Here's a short piece I'd like to share with everyone b/c most of my photography revolves around self-expression, which stems around my experiences expressed in these words: My Testimony by Yen Huynh When I was 8 in Mrs. Luongos 3rd grade class, a little strawberry blonde-haired boy pulled my pants down in front of the class for laughs. Was it because I was quiet and shy? When I was 10, I first grasped the concept of being different, but didnt quite understand why other kids would call me names that I had never been taught at home or school. When and where did they learn racial slurs? When I was 12, I learned to expect racial comments fly towards me at any point and by anyone -- that my yellow skin and straight black hair had everything to do with me being called a chink. Other kids always asked if I knew what the terms ching chong meant. It became a song that they felt privileged to sing whenever they wanted. And when I chose not to respond to their ignorance, I automatically dont understand or speak English. When I was 15, while working at Star Market in the Prudential Center, I was told by an elderly white man that I and all of my people should go back to where we came from and that he and his people didnt need us taking over his country. The way his strikingly bright blue eyes stared into mine with so much contempt still haunts me today. When I was 18, freshman year in college, I never before was so aware of my dissimilarities. This was my first experience being in a small and closed environment that was predominantly white. The diversity scale was (and still is) so tiny that you could literally point me out in any classroom no matter the size. That year was also the first time I was allowed to explore my differences and share them with the community the first time I shared my voice, the first time I heard my voice. Now Im due to be 22 22 and still wondering, still learning, still angry, if not more. Angry, yes, but hate I do not have. The world already suffers too much from wrongful scorn, and adding to that would make me just like them those who express disdain for what other reason than pure ignorance. Ive had the unfortunate experience of going through many episodes of discrimination growing up. They made me feel ashamed of who I was. While other kids were wishing they were superheroes and princesses, I was wishing that I wasnt Vietnamese. There was something very wrong with that, but now Im older and wiser. My experiences have made me stronger. Im no longer ashamed or afraid to speak up no longer ashamed of being me.