I noticed my first vitiligo spot on my chest when I was about 10 years old. Throughout my childhood, I experienced a lot of bullying. I was bullied for being gay; I was bullied for my spots. I grew up with a very hot-tempered family so I was always a physical fighter. I felt like it was the easiest thing to do to gain respect and silence bully, which was not. If someone would stare, I would instantly yell at them because I didn’t know any other way to react. I always felt judged.
To be honest, it took many years learning how to deal with my vitiligo. Until the age of 20, I used to think that the entire world was after me. Things that would always get me through the difficult times were God, “religion” and the music created by Marina and the Diamonds.
Now, at the age of 24, I have learned that I cannot change who I am. I am a full-time makeup artist and I have learned how to convert my vitiligo into art. I definitely think people with vitiligo are underrepresented in popular culture. I have tried to audition for film and modeling and I was always turned down because I didn’t fit the “perfect” concept. With the creation of thousands of impressions a week, I am able to gain and upkeep my confidence. What I am doing through my work is making a positive impact on the world and helping some people to be more educated about things they consider “not normal”.
It wouldn’t be wrong to say that my vitiligo, in a way, has helped me with confidence. I have been told online that I look ugly because of my skin. But, I finally learned to say “f**k it” and appreciate what God gave me.