“I’ve lived in the UK for a while and I have always planned to stay here for a long time, and I will probably start my family here. The Brexit referendum was a bit of a shock, because it exposed a lot of anti-immigrant sentiment. So there is this nagging fear, sometimes I wonder if I might have to leave.
It feels unfair that people could make a decision about my future while I did not have a vote. I’m hoping to live my life between the United States and the United Kingdom. I really like the way of living in the UK - the culture, and how the more socialist system creates a sense of community that I like. At the same time, my family is in the US, and I really miss them, yet my boyfriend is from the UK.
I think diversity is an exciting thing and makes a community stronger. At work for example: I can give the perspective of an outsider – it’s not more valuable than all the other perspectives, but ultimately, decision making is strengthened when done by a group of people from different backgrounds.The thing about being a migrant that I find most challenging is that I am lacking a sense of place. I never feel like I belong in the United States, but I sound American so I will also never be accepted as a British person either.
Generally I think there is not enough credit given to the sacrifice made when leaving one’s home – whatever reasons drove someone to migrate. Migration has been ongoing forever. Sometimes it frustrates me that it isn’t treated like the norm that it is, but rather like something that needs to be regulated and stopped. Sometimes people have preconceptions about what Americans are like, so I try to introduce people here to the nice parts of American culture and hospitality by celebrating American holidays and sharing traditions.”
This is a story by Christine Strotmann.