Being Mixed Race: Am I A Human Rorschach Test?

Being Mixed Race: Am I A Human Rorschach Test?

Media Diversity UK: Tackling the lack of diversity in UK media and the ubiquity of whiteness

Glen Chisholm

Just last week I was standing at a bus stop when a gentleman; a complete stranger came and joined me. Nothing unusual about that, we then politely nodded at each other and a conversation started up.

Me: “Evening”

Stranger: “Evening”

Me: “it’s still quite warm isn’t it”

Stranger: “yes it is”; pause; “excuse me mate, but were do you come from?”

Me: “Ipswich

Stranger: “no, you know, were do you originate from”

Me: “I originate from Ipswich, my mum is English and my dad is Jamaican”

Stranger, sounding surprised: “Really I wouldn’t have thought you were Black, I’d have thought you were Italian or Spanish or something”

Me, politely smiles: “yeah, I sometimes get that”

Now I wasn’t offended by this and this wasn’t the first time or probably won’t be the last time that I’ll have this conversation. I am a light skinned mixed race person with loose curly hair. I have spent most of my life with people questioning my racial identity and for a while I was left questioning it myself…

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