Skip to main content


Community News

"I'm color blind, I see the world differently, do you?"

When I was in my late 20's or early 30's my wife and I were visiting a museum in Pittsburgh with my brother and his wife. As we rounded a corner in the museum we noticed that everybody was looking at what we thought was just an abstract, black and white, splotchy painting. But it was more than just an abstract image, everyone was pointing at it and murmuring things like “Wow’! Ends up, it was an image of a dog, a Dalmation. The whole point of the image was that you would never see anything but the splotchy abstract if you were color blind. My brother and I looked at each other and said “Hey, do you see anything”? We both shook our heads no, we walked over to the wall of the image and read the info card on the wall. The card described how it was a basic color blindness test. My brother and I were gobstopped (great word, huh). We had just found out, diagnosed if you will, that we were both color blind. “Wow”, again. We later found out that not only were we colorblind, but so were our two other brothers and now at least one grandchild. I will never see the world as everyone else does. I will always be color different. Several years ago a friend informed me of some type of glasses that would color correct my vision. They said you’ll see it the right way, the way the rest of us see it. They assumed that theirs was the correct way to see the world. I could never describe or clearly explain what I saw or how I saw or how it was different because I could never see it their way, “the foreign way” as far as I am concerned. 

Sometimes seeing the world in a “different light” is the best way to view it. By not worrying so much about colors that I cannot see I allow myself to “see” things from a unique point of view- differently focused.

So I've learned to accept that what I see is different from most others, not worse, not better, but mostly just different.

At my now ripe age of 67, I experienced the late 50’s and 60’s. I grew up in a strict, Dutch religious household. Church was supposed to be everything but it really wasn’t. I knew I was different when I was in 4th grade. I then had to live in the “closet” until I was 63. I came out after moving to PA from northern NJ (times had changed). A long time to hide oneself. This story isn’t that different from many that I’ve now heard. I also know that now is the time for me to really step out into the light and to start making a difference in my world and perhaps in the world at large. I’ve lost some friends and gained some new ones. I found that some of the old ones didn’t fade away but actually came forward to help me celebrate life as I wish to now live it. That’s what I hope to do now: live my life and help all
those who need it. It’s time to move the world forward towards a greater understanding and acceptance of those who see the world, perhaps with muted colors.

What’s your story? Why are you coming to the Rainbow Rose Center? Are you ready to step forward to help lessen prejudices and to be a healing link in a hurting world?

PS. I never tried the color correcting glasses. When asked why I hadn’t, I explained that if I could not wear them continuously I feared that this would leave me sad and depressed as the “real world” would look so different from how I wanted to see it. 

We can talk about all of this and more at our meetings in the coming months.

Let’s start now, Let's make a difference.