Being Mixed Race: Am I A Human Rorschach Test?

Media Diversified

byGlen 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…

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About glenchisholm

Former Mayor of Ipswich Suffolk, Labour Cllr for Whitehouse, all opinions my own and do not reflect organisations I represent, Si-fi geek and Raiders fan
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5 Responses to Being Mixed Race: Am I A Human Rorschach Test?

  1. Mo says:

    Very interesting thoughtful piece, thanks Glen! Although my family background is a bit different to yours, I’ve had some of the same sort of experiences, growing up as mixed-race in the 70s and 80s. Like you say, I still don’t understand it, but now I don’t let it burden me — wise words.
    At least we have the consolation of all that research showing that mixed-race people are more attractive 🙂

    • glenchisholm says:

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment , i’ve had a really good response when my post was first published on writers of colour. It is interesting how much of a shared experience this is. I also saw a documentary on how mixed race people are more attractive.. Typical I guess there’s always one that breaks that rule

  2. Keith B. says:

    Finally, a video for all of us halfies that explains our problems dealing with people! If your of mixed ethnicity, you’re going to love this video. Like and share for all the other halfies out there!

  3. Hi Glen, I just read this over on and commented on it (it is awaiting approval). Nice post. I’m also mixed ethnicity, and as I said in my other comment, I am lucky to have not been subjected to violence. But I do get really idiotic comments from time to time. My worry is now for the BS that my children will inevitably get, as they are mixed and look nothing like me. I already have total strangers asking me if they are my kids. I’m sure other mums with their kids don’t have this same question posed at them. Anywho, thanks for the nice read.

    • glenchisholm says:

      Thank you for reading and for your comment,I know what you mean about your fears for your children, With me being mixed race and my ex wife being black my son also looks mixed race. I had hoped my son would not have to experience some of the hate and ignorance I had faced. Although things have got better he has sadly still had to face it to some extent. But I have faith that things will improve yes we have a long way to go but we will get there

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