A prominent British social media influencer is now claiming that he is “transracial” after having 18 surgeries, but what does that even mean?
Merriam-Webster dictionary says transracial means, “involving, encompassing, or extending across two or more races.” The term is often used in discussing the adoption of a baby with a different ethnicity than the parents adopting the child, or in reference to relations between racial groups. But, that’s not what Oli London meant when he revealed that he had undergone 18 cosmetic surgeries as part of, what London claimed was, a “transition” into a Korean identity.
“Hey guys! I’m finally Korean. I’ve transitioned. I have the eyes, just had a brow lift as well. I’ve been trapped in the wrong body for eight years and that’s the worst feeling in the world when you’re trapped and you don’t feel that you can be yourself,” London said in a social media post Monday.
“But finally I’m Korean — I can be myself. And I’m so, so happy,” London went on to say.
— Oli London (@OliLondonTV) June 28, 2021
London also revealed that with his new so-called transracial identity, London was going by they/them pronouns and the name Jimin.
In a Saturday video posted to YouTube, London claimed to have spent more than $150,000 on eye surgery, as well as a face, temple and a brow lift.
London claimed he now has a Korean look, to match that he has lived in Korea and speaks the language.
“I identify as Korean-that’s just my culture, that’s my home country, that’s exactly how I look now. I also identify as Jimin, that’s my Korean name,” London said Saturday. “I really struggled with identity issues and with who I am,” London added.
However, London is not the first person who claimed to be “transracial.”
In 2017, the USA Today Network profiled a white person named Adam. Adam claimed not to be white, that he was Filipino.
“Whenever I’m around the music, around the food, I feel like I’m in my own skin. I’d watch the History Channel sometimes for hours, you know, whenever it came to that, and, you know, nothing else intrigued me more, but, you know, things about, you know, Filipino culture,” Adam claimed.
USA Today also reported that groups for professedly “transracial” individuals were growing on Facebook.
Many have condemned individuals who claim to be transracial, especially after people discovered in 2015 that Rachel Dolezal, a president of a local NAACP chapter, was a white woman pretending to be black. (RELATED: Here’s A List Of White Liberals Caught Pretending To Be Black)
Some activists are attempting to restore the word “transracial” to its classic meaning, and away from definitions put forward by the likes London and Adam.
“You see, I’m transracial—I’m a Chinese, East Asian person of color, born in Suzhou in the province of Jiangsu, and removed from my ancestral home to join and be raised by white U.S. citizen parents,” activist Lydia X. Z. Brown wrote in a piece for Rewire News Group in 2018. “I’m also a genderqueer, nonbinary trans person. We do exist, and these racist white people need to stop stealing our term.”
“When racist white people who believe they can simply identify as people of color and become their ‘real’ race describe themselves as ‘transracial,’ it actively contributes to the erasure of real people of color,” Brown added.