English/Irish | Indian/Jamaican
I've spent my whole life in England so I've always identified as British above anything else. However, being mixed and getting the "where are you from/what are you?" question, I'm always inclined to answer about my heritage because I know I wouldn't get asked that otherwise. I never mind this as the intrigue is usually positive and I love talking about it since I consider it an important topic, but I have had experiences in the past where because I'm not from one culture fully, people have actively dismissed my involvement in that part of my background, which can feel quite frustrating. My mother is half Jamaican and half Indian, whereas my dad is half English and half Irish. They both met via introduction of a friend and had me after some time. All was well bar the exception of hostility from one ex-family member on my father's side due to my mother's race, creating tension for both me and her. This, unfortunately, was one of my first experiences with covert racism as a child.I was born and raised in London so being the urban kid, exposed to a metropolitan mixed city, helped ease my fears about fitting in when I was a kid. I appreciated how I could visit family members from both sides of my parents, as each time I could learn and experience different and unique things about all the cultures I was a part of; food, music, tradition, stories, etc. It was interesting to hear from those who spoke patois, while others spoke with London accents. The middle ground sometimes felt like a lonely place. I don't factor race into my friendships as I love making friends with people of different backgrounds who have things in common with me. Being a mixed-race person however, it's definitely been interesting to meet those with a similar background to me as we can have discussions about our experiences of how being mixed influences our identities, which is a conversation I find harder to have with those who are monoracial as they might've had less experience with that. I definitely think there's stereotypes towards mixed race people that are existent still.