“Why do you wanna be black so badly?” I get this a lot. People see my multicultural, multiracial sorority, my chapter whose members all have darker skin than me, and my African-American boyfriend, and they make a snap judgment. I hate being white; I fetishize black guys; I could not get into a white sorority. Those are commonly-heard comments.

“Why do you wanna be black?” I want to increase multicultural awareness and uphold the values I have pledged devotion to. I want to see not just past color, but also into it. I want to honor my own heritage and explore everything that there is to know about myself. Where you see a group of girls with brown skin, I see African-American, Mexican, Irish, Indian, Native American and German, and the girls I am looking at see just as many things when they look back at me. 

“Why do you wanna be black?” I want to spend my time with people who inspire me and genuinely care for each other. I want to surround myself with women who are funny, fierce, smart and beautiful. We share many of the same values, and I know these women. We love each other for our differences. 

“Why do you wanna be black?” I want to experience the kind of love that people only dream about. Butterflies-in-the-stomach, weak-in-the-knees, real, lasting love. My boyfriend writes me love letters, drives hours from his school to mine to surprise me with a date and spoils me with gifts that he assures me I deserve. He has become part of my family, and I would not give him up for the world.

So, no, I do not want to be black. I just want to join a sorority with values I am passionate about. I want to have the type of relationship others wish they had and live my life without giving a second thought to others’ opinions of me. I want to be the kind of person who sees others for who they are, not what color they are, or what color their friends are. 

I want to be me, and make decisions that come without judgment or criticism from those who could never understand. It may be hard for some to separate the world around them from the colors before them, but for me, it never has been. I am not in denial of my race. I am just smart enough to know that it doesn’t bind me to a certain set of behaviors and ideals.