British influencer who identifies as Korean sparks debate after claiming you can 'choose your race'

British influencer who identifies as Korean sparks debate after claiming you can 'choose your race'
British influencer who identifies as Korean sparks debate after claiming you can ...

A British influencer has sparked a furious debate around transracialism, the belief that a person can identify with a different race than the one tied to their biological ancestry.

Oli London, 31, sat down with Channel 4's Would You Rather series to discuss that they identify as Korean. They kickstarted by saying they "used to live in Korea for a year" and love the "history, the culture and the people."

"I spent a lot of time learning the language, learning how to cook Korean foods," they explained.

London also added that they experienced a "lot of pain" through multiple surgical procedures to achieve "more of a Korean aesthetic." The non-binary influencer previously opened up to Sky News about going under the knife 18 times to look like BTS singer Park Ji-min

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Speaking about the backlash following coming out as transracial, London said, "people didn't really get it. Not everyone will get it, but I hope over time, people will be more accepting of me."

The woman, who was not named in the clip, was clearly taken back by London's remarks, candidly saying that transracialism "does not exist" and that the narrative can be "very, very harmful."

"I can't sit up here and say, 'Oh, I'm suddenly a white person'," she explained.

"If you as a white person can sit up and say, 'Oh, I can be black, or I can be Korean', and I can't swap and benefit from the privilege you benefit from, then it's clearly not an equal exchange."

Can You Identify As Transracial? | Would You Rather | Channel

London's revelation created quite the stir online, with one calling it "absolute nonsense" while another said: "I feel that you can follow a culture, but you can’t change your race."

A third questioned the authenticity of London's story: "Is Olly joking? Is this for real?? Totally agree with the woman. Oli is ridiculous."

Meanwhile, one person found London's comments as "mocking" and "disrespecting" Korean culture.

They penned: "As a Korean, this is so offensive. [They're] not appreciating our culture he is mocking us and rather disrespecting our culture. He doesn’t know our history and the pain that our people went through, plus the pain we are going through know. I’m positive he doesn’t even know that North Korean exists. Gosh, this is so offensive."

London later followed up with a tweet that argued "If you can switch genders then you can switch race! Period!" They slammed the "woke brigade" and questioned why there are "so many double standards in the world."

London concluded: Let’s all embrace our differences. Everyone has the right to choose how they identify."

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