One week ago MTMS held it’s first event. The 2013 Vitiligo Beach Party took place on Santa Monica Beach in Los Angeles, CA, on June 29th from 12-5pm.
We had close to 20 attendees, including people with vitiligo, family and friends. Ranging from age 9 through the 30’s, our group of vitiligans consisted of students, IT professionals, and designers. Most were from LA county and the OC, and a couple from Hawaii. It is clear to me that we are an artistic, intelligent, good looking bunch!
There was no shortage of sunscreen or interesting conversation. Here are some highlights of that pleasantly overcast day:
It was fascinating to compare how similar our spots were. This unique yet familiar pattern of pigment loss provides an immediate feeling of connection, that is rare to encounter in everyday life, unless you are in a group like this.
Unexpected bonus about the location… Although we were all there for the same event, we were able to notice others, outside our group, who had vitiligo quite easily. We joked about “recruiting” but one highlight of the day for me was when a boy with vit and his mom came over to say hi, after we had approached his mother about what we were doing. At that age, it takes a lot of courage to walk up to a bunch of strangers and I was so moved by this. As an adult now comfortable in my skin, it was a reminder of how things used to be and what I struggled with back then. The look on their face when they see you share the same spots is priceless. I wish these kids could see how beautiful they actually are.
It was interesting to see the comfort levels of an adult compared with that of a teen, and to realize we are all dealing with it on different levels. Most of us were positive about how we looked and our attitude was one of confidence and pride. I think that came through to the teens who showed up, and also the curious bystander who came up to politely ask what we were about.
Thanks to everybody who came out, the event was a success, and I am grateful for the chance to have made some new friends and hopefully made some lives a little brighter.