Dutch | Jamaican
I identify myself as a straight, mixed Jamaican & Dutch with no dedicated religion. I grew up without my dad, who died when I was very young. My parents met in Amsterdam and I grew up in London.
I was about 12 years old when I first began to understand I was of mixed heritage.
My friends are mostly made up of creatives and like-minded people. Open, kind, loving and warm. Many/most of my close friends are of a non-White ethnicity and many of my friends identify on the LGBTQ+ spectrum. I have many spiritual friends and I am drawn to people who have a relationship with meditation/spirituality.
In a partner, I look for kindness, openness, honesty, respect, humour and spontaneity. Race and culture doesn’t play a huge part consciously. However, I love people who embrace or take an interest in learning about new cultures.
I do think there is still bias attitudes, growing up in south east London, I find my race is often fetishised. This irritates me. There is a lot of stigma and racial tensions within the Black community towards mixed-race or ‘light-skin’ Black people. I do my best to shut down any stereotypes or tension and I don’t play up to the label either.
Being an actor, I find I sometimes feel too ‘White’ for Black roles or too ‘Black’ for White roles. This is something a casting director would never tell me to my face but still grates on me a little. I also have a fashion and travel blog and found since starting that, the world of PR, Brands and Influencers has been opened my eyes to subconscious racial bias. I also feel like the ‘mixed-race experience’ in terms of mental health is something that is not addressed enough or given any credit. I believe growing up mixed race has many mental health implications that are completely unique to individuals with many varying factors. I don’t think this is spoken about enough.
In terms of positive experiences, I have LOVED the natural hair movement that has taken off in the past couple of years. Curly-haired girls who are ditching the straighteners in favour of their curls inspired me to do the same. I can’t believe just over a year ago I would straighten my hair every day. I feel embarrassed to admit that. But I am not surprised as throughout my childhood, society and my peers told me my hair was ‘frizzy’ and needed ‘taming’. Through this embrace of my natural hair, I feel I regained my Black identity, which had kind of been lost.
If I was to be reborn I would love to be born again as an animal. An elephant in the wild or some type of large, beautiful wild bird.
The future of mixed race is bright. I think the idea of mixed race is becoming more ‘normal’ each day, stigmas are lessening, and people are accepting that it is a unique experience. I love the idea that mixed race people are connecting with each other over the shared experience of uniqueness.