BLOG: Who Am I?
Jo Peres, Development Performance Analyst at L&Q
- 26 October 2020
When two worlds collide. Love conquers all and kindness is free - very profound words I hold close to my heart.
These are the values my mother instilled in all her children.
My poem is a glimpse to the real-life experience of an outspoken BAME LGBTQ+ person, navigating their way through life’s struggles and triumphs.
I remember that talk with my mother like it was yesterday.
I remember the talk with my mother about interracial relationships being a crime.
I remember asking my mother, why would this be illegal if two people love each other.
I remember feeling perplexed, my young mind trying to process this, and my heart compounded by sadness.
I remember feeling sad and frustrated.
I remember being asked many times why my father was white, and I was not.
I remember being asked why my mother was so dark and I was not.
I remember feeling like I wasn't white enough to be white or black enough to be black.
I remember being asked why we speak Portuguese.
I remember being afraid of death during the riots against the apartheid regime in South Africa.
I remember hearing bullets fired injuring people and the tear gas fired chocking people.
I remember the segregation and kids being told they could not mix with other ethnicities.
I remember the neighbourhoods segregated and certain areas reserved for 'Whites Only'.
I remember the joy when Mandela was finally released from Prison.
I remember feeling different to my peers through adolescence.
I remember coming to the U.K. to start a new life.
I remember coming out as LGBT+ and being rejected by my own family. The same family who suffered oppression under the Apartheid regime.
I remember watching so many LGBTQ+ people being murdered, rejected, and discriminated against because of whom they choose to love.
I remember my family finally accepting me for who I am and understanding that love is love and it comes in all shapes and sizes.
I remember the joy when equal marriage was announced.
I remember feeling safe in my own skin, living authentically, being out and proud & living my best life.
I remember being happy and truly content in my own brown skin and feeling like a Strong, Empowered, BAME, Non-Binary Human.
I remember being asked the question by white people many times – "No, but where are you really from"
I remember watching the world burn in flames because yet again another person has been killed because of the colour of their skin.
I remember terrorism fuelled by hate and injustice.
I remember seeing countless news stories of some young kids committing suicide because their religious parents wouldn't accept their Trans son or daughter.
I remember people rejecting a person because of who they choose to love.
I remember those who truly believe the essence of Inclusion, Kindness, and Love.
I remember a world that was caring and beautiful, filled with acceptance.
I remember wondering if that was just a dream.
I remember as a child looking at both my parents and thinking, if love is colour-blind why can't everyone else just accept it.
I remember, I remember, I remember….
Love all, embrace people without judgment or discrimination, don't be afraid to ask questions.
Dialogue is important but most importantly be an ally to all those unheard voices and amplify them. Let's transform and change the world because united we are stronger. All lives do matter but right now, it's Black lives that Matter.
Remember: Sharing is Caring and Kindness is Free.
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