameroo1 karma

If you were offered the opportunity, would you go on a reality TV show or documentary? I think you really just have a lot to offer the general public. Like you said, you've done 16 AMAs and people are still asking questions! :)

Hope you're having a great day :)

AlbinoAlex2 karma

After one AmA, someone PMed me from some studio in New York. They were apparently doing some like documentary series on people with hard lives or something like that and wanted to cast me. It could've just been a troll, like the time someone who was supposedly from Cracked PMed me asking me to write an article on albinism.

Anyway, I responded that my life isn't interesting enough to actually be featured in a documentary. I don't really... do anything :P I referred them to a friend I know in NYC who acts professionally.

I'm open to doing a film on albinism, or even just starring in a film. I wish we had as many positive portrays of albinism on film as we did negative. Or even a talk show. Actually someone invited me to be on their podcast but the Google Hangouts app flagged their call as spam and it never happened, I feel so bad :(

Oh God so many tangents! Okay, I would totally be game to be on TV, but more to answer questions rather than just be followed by cameras for a week, they wouldn't get anything good :P

O_thy_Fetus1 karma

How's your love life?

AlbinoAlex3 karma

Nonexistent.

ShadyNite1 karma

Are there any questions that haven't been asked that you had hoped to answer?

AlbinoAlex2 karma

Yeah, this one. /thread

I actually catalogue the kinds of questions asked and over 16 AmAs I think everything has been covered, though I wish more people would ask about treatment. I get very excited talking about the albinism research that I've participated in.

nadia_diaz1 karma

Has having albinism influenced what you went as for Halloween?

AlbinoAlex3 karma

Never, but people told me I'd make a perfect Joker—just gotta dye my hair green and get some lipstick.

Flight7141 karma

Are you a fan of The Princess Bride with Mel Smith? Or do you feel misrepresented?

AlbinoAlex2 karma

I haven't seen it, but some people have definitely slammed the depiction for just being another Hollywood evil albino.

KenzieKitty211 karma

Do you have any freckles? Or perhaps a birthmark? Edit: even though you've done so many of these, I am relatively new to reddit and I appreciate the opportunity to learn more!

AlbinoAlex2 karma

Not that I can tell, but I do have some pigmented moles on my arm. Some people with albinism do have moles that can tan, and in general people with albinism produce some pigment, it's just very very little.

Thank you for stopping by, I do these frequently mainly because people may be new to Reddit or may have found out about one late, glad you were able to ask this go around :)

CanHamRadio1 karma

How is it living so close to Italy?

AlbinoAlex2 karma

It's nice, they have good pizza, and that pope guy, he has a cool hat!

justasplat1 karma

If you could choose to have been born without albinism, would you?

AlbinoAlex1 karma

No.

Malicei1 karma

How badly does the sun affect your skin? Is being in direct sunlight painful? How long can you stay outside before it becomes a problem?

AlbinoAlex2 karma

I can't tan, so I'll sunburn if exposed to the sun for long enough. Because everyone has a different definition of a sunburn, it's difficult to say how long. I define a sunburn as red skin that actually hurts, and that will take an hour or so of full, straight on sun exposure. My skin does darken with sun exposure (most people with albinism develop some pigment, just very very little) and I guess you could classify that as a sunburn, but it doesn't hurt.

Being in the sun in general doesn't hurt and standard procedure is to just apply sunscreen before going out. I only do so if I'm going to be in the sun for long periods like an outdoor festival or the beach. If I'm just walking to the grocery store, I just walk really fast, try to stay in the shade, and it's never been a problem.

Meesan_1 karma

How you seen the movie Powder?

Does wearing a hat help to protect your skin from the sun at all?

Do you/can you wear glasses to help with your vision issues, if no then why not?

AlbinoAlex2 karma

Not yet.

Yes, if it was a wide-brimmed hat.

Only to a degree. Glasses help the common issues of nearsightedness, farsightedness, and/or astigmatism. People with albinism can have these too and that can be corrected with glasses. But we have a whole host of other things wrong with our eyes that glasses can't help/fix, so we'll never be able to get to 20/20. Those exact reasons are complicated and basically require an eye anatomy lecture to properly explain. I'm writing an ELI5 style article on the matter that I can use for future AmAs, but it's taking a while because again, this stuff is complicated.

RavioliMaster1 karma

Do you go on r/Alex?

AlbinoAlex3 karma

I never knew that sub existed! Though I never tried to look for it.

Personally, I think r/AlbinoAlex is better.

closertothesunSD1 karma

Have you ever seen Powder? If so, what are your thoughts?

AlbinoAlex4 karma

Not personally, but people have pointed out... there are 7 characteristics of the "evil albino" character in film. Powder may come across as a good guy, but he's still bald, still has some form of power, still dies at the end of the film, and is portrayed by someone who doesn't actually have albinism.

But again, I've never personally seen the movie, so I can't pass any judgements.

Absentia0 karma

Do you intend to pass on albinism to another generation or remain /r/childfree?

AlbinoAlex3 karma

I don't plan to have children but not because of albinism.

anallergytoanalogy0 karma

Are you from Albania?

AlbinoAlex1 karma

I am, it sucks. We don't get any of the cool American TV shows like Jersey Shore.