I am a poet and photographer originally from NYC and now living in Somerville MA. Leaving behind my preferred position on the “safe” side of the camera, I recently began a series of self-portraits called Fade to White in which for the first time I am literally facing the enemy: an autoimmune disorder called vitiligo that for the past 25 years has caused irregular and unsightly depigmentation of my skin on various parts of my body, but is most extensive on the one place I can’t conceal from the world: my face. Vitiligo is the reason what few self-portraits I have done up until now have been with a camera in front of my face, in shadow, from behind or at a distance. It is also the reason I began reclaiming my skin ten years ago by getting tattoos, and really giving the world something unusual to look at, on my terms! While my own journey from shame to pride is for the most part complete, I hope in continuing this series to further explore and challenge standards of beauty, mine included, and let fellow sufferers of vitiligo know that it’s okay to show their faces.