Have you ever wondered what it would feel like to pull up to a stop light and not actually know when to go? Have you ever thought about all those coloring contests you did in elementary school, and wondered why certain kids picked certain colors? Or the best of all, have you anticipated how humiliating it is to say the wrong color of an item when describing it? These are all things I have dealt with through my entire life. Although it is somewhat fun to be colorblind, it can also cause the easiest mistakes in my life.
I remember the first time I told someone I was colorblind. We were doing a coloring contest in elementary school. On the page to color were trees, and instantly I knew that I would color them green because leaves on trees are meant to be green. I was so happy, I took out my crayon and started coloring in all my trees. After finishing the coloring page, I turned it into my teacher. Although she gave me a weird look, I thought nothing about it and just continued with my day. Now coming from such a small school, we were able to hang all our coloring sheets up around the school for everyone to look at. I remembered how excited I was that someone was finally going to see my coloring page. I was so proud of it!! When I heard they hung them up, I instantly ran to it with all my friends. When we found my coloring page, I saw a lot of my friends laughing. I didn’t understand why they were laughing, so I asked what was so funny about my coloring page. They responded, “Your trees are red.” My most beautiful art piece turned into the art piece of my nightmares. I was no longer proud of it, and I wanted it took down. But instead, my friends and I decided we were going to write, “Colored by Grant Stramer: a colorblind person” on it. Although I didn’t win, I still love that coloring page to this day.
Thinking back to this day I can begin to remember all the other experiences that I have went through as a colorblind individual. I get asked some of the most ridiculous questions including: If I am color blind, can I only see black and white? Is colorblindness curable? Is it like a mental health illness? The answer to all of these, NO! NO! NO! NO! These questions are not only ridiculous, but also tend to annoy most colorblind individuals. But, if you really want to know what annoys that any colorblind person hates, just say the words: what color is this? I hate whenever I get asked this question. Since there are so many different types of colorblindness, some people will have different answers to this. I hate this question mostly because if one colorblind person answers it differently than I do, people automatically say that I am not colorblind. You are wrong. There are several different types of colorblindness, and most people suffer from more than one.
Basically, I am writing this article to inform you about how to treat people who are colorblind. Don’t make them feel bad for seeing different colors then you do, and make sure to never discriminate against them. Mostly, you can joke around about colorblindness once you begin to know the person. But, only start to joke around about it if you know that they are okay with it. Colorblindness can be a touchy subject for people who suffer it, but don’t be afraid to ask questions… but make sure to use common sense before asking.