I honestly thought I was done. When I received my British citizenship last year, I thought I was finally done with immigration control and all the hoops I had to cross as a foreigner.
I thought that after almost 15 years of being a foreigner, that I finally, finally belonged somewhere. That I had a home.
Today I went to the post-office to apply for my British passport, only to have my application turned away due to little mistakes. Which had happened before. Oh, and I also needed to submit all my passports, including the one used when I first entered the UK. This was stolen almost 10 years ago.
This prompted a frantic dig through old immigration folders at home, searching for the paperwork to do with the theft.
My rational mind told me that all of these things are things every British person has to do when applying for their first adult passport. Which is true.
But as I hunted through my immigration history, my heart, my heart was angry, my heart was furious.
It was remembering all the little reminders that they, this government, MY government, don’t really see me as truly British.
All these little nothings, pinpricks, that collectively make your eyes water.
The new denationalisation proposals, the suspicion that, because I wasn’t born here, and because my parents weren’t born here, I am not as loyal as everyone else. And what is loyal anyway? Is it unquestionable support? Is that what you want? Conformity?
Well, to this I say, TOUGH..
I am British. You may not like it. You may question my allegiance, or whatever you want to call it. Hell, you will probably hate me when you find out how critical I am of this government, but that’s just tough.
I am British. I belong here.
I have earned my citizenship.
Born abroad, with a different skin, but still British,
It does not matter how many small barriers you put between me and you.
I am the same as you.
You might not like it. You might even hate me.
But I am British.
And you better get used to it.
Because I’m not going anywhere.