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My dad died when I was four. My mum, she didn’t have a job. Growing up poor, you don’t feel like you have choices. But you do. We all do. There are so many different paths and avenues you can take.

When I chose love, when I married outside of my culture, I chose a path that estranged me from my family. It broke me. But I was doing it for love, for life. I went through such pain, but it was my choice. And it taught me a lot about who I am. Taught me that I have courage. I have conviction.

People say to me now, “you’re the biggest dreamer I know, and you’ve made all those dreams come true”. And I tell them that choice goes beyond survival. Don’t worry about where you come from, how you look, how you behave. Don’t try to be someone else. I wasn’t – and never will be. And it’s been hard. But it’s made me, me.

Lauren's identity story

I’m a Korean American. My parents moved to America in the 70s. And I was born and raised in California, where there’s so much... Read story.

Walid's identity story

I grew up in Woolwich, but my parents migrated here from Somalia. And we’re very close. Growing up I used to ask them so many… Read story.

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