‘I’m judged for being a gypsy – people wrongly assume we’re thieves and liars’

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    A mum who gets viciously trolled on social media for being a traveller opened up about the biggest misconceptions other Brits hold against her community.

    Elsa Chambers has been told to die for being a gypsy but is refusing to let trolls hold her back.

    And the 31-year-old believes travellers are unfairly judged for a variety of things – from their parenting style to their aesthetic.

    READ MORE: 'I gouged my own eyes out while high on meth – but life is very different five years on'

    Speaking with the Daily Star, she said: “I feel like travellers get a lot of hate online. I’ve seen it, whether it be for the way we raise children, the way we dress, the way we cook, the way we clean.

    “I think people don’t realise we are such an isolated community, some of us like to mix outside of it of course, but some people seem to think we only live by our own rules and that’s not the case.

    “Again, people jump to conclusions about the culture but they don’t know anything.”

    Elsa, who has 160,000 followers on TikTok, continued: “They only know what they’ve seen on TV and most of that is made up or edited.

    “I feel like they should speak to someone sensible from the community.

    “I would say that we’re not terrible or thieves and liars.

    “A lot of the community are very religious, hard working and do a lot of charity work but that doesn’t get seen, only bad.

    “But like I said, there is good and bad in every community.”

    Elsa, who lives in the UK, said she “doesn’t really come from anywhere” having moved to different areas in caravans for most of her life.

    And two years ago she started a TikTok page to raise awareness about her culture before it surged in popularity in recent months.

    Her purpose is to inspire laughs and she said making others happy helps with her own insecurities.

    The social media star struggles with anxiety, depression and body dysmorphia and spreading joy allows her to feel better.

    But the vitriol she has received by a nasty minority has impacted her.

    She said: “It does affect me mentally and I feel sometimes that maybe I should stop and I have done in the past.

    “I removed myself from all of social media and I just gave up but our mindset can change like the wind and I came back a little stronger.”

    Elsa is a mum to a daughter and she has also had vile death threats on the video app.

    And speaking to us about the worst comments, she said: “I get a lot of trolling and death threats are some of the worst. I get told to hang myself a lot.

    “They always run back to ‘you’re a gypsy’ or ‘pikey’ and I've had a lot of hate recently. Sometimes I am putting on a brave face, but it still gets hard when people are telling you to die.

    “I understand people will come for you (on social media) but I am not nasty or opinionated, I just want people to be happy and to laugh.

    “I think if I can make one person who’s having a bad day smile it’s worth the hate I get.”

    Elsa added: “I like to joke, I like to laugh and I want other to laugh. I make fun of my own culture a lot because it’s funny.

    “I wanted people to see the funny side of being a gypsy, there’s a lot of people who think we all marry our cousins so I make videos joking about it.

    “But I also want people to see we’re not all bad. There’s good and bad in everyone. We’re not all monsters.

    “I understand there are people in the community that do bad things but we’re not all the same.

    “And I believe that instead of trying to defend the bad, maybe we should try and show the good within the community.”

    To follow Elsa's journey on TikTok, you can do so here.

    For emotional support, you can call the Samaritans 24-hour helpline on 116 123, email [email protected], visit a Samaritans branch in person or go to the Samaritans website.

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