I was always different growing up

Julie Long,
Pioneer, CA.

When I was 8, we moved from a big city to a small country town, where there were, maybe two other families that weren’t white. I had no idea at 8 years old what race was. I never even differentiated a difference based on appearance, but I remember being suddenly shocked and presented with this presentation of my entire elementary school being all white and me, my brother and two other kids being brown. I became extremely insecure and shy all through high school. The lack of diversity barely increased by high school, to maybe 5 other students. I grew up thinking I was ugly and that only white was beautiful. It wasn’t until I was an adult I learned being different was beautiful too.

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