"Albinism is a rare genetic condition caused by mutations of certain genes that affect the amount of melanin your body produces. Melanin controls the pigmentation (color) of your skin, eyes and hair. People with albinism have extremely pale skin, eyes and hair. They are at an increased risk of vision, skin and social issues."
- Cleveland Clinic
Tell us about yourself - who you are and what makes you you.
I’m Britney! I use she/her pronouns and live in New York City. I moved here at 19 years old to live the type of life that I wanted. One of independence, adventure, and freedom. Being a person with albinism (which causes visual impairment) makes me reliant upon public transport, and NYC is the only place I really felt I could call home in that way. Because of that passion for the city, I just graduated with my Master’s degree in Urban Studies, and I hope to make cities and our world at large more accessible for all. Beyond that, I love to skateboard, cook/bake, rock climb, skydive, and knit. I do it all haha.
What have you learned from having a disability that you may not have learned otherwise?
Do not allow others to make you feel something about yourself that you don’t believe. Because others might close doors to you, have preconceived notions of what they think you can’t do, ignorant comments can’t grasp the knowledge of your lived experience. You are the leader of your life, and you get to do it on your terms.
How do you embrace being different?
You know the Beyoncé line that goes “Unicorn is the uniform you put on, eyes on you when you perform”? That’s how I feel! I don’t have to try to be different, I am effortlessly unique and am confident in that uniqueness. Just being myself is the most interesting performance I could ever give to the world.
What's one piece of advice you live by?
The only way out is through. Facing obstacles, discomfort or anything I don’t really want to do…the best way to get through it is to know that there is only one exit out of the situation. It gives me strength whenever I need it.
Choose only one - past, present, or future - and explain your selection.
Present. I do really believe in the philosophy of the present being all that we can really hold onto. The past is unchangeable and honestly knowing what lies ahead takes the fun out of things for me. Life can change so fast and without any warning. So by focusing on the present I feel like I can better cherish the moments of my life.