Jamaican/Trinidadian | Malaysian
I define as mixed-race. But often seem to reflect or state how White I look as I don’t feel that I look representative of where my parents are from, and I don’t always feel that I am accepted as a person that isn’t White yet conversely on the other side I’m constantly asked where I’m from so I guess that’s a feeling many people may share.
In terms of sexual orientation, I am Bi yet with my gender identity I am a trans man. I don’t have a religion. But have been brought up around many different faiths.
My Father is Jamaican and has a Trinidadian mother. My Mother was brought up in Malaysian but is British. They lived in a split house. He lived downstairs and she lived upstairs. I grew up in Nottingham.
I think when I was about 5 when I first began to understand I was mixed-race. Getting called racial slurs was my first intro to not being viewed as White. I also found the first school in London I moved to when I was 9 to be a real eye opener, as there were so few White children there. Subsequent schools I went to in London I found were more multi cultural which I enjoyed.
My friendship group is very mixed whereby I have friends from all over the world or are different generations from where their parents were born. It’s incredibly mixed in terms of sexual orientation too and many have families. I haven’t consciously surrounded myself with people who have a specific race or sexual orientation.
I’ve not really considered the race of anyone I’ve dated. I did feel that particularly in LGBT circles it’s predominantly White but then I was with someone from Greece for over 5 years so there is cultural diversity. I’ve also had mixed-race partners before. What I am mostly attracted to in a person tends to be their politics and their passions.
I feel mixed-race people have to constantly prove their race or ethnicity with people and the visibility question comes up a lot. Whenever I go to any Mediterranean countries I tend to be assumed to be from the country that I am visiting, such as Italy or Greece. I have had negative experiences sometimes in airports in terms of asking me where I’m from or being told that I don’t look like that.
Socially I’ve also encountered that too. Being told I look White or pass for White sometimes hasn’t always made me feel very comfortable. I also have found myself staying back from conversations about race as I know that I don’t necessarily look who I am. But I feel that a lot in life as it is. I know that what you see isn’t what you get with me.
If I had the opportunity to be born again I think I would still be me, but I would have better skin and ideally more hair!
I think the future is that there will be more mixed-race people in the world and that visibility will be increased and things like monitoring forms will be more inclusive to that as many people have mixed ethnicity now that isn’t just two, and there should be more options for people to list who they are.