My mum is British and my dad is half Korean and half Vietnamese. He was born in Korea but moved to England in ’94 where he met my mum. Soon they were engaged and I was on the way, and they decided to move to Korea to get married and raise our family there.
But my dad’s parents did not take to my mum, and when I was just 3 months old my mum left me in Korea with my dad and went back to England, thinking that she would give me a better life.
When I was 1 my dad married a full Korean woman who also had a daughter my age. Being so young I didn’t notice any differences between me and my stepsister until I started school and kids would ask me why I was so white and where I came from.
I didn’t get it because all I knew was Korea and my Korean family. Every time I asked my dad what was wrong with me he would change the subject. But one day me and my stepsister were playing dress-up and came across some photos of a very pale woman with a baby so I asked my parents about it and that’s when I found out.
After that I felt like an alien. I tried everything to fit in but the more I tried the more I felt like I had no identity. I didn’t know if I was white or Asian. I felt like an outsider even with my own family and I knew the only way I could find an identity was to meet my real mum.
I met my mum on my 9th birthday and 2 years later moved to England to live with her. I finally felt like I had found my identity as British and even though now at 17 I have finally started to embrace my Korean and Vietnamese roots, I feel happier just to call myself English. I go back every year to see my dad and Korean family and every year I feel a bit more welcomed.