I wanted to share my experience with you as a minority member in the UK in hopes that it would give you an idea as to why change is important.
Before I begin I would like to add that racism is not just the view that other races are inferior to white skins. It can be found in any place where the majority population looks down on the minority.
Growing up I didn’t really know that I wasn’t same as everyone else. As a child you don’t see the world like that. I grew up in a white area and our family was the only coloured skin people within it.
The first time I had seen racist hate was when a brick was thrown through our living room window and my mother told us to hide behind the sofa. She turned the lights off while she called the police and I remember hiding in fear. I must have been about 6 or 7 at the time.
As time has gone on I have become used to people shouting ‘go home Paki’ from their car windows or looking at me like I’m about to steal some thing from their shops. It hurts every time to the point I go home in tears.
This has played on my mental health encouraging my depression and paranoia that people are watching me. It’s doesn’t help that my OCD also gives them something to look at when I try to perform my rituals.
In light of all the terror attacks my anxiety is always higher when I visit the city.
‘Report suspicious behaviour,’ the announcements call out.
What’s more suspicious that a tall Asian man pacing and talking to himself as he tries to calm down.
I would like to say that’s the end of it but within the LGBT community being a different race also has it’s barriers. I can be seen as a novelty or something unworthy to be with.
Within my own ethnic group the shade of my skin ( which is darker than desired) puts me on a lower pecking order. Light skin = higher cast. Higher cast = more suitable for marriage.
It is sad how minority groups segregate themselves further.
The way in which I have reacted to this over the years are as follows;
1. Avoidance of certain situations
2. Taking to bleaching my skin with creams
3. Not dating to avoid being let down
And 4. Shutting out the world as I go about my day to day tasks.
All of these only fuel my mental health, separating me from others and even though I know it, it’s hard to shake away from the safety it offers.
I hope my story has inspired others to share theirs and to let people know that you are not alone even if you may feel like it.