British | Thai
I am mixed Asian & British, no religion & straight. Mum is from England with some Armenian and Scottish/Irish roots also. Dad is from Thailand and they met there. I was born in Chiang Mai, Thailand and moved to London when I was 2, so I grew up in London but visit Thailand often.
I recognised I was mixed-race pretty much as early as I can remember! I was always with mixed-race people/children/friends, so it was never something massive for me. My Mum is super into other cultures and can speak Thai fluently as well as read and write it well. When we moved to London I think my Dad had never even been on a plane before but picked up English (on top of what he learnt at school) really well. I think he had a pocket dictionary he carried around with him a lot lol. Thai and English culture are super different but I feel like by visiting a lot I’ve gained enough insight into both. Even though my Mum is White she really fits all the Asian Mum stereotypes!
When I moved from central London to zone 6 south there were less mixed-race (Asian) people and there was some light name calling but nothing major and in terms of my work and other aspects of life I don’t feel like it has negatively affected me at all. As I’m a model/dancer I do get sent for a lot of Asian job/castings and I guess I don’t look Asian enough for most of these but you never know as getting a job in my industry is tough regardless of race. Most of my friends are not 100% White British and that was just by accident, I think probably from growing up in London and the jobs that I’ve been in. In a partner I find mixed-race people attractive, or at least someone who has been heavily exposed to different cultures. I’m an only child – no steps/half’s/anything, and I think that’s been more of a factor than my heritage.
I can only think of any effects due to my mixed heritage as positive to be honest, there is definitely something to be said for mixed-race Asians (Eurasians) coming together and finding each other, I think maybe it’s because the culture gap is so different.
I definitely think there are some stereotypes and bias, but this doesn’t bother me too much. For me personally no-one has ever heard of or met someone where their Dad is Thai and their Mum is White, so people are always shocked when they hear this and it can be a bit repetitive to explain this to people, but it is really unusual, so I don’t blame them! I think there will always be some sort of bias or view on certain groups of people but there is positive and negative for everything and every group of people out there. A lot of things in my life are unusual so being mixed-race and the ‘opposite’ way round is just one thing on the list that other people aren’t used to!
English is my native language and I can speak a little bit of Thai and understand it quite well but nowhere near fluent! One of my biggest regrets is not learning to speak Thai when I was younger. My first words were a combination of English and Thai but as soon as we moved to England my Dad didn’t speak Thai to me. My Mum tried but I thought, I’m in England why do I need to know Thai. I really wish I had learnt it now though.
I’m definitely a westerner but I still feel like I can connect to my Thai side, especially when I’m there and around other Thai people. My Mums side also speak fluent French and have French ties, but I don’t feel French or as connected to that side of my family’s culture. I’m sure if I lived in Thailand or was there for a longer time, I would be very Asian/Thai. I do sometimes think id like to go to Thailand for a while, but I am a bit London obsessed. When asked where I’m from I would say Thailand and England, or London.
A positive is that I feel like I belong in two very different countries. As I have a Thai passport/ID card I am treated as a Thai and when I’m there it’s definitely a different experience to being a tourist. A negative is that nothing too extreme, but I guess sometimes being allocated as ‘the Asian’ can be a bit annoying but It doesn’t offend me.
I think being mixed-race in today’s society is great, I definitely (controversial!) am happy to be mixed-race rather than of one race only. Especially living in London it isn’t something looked down on or detrimental. In Thailand they love half Thai people so it’s nice to go there and be revered a bit. Although when I’m in other countries or Thailand I can see people trying to figure out where I’m from, but not in a mean way. I think it’s only going to get more and more accepted and even not seen as something unusual with certain mixes of races.
If I had the opportunity to be reborn I’d like to come back as a dog because they are my favourite animal and seem like they can live a great life! I wouldn’t change my race or how I was born, maybe more money but that’s not the be all and end all!