When you ask me where I'm from, I don't really know how to respond anymore. Do you want the real answer or do you just want to know where I most recently lived? And then when I respond, "London" you laugh or raise an eyebrow as if I'm not telling the truth. Honestly, I don't blame you for your ignorance because my accent is pretty deceiving, but quite frankly I do take offense.
Although you know where I was born, you always call me 'American', which I don't understand at all. I was born in Greenwich. I lived in Vauxhall throughout my early years enjoying a Londoner childhood filled with hot Ribena, Wheetabix, strolls along the South Bank, and a weekly pack of Polo Mints. If you watched me in my childhood homevideos you wouldn't believe I was anything other than a Brit because of my Londoner accent. But for some reason, the fact that I have an “American” accent makes you think there’s now way I can be British. But really will you stop discriminating against me and my accent.
Yes I have lived in the U.S., and yes I have been influenced by the Bay Area culture. In fact, I am very proud of my Californian hipster vibes. But, that doesn’t mean I’m not ‘from’ London. You asked me where I'm from right? A very simple question but you don't seem to believe me. Do I have to prove it to you? Would you like my passport? How about my birth certificate? Even better, why don’t you meet my entire family then hang out with me for about a day, then you will see my British mannerisms.
Please stop asking me everything about the British government and all about the history of London because although I do know a decent amount, I don’t know specific dates of everything. And just because I don’t know these things, doesn’t make me any less of a Brit. If you want me to break it down even more, I was born in London but my family is from up north in a place called Wetherby. My mum is a world-traveler and so I lived in Australia for my kindergarten year before moving back to London (a little shout out to my Australian kindergarten bestie Millie). Then when I was about to go into year 3 we moved to the states to fulfill one of my mums dreams. That is when everything changed, in your eyes, I became an American. In my eyes, I was fitting in so I wouldn’t get teased by my classmates.
After moving to the states it took a good 12 years just to receive my permanent residence. But even with that, I’m still not an American citizen. I am a British citizen, and only a British citizen. For all of those of you that are still confused, I played for Team GB in the London 2012 Olympics because It is my home country. And no, it wouldn't make sense for me to play for the U.S. because I am not ‘from' there. So in case my voice seems to confuse you here is some clarification. Sorry if this may sound a bit more confrontational than most of my blogs…but actually, I’m not sorry. Because this is important. So next time, ask where I’m from, and accept me for me.