If I Had A Nickel...
If I had a Nickel...
The Most Common Questions about my Interracial Relationship
I wondered for a long time about the relevancy of this blog post. I mean seriously...it is 2018. Gay people can get married, marijuana is legal (or will be soon) and society has been blending racial lines for decades. But I am baffled by the number of times I still encounter questions about my interracial relationship, from older and younger generations. Personally, I have pretty thick skin and patience for the curious and ignorant. I am not at all a hypersensitive person nor am I easily triggered. But there comes a point when the same tired questions need to be answered once and for all. With humor, sarcasm and a LOT of truth, I’m answering these questions from my perspective. Here we go...
How did (his/my) parents feel about you being together?
Tim and I are very fortunate to have excellent parents that do not have any problems with our relationship as it relates to race. I’m sure there was concern on both sides, since parents usually imagine (unintentionally and subconsciously) that their offspring will marry within their own race, but at least to us and in their support of our relationship, race has not been an issue.
The motive in asking this question is typically because the person is worried about how their parents (or the parents of their partner) will feel about their relationship. And I get it. In other relationships I have had, this has not always been the case. I have dated others in the past that would not claim me in front of to their parents. But my advice in situations like that are to have an honest conversation with your partner. If they are not willing to stand up for you, claim you and love you in spite of the opinions and thoughts of others (including their family), then there are deeper issues...am I right!?
Are you so excited to have mixed babies?!!? They will be SO beautiful.
If I had a nickel....
I freaking get it. Mixed raced children are beautiful. Absolutely they are! Black/Asian, Black/White, Asian/Indian, Pacific Island/African...they are all pretty. But so are single-raced children. With this question, it assumes that I would be less excited and my children would be less beautiful if they were of single race. It’s almost as if mixed race children are a novelty, like fidget spinners. Like they deserve special recognition simply due to the color of their skin. See the issue with this one?
So what...you’re just not into your own race?
I often get this one for black males, with an assumptive edge that I have somehow abandoned the black race. This has been followed by harsh comments like “so...black guys just aren’t good enough, then.” If I could roll my eyes any harder at this statement, they would roll right out of my head.
Attraction and beauty are in the eye of the beholder, so if you are asking me how I have the mental and physical capacity to be attracted to someone of another race...I do not have an answer for you. You’ll need to take that up with your favorite philosopher, Jesus, your therapist, etc. What is the most troubling about this question/comment is that it makes the assumption that race is and should be a major factor in selecting a partner. Sure, there are some things that people within your own race can relate to more than someone outside of it (Tim had no clue what sew ins, hot combs or hair grease was before we met), and your personal attraction preferences are your own. But as race does not sit on the board of directors in ANY of our major life decisions, the color of his skin makes little difference.
GURL! So how does he really treat you?
C’mon, sis. What would be a satisfying answer to a question like this? Why would I be with a man that treats me any less than I deserve? I know the assumption with BWWM (black woman, white man) relationships are that white guys just have jungle fever, want to explore the hypersexualized stereotype of black women, etc. And that trope ABSOLUTELY exists, but those are not the men you marry. Novelty wears off. I’m not some pedestal-standing, Nubian/African goddess that he brings out at parties to show that he’s woke. I am his God-given wife. His partner, his equal and he treats me as such. I am respected, supported, pampered, spoiled and loved beyond imagination.
I have been treated like dirt from men of several races, white and black included. Finding someone who treats you well is less a product of nature and more a product of nurture. Find a partner who treats you well. Period. Who supports you, praises you, treats you with respect and the honesty that you deserve. Find someone that loves you for who you are and compliments your crazy, regardless of the color of their skin.
How do I get a black/white partner?
4 dashes of boobs
a splash of self-tanner
2 eye rolls
and a pinch of thigh gap.
Mix on medium-low speed for 2 minutes and PRESTO you caught yourself a white guy.
The ignorance in this questions is just as concerning as it is ridiculous. If you are asking this question, dating someone outside your race is a novelty, an oddity. And in that case, my advice is the head straight to the nearest bathroom and take a hard look in the mirror. Some self-reflection on what you actually want/need out of a relationship might give you the answer you are looking for.
Being a Fake Over-Supporter
I got this one from my girlfriend, Nikki and her husband Ryan, who are also in an interracial relationship. Being a Fake Over-Supporter is someone (usually a stranger) who takes a decisive action to acknowledge and "appreciate" your relationship. And though outwardly it presents as kindness, it is deeply self-serving and annoying. Why do you feel the need to walk up to my husband and I in the grocery store and telling us how "cute" we are together, and how great you think our relationship is? Is it guilt? So you can feel woke? So you can go home and live in a delusion that you positively contributed to social equality? In all truth and honesty (there is A LOT of that in this post), we don't need your rubber stamp of approval. Remember, just because my relationship looks different than yours does not make it a spectacle.
Woof! So there you have it! I hope this post was an humorous as it was informative. I hope this was a (not so) subtle reminder to be kind and understanding of those whose lives do not outwardly look like your own. I encourage you to ask honest, genuine questions and to continue to be curious about the social world around you, but do so in a manner that is respectful, not speculative. It is all about perspective, people!
Photography: Courtney Smith Photography
Love Loudly. Live Loudly