I’m a traveling mum – my neighbors hate me and Tesco security always checks my bags… but I refuse to hide who I am

A TRAVELER has vowed never to hide who she really is – despite being treated as ‘the lowest of the low’ on a daily basis.

Mum-of-five Amy Gentle claims her neighbors hate her and security guards always check her bags when she goes shopping.

Traveling mother-of-five Amy Gentle says she's not ashamed of who she is

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Traveling mother-of-five Amy Gentle says she’s not ashamed of who she isCredit: Amy Gentle
Amy said the worst misconception about her community is that they are

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Amy said the worst misconception about her community is that they are “the lowest of the low.”Credit: Amy Gentle

But the 46-year-old puts up with the hate comments and unfair treatment because being Romani is in her blood.

Amy said: “I will not lie or be ashamed or hide who I am.

“It’s my ethnicity, it’s who I was born and you can’t choose which person you’re born as.

“Even if I lived in a house all my life, I would still be a traveller. It’s in our DNA.”

The defiant full-time mom believes the worst misconception people have about her community is that “we’re the lowest of the low.”

“It’s just not true,” she said.

But despite her insistence, Amy says she’s regularly treated like a second- or even third-class citizen and even a criminal.

“Every time I go to my local Tesco, I get followed,” Amy said.

“Then I’ll have my bags checked for no reason.

“I’ve never stolen anything in my life, but that’s just who I am.”

This “misinformed” mindset is also shared by Amy’s neighbors in Berkshire, where she and her family now reside.

She said, “I have never done anything bad to them, but my neighbors don’t like me.

“If you’re curious about something, why don’t you come and ask me instead of writing complaints?”

Unfortunately, Amy has observed similar behavior towards her children, particularly her eldest daughter who is now 17 years old.

She explained that contrary to popular myths, girls are not forced to stay at home – but due to ongoing bullying and shame, her teenager had no choice.

I will not lie or be ashamed or hide who I am.

Amy Gentle

Amy said: “That may have been true in the 1930s but we are in 2022.

“My daughter wanted to be a teacher. I explained to her that she had my full support and her father’s and that I would have done whatever was needed.

“But I was forced to take her out of school because of bullying. It affected her mental health.

“Now she’s just home. She just does what the myth says every traveling girl her age does.”

Her other children were also homeschooled “because they were misunderstood by teachers and classmates.”

While the untruths frustrate her, Amy doesn’t blame people for misunderstandings, believing it stems from “the fear of the unknown.”

“I don’t think it’s necessarily the fear of travelers, it’s the lack of understanding,” she added.

Amy said programs like the Channel 4 series Big Fat Gypsy Weddings aren’t helpful because they don’t accurately represent all Traveler communities.

“A lot of these shows feature Irish travelers and we have different beliefs, cultures and traditions,” she said.

“But these programs shape people’s perception of you.”

FEAR OF SETBACK

Amy believes that education should start in schools where children need to be educated about different communities, including gypsies.

“Children learn about other cultures, but there’s nothing about travelers,” she said.

“People need to learn to respect other cultures and beliefs, but we just don’t get mentioned.”

And she wants her kids to live in a world where they don’t have to hide their story like their cousins ​​had to.

“I have cousins, one is a lawyer, and there are travelers in the police force, but they have to deny who they are,” she said.

“When they apply, they have to fill out a form with their religion and ethnicity, but they don’t fill it out for fear of backlash.

“It’s the same in schools. Parents have forms to fill out when their kids start, but nobody else has done it where mine go, so they were treated as the only travelers in the whole school, which I knew was a lot of rubbish.

“There has to be a way forward.”

Amy previously cleared up the top three things people get wrong about travelers – that they don’t pay taxes, that they always live on the streets, and that they leave a garbage process behind.

Amy from Berkshire with her kids

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Amy from Berkshire with her kidsCredit: Amy Gentle
Amy has vowed never to hide who she really is

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Amy has vowed never to hide who she really isCredit: Amy Gentle
She hopes for a better future for her children

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She hopes for a better future for her childrenCredit: Amy Gentle

https://www.the-sun.com/lifestyle/5953047/traveller-mum-refuses-hide-identity/ I’m a traveling mum – my neighbors hate me and Tesco security always checks my bags… but I refuse to hide who I am

Jessica MacLeish

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