Just about everyone has had to deal with a bully at one time or another, people who chip away at our self-esteem. How much worse, though, is it for people who stand out from the crowd?
Jaylen Fisher, a sophomore point guard for the Texas Christian University Horned Frogs, recently spoke about having to cope with bullies and mean comments his whole life due to his albinism, a skin condition that affects 1 in 20,000 people worldwide.
When Jaylen was a small child, his classmates would often point to his skin and ask him why he was different. He himself didn’t know, and when he asked his mother, she’d tell him, “This is just how God made you.”
“It’s nothing but words. Of course, words can hurt. But when you’ve been through and seen things, real life experiences, words can do nothing to you.”
Most importantly, Jaylen learned to be the bigger man than the bullies.
“If you get mad about it, they’re going to keep doing it. They are going to look at you and come at you. If you stand up for yourself, it won’t fly too long…You can never, ever, ever give them the satisfaction.”
For the longest time, Jaylen wouldn’t even answer questions about being an albino. However, as he began hearing from organizations for albinism and others with the skin condition, he realized that he had the perfect platform to educate others and offer words of support.
Jaylen admits he still prefers to keep a low profile, but, as he jokes, “how can you miss a black guy who is blond?”
“Everbody is different,” says Jaylen. “Embrace it.”