Wow. Where do I start? Perhaps you've been waiting for this article from me. This article on my relationship. Because in a way, I am defined by my relationship differently than others. My relationship even has its own label: interracial dating. In fact, the labels get even more specific, going so far as to label each member of the relationship and call it BMWW or the other way around. When people find out about my relationship, they usually ask a few questions, such as, "Does your family know? Do your parents approve? I didn't know you were into black dudes...I liked a black guy once..." and other awkward questions. As I tried to come up with a title for this article, the first thing that came to mind was, "In Defense of my Relationship," because interracial relationships are still under attack (I'm thinking of the Cheerios ad outrage, Old Navy, etc.). I shouldn't have to defend being with a handsome man who treats me with respect and whose smile lights up my world. So in this article, I'd just like to share a glimpse of what it's like to be in an "interracial relationship" and why we have chosen it.
First of all, it can be difficult to know how to introduce each other to friends and family. Sometimes we may face hateful comments, but more often, we face people who have never been introduced to the idea of interracial dating and just need some time to warm up. Family reunions require planning ahead and discussing how to approach people. It can be the same way out in public. We have been surrounded by thoughtful people, but the occasional comment or look still happens.
Secondly, we get to learn about all of the differences in our daily lives. Whether it's him giggling at my need for sunscreen or my fascination with his hair techniques, we have different routines. Likewise, we enjoy learning about the similarities we share. We both love ice cream and playing the piano. We share similar beliefs and ideas. We embrace each other's culture and background.
Thirdly, we face stereotypes every day. I receive the immediate comment, "Mixed babies are my favorite! Your future children are going to be gorgeous!"....thanks, but we never said anything about children, and we'd rather our relationship not be your fetish.Whether it's a thoughtless comment about jungle fever or frostbite, we have to decide if calling the person out is worth it or if it's better to just roll our eyes. The important thing to us is that we are attracted to each other's soul, and that is no different from same-race relationships
Fourthly, we learn to be independent. Truthfully, others' opinions of us are of little consequence. We are thankful that our families love both of us, and to us, that's all that really matters. Although discrimination can be hurtful and frustrating, we become stronger together to face the world as a result of it. We know that we are a team against a common problem and that we are living history overcoming a stigma that will hopefully continue to diminish.
It all comes down to this: we are no different from other relationships. We don't need detailed labels; we are simply a couple overcoming life's obstacles together, like most other couples. I've seen "love knows no color" as a protest against discrimination, but I disagree with that statement. Does love really know no color? I believe love is made up of countless combinations of lovers with colorful skin and even more colorful personalities. When I look at my boyfriend, I'm never colorblind. I see his brown skin and curly hair and think of how handsome he is. I see in full color.