By March 3, 2021 Read More →

I Can See Your Face

COVID 19 Update – I can see your face

For the first time in my life since I was a wee lad and when I was dating I can see your face and I don’t like it.

I never really learned facial expressions until I started dating. Before that very few people get close enough for me to see their face. To positively confirm your eye color for instance our noses need to be touching, kissing close. There are a few times in my life and it was beautiful where people would let me feel their face. Sadly if I don’t see you regularly I’ll archive you and won’t be able to recognize you from your silhouette, colors, cadence, smell.

Growing up and being socialized to deal with sighed people you learn that people like you to be looking at them and facing them when your addressing them. As a blind person as long as I can hear you I don’t care. It doesn’t matter how big or little, skinny or fat, what color, or frankly if your dressed or not, I don’t care because I can’t see you. Unless your in my face.
Walking down the street I or low vision people in general tend to bow their head to try and get as much navigation data as possible. I can tell you from experience when you make a mistake navigating it generally huts. Falling off of ledges, tripping running into tree limbs or sign posts, all hurt. learing to hold your head up in public his hard work and requires constant monitoring. Carrying a white helps significantly and makes it easier to hold my head up as I’m getting navigational data through the cane.

With all of the video conferencing, sighted people, love it when your camera is on, gah. I hate it! For the first time I can see your face and now I know what you can see when you look at me. I feel awkward and naked, since I’ve never had this before. Pre-pandemic when I was video conferencing it didn’t matter or wasn’t as high point of etiquette as it is during the pandemic.

I know I’ve always been the toddler who thinks when their eye’s are covered they are invisible. I’ve never moved on from that perspective. Having the new visibility into faces might help with that but. Between you and I I really don’t like it that I can see your face. Its too much work to process the visual information.

I was at peace with the notion about how I felt about myself was enough and never really worried about how I look. I’ve done what is necessary to be socially acceptable. I bath, cut my hair, dress, yes I’m frumpy and as long as I felt good I was good to go. Clearly I’m missing it entirely. Yes I cut my hair as well and don’t smell. Any smells distract me from smelling my environment and I’m allergic to most scents anyway. But now I have to wear a collar shirt and definitely wear pants.. My biggest nightmare is actually being dis robbed or disheveled on video.

So frankly I don’t care to see your face or my face for that matter, its very uncomfortable for me still, and I don’t like it. But one must grow and adapt so I’m doing my best to participate visually with my camera on. For me I hope this is not the norm. It interferes with how I’m used to processing and adapting to my environment.

About the Author:

Kyle has ocular albinism and has been legally blind since birth. Kyle leads a very active live and is besides his professional career involved in many projects for persons who are different.

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