Today I pitched an idea to BBC about professionals who are from Romany or Travelling background but who don’t feel comfortable revealing their culture and ethnicity to their colleagues or, in many cases. even their peers.
Now I completely and wholeheartedly agree with their feedback but I couldn’t help but feel a little bit stupid.
The idea that being Romany would matter to ones peers is absurd, why would anyone care (negatively) about their friend or work colleague being a Traveller? It seems strange and that’s why I felt stupid because the commissioner could not see the tension in the proposal and I agree but there is a feeling amongst Travellers (of all ethnicities) that we have to hide our ethnicities to be ‘successful’ and build status in mainstream society; this feeling is not ungrounded, we feel this way for a reason, we have experience it before (either personally or through our elders).
This might seem strange to someone who has not experienced this first hand but that doesn’t mean that it is not an issue that people have to face on a day-to-day basis.
These types of ideas are not yet ready to be brought to the eyes of a BBC audience but I can’t help but feel driven by this. I have a hypothesis, now I need to prove it one way or tother.