My mother was born in the UK. My grandparents, however, were from Spain.
My story began when my British (with Spanish heritage) mother married my father, who’s originally from Iraq, and had me in 1991.
I grew up in the south east of England and until I joined school, I considered myself as an English little girl, end of story. During my first years of school, I got called many names about the colour of my skin, my hair and my body hair. I was laughed at, told to sit with only the brown kids and was made to feel different all the time. They would say I wasn’t English…
As I moved to secondary school, 9/11 happened and then the bomb jokes started… I felt different and therefore acted differently with the other girls. Even getting a boyfriend was impossible as being of my colouring was considered unappealing (although now everyone is drawing on dark eyebrows with fake tans etc!).
Let’s just say that I never really felt truly at home though it is what I most desired deep down, and when I turned 22, I decided to move to Madrid, Spain. I am now 26 and have been happily living here for four years. Funnily enough, I started to feel more British whilst living here and became more fond of our culture and our ways.
Then Brexit happened and ever since I have felt very upset and confused about my identity. I have heard things I thought I wouldn’t hear anymore, and my own family have been insulted various times in the street. Our Facebook group for our hometown was bombarded with anti immigration comments, and I found myself in arguments with people that there is just no point talking to.
In short, I am a European and I will never change that. I want to be in the European Union and I will continue to fight for it. It’s difficult for me to put into words how all of this really feels…