Here we have another bit from Kira’s player – a bit more on his history and background.
Albinism isn’t an uncommon genetic defect by any means. The occurrence rate is high enough (1 in 17,000 for the most common human species variants) that most worlds have enough to form their own community. Most people can even recognize it for what it is, having seen albino animals in zoos and such. That being said, there is still a significant stigma attached to the condition.
Maybe it is the fact that yellow eyes, pale skin, and white hair also happen to be signs of someone heavily corrupted by the Dark Side. I can certainly say that a lot of the Sith Lords in the holos certainly looked that way. It could also be some primal or instinctive response to the appearance. I highly doubt it is fear of something different though, given the human variation across the galaxy – let alone the aliens out there that look nothing like a human.
Inevitably, there was teasing in school over it. At first, my parents attempted to alleviate the situation with melanin treatments. The success was almost always less than stellar. Never mind the idea that it reinforced in my mind that something was wrong with me that needed “corrected”.
At least the corrective surgery on my eyes was a better success. My vision is acute as anyone else’s despite the typical limitations of albinistic individuals. Only real issue was my lack of eye color did not help filter out intense light from my retinas. Not that it mattered much as I shouldn’t be in intense light anyway. It was also at that point we found out my eyes were tetrachromatic.
There were many embarrassing family trips that involved me being covered from head to toe with thick clothing or being practically caked in sunscreen. Most of my clothes begin to smell of sunscreen soon enough, no matter how thoroughly they were washed. I have also learned which fabrics are transparent to UV and which are opaque. Not that most people care about such things, but it mattered to me.
It was the trip to the water world of Manaan years ago that we forgot to put sunscreen on before going out on the boat. Most of the rest of the family got away with minor sunburn, although Sabrina had gotten blisters all over her face. I unfortunately got burned badly enough that I had to receive medical attention for a couple days. The bacta treatments fixed the damage in short order, but the pain of it all was seared into my mind. That incident is part of why I habitually apply sunscreen every morning now. That was severely unpleasant to experience and I don’t intend to do that again.
The one thing it has helped over the years is to better distinguish Nichel and I. We’ve shown more than once that with some darkening of my skin and a bit of hair dye, I can impersonate him quite well. The reverse is a bit harder though, as bleach only works so well, and making your skin paler is harder than making it darker. Avoiding sunlight for months on end just for a simple prank is a bit much.
Luckily my family relocated to Crevasse City shortly after I was born. With the city built in the side of a cliff, it limits the amount and intensity of daylight that hits the city streets. That alone helped keep things livable most days.
School was not pleasant, often for reasons completely unrelated to looking weird. The albinism just added to the mess. I frequently got into fights over the teasing and other factors. While I did not win often, the mere fact that I always fought back did a lot to deter some of it.
Was life hard? Hardly, it was largely a typical suburban childhood. Only real difference was that my social awkwardness had a physical manifestation as opposed to a purely social one. Everyone in school was weird in some fashion, my weirdness was just plain to see is all. You could no more blame the albinism for my current disposition than you could blame what shoes I wore.