English/Pakistani | Irish/Pakistani
I identify as White-Asian, Catholic & heterosexual. Both my parents were born in the UK and are both mixed themselves (Anglo Asian / Irish and Pakistani / English). They didn’t live too far from each other but met a house party. I grew up in London and then Hertfordshire.
I guess I realized I was mixed-race was when moving out of central London aged around 13 and to what was then a predominantly White area. I remember an old next door neighbour on the day we moved in shouting ‘It’s Jay Sean’ which I found quite funny, but it did make me think ‘oh’. As both my parents were born here and grew up with British culture, I don’t think it was too difficult. My Dad and his siblings were raised as Christian (his Dad was Muslim) but he very much lived by the motto ‘when in Rome do as the Romans do’. My Mum had a strong Catholic upbringing too. I guess people always want to know where you are ‘really from’ or why your name is ‘Muslim’ but you follow a different religion, so yes to an extent, but I’ve never really minded explaining to people. My environment doesn’t play a part in how I choose my friends or partners. It also doesn’t play a part in my work or personal life.
I’m ¼ Asian ¼ Irish ½ English. I guess I’ve always been drawn to the Asian part, mainly because of the food, but also feel quite British too. When asked where I’m from, I used to say, ‘Do you mean where are my parents from?’, but usually just say my mix.
A positive of being mixed-race is being able to feel connected to different cultures and one all at the same time. It’s probably a lot easier than in the 60’s or 70’s when my parents had it tougher.
If I had the opportunity to be reborn, I would like to return as me, to do it all again would be fine.