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09-Feb-2019 20:13

Although I'm happy with who I am today, I wouldn't wish what I've gone through on anyone.

We loved our loft, a former toothpaste factory in WWII, but before long the business outgrew the confines of a home office and Lucky Luxe became an international success in the wedding world.

Growing up in Jackson, MS, I gravitated toward white people.

It felt natural, I suppose, because I looked like them.

Still, I felt the need to prove my "blackness." I started speaking slang. I thought knowing the words to songs about gold teeth, money, women, and cars would make me sufficiently ghetto.When someone is born with albinism, they are usually declared legally blind.Though I can see, I have nystagmus, which causes my eyes to shift rapidly from side to side in order to find a focal point. " they'd brush me off, coming up with some bogus errand they had to do.Whenever I meet someone new, I count the minutes before they ask, "What's wrong with your eyes? Though the KKK is no longer in full force, white supremacist Jim Giles ran for Congress with a vocal (if unsuccessful) anti-black campaign in 20. In a weird way, I felt I was the uncomfortable meeting point between these two groups. Other times, they were openly rude, making plans for weekend get-togethers in front of me-but never actually inviting me along. A black guy might take a white girl to the prom, but taking the black girl who looked white was another story.

" But health issues can't compare with the struggles I've faced with my self-esteem. In high school, I earned the respect of my white friends for my smarts and quick wit. My black friends were similarly respectful at school, while shying away from me at the skating rink or the mall, especially when boys came along. One day in class, the cool black guys asked me who was taking me.

As a teenager, while classmates were griping about acne and getting their periods, I was facing a different kind of crisis: Who was I? I said, with shaky confidence, that I was going alone.