So, this is a bit of a weird one.
Without delving too deeply into my unusual family situation, up until recently I didn’t know what race I was. My dad never met his dad and so he grew up knowing only his mother, who is Irish.
I knew was that I was half English (from my mum’s side) and quarter Irish and quarter something else…
For years, I speculated as to what I might ‘be’, but I wouldn’t say I have features that indicate one specific race which made it hard for me to guess.
On the 5th of August this year, the day after my 20th birthday, I finally decided to order a DNA test from myheritige.com. It arrived a week or so later.
There were two cotton bud swab sticks that I swiped in the side of my mouth for 30 seconds, then popped each of them in a small vile filled with liquid.
I sent them off to the lab and waited patiently.
Almost a month later, I received and email confirming my results were ready. I was both nervous and eager to find out.
So I clicked on the link to my account and these were the results:
I can’t say I was too surprised, being Asian has been ‘on the cards’ if you like, for years really. I remember talking to my friends about what I could be when I was in school and being Asian came up a few times.
The mixture of European ethnicities didn’t come to my surprise either, simply because of migration patterns of Europeans over the years makes it highly likely that if you’re white, you’ll have lots of other European races in you somewhere.
I was overwhelmed to finally know. It was weird actually knowing and no longer being a ‘mystery race’. No more do I have to awkwardly explain to people that I don’t know what I was when my unusual features compelled people to ask.
The combination of mildly foreign features like the brown curly hair and freckles juxtaposed with probably the broadest Yorkshire accent and dialect going, throws people, leading to the question, “I hope you don’t mind me asking, but where are you from?”.
I’ve spent years trying to figure out what race I am and its associated culture that I should identify with. I’ve always felt a bit lost in a way, because I saw not knowing where I was from as a lack of identity. I felt like I can’t identify myself properly just because I didn’t know where the hair and darker skin came from.
Much to my own and other people’s surprise, I actually have very little desire to investigate my racial roots any further than I already have. Why? Because I know my culture, it’s what I was brought up with, I’m a Sheffield born and bred girl and I don’t need to look any further than home to find it.
I’ve realised how pointless the division of race is.
Race shouldn’t define me, or any of us.