Interracial dating and family

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Alice, My question is about interracial relationships.

I came here from a really small town, very conservative — well, you get the idea. He treats me wonderfully but I still get odd looks from people and my parents really don't approve.

Maybe it isn’t even appropriate for your partner to talk to their family at all about their dating life.

Or maybe your partner has to go through almost a “coming out” process around dating someone white or outside of their culture.

While it’s okay for conversations about white supremacy to make you uncomfortable (hey, we should be uncomfortable with that shit), being generally aware of how race plays out and feeling fairly well versed in Being honest about the ways in which race is complex – both inside and outside of your relationship – shows a willingness to engage with a part of your partner’s identity and experience in a way that really holds them.

As a woman, I know that sometimes talking about gender with a male partner – even if he’s well versed in all things feminist – can feel exhausting.

I don’t know how they are going to react to us being together, but this guy means the world and more to me. You’re should be able to love and date whoever you want, regardless of their skin color or background, without being tormented by your family.

A few years ago, I dated a black guy and my parents practically disowned me. It’s terrible that your parents are being this way, and the only thing I can say is that I’m glad they didn’t pass this way of thinking onto you.

You mentioned that the man you've been dating treats you well. Part of any healthy relationship is communicating about the things you find challenging in your lives — both together and apart.What you do is secretly date him at first to see how things go.If you’re very happy with him and you know this is something you want to continue, you should tell your family. It is a humbling way to live, but it’s real, raw, and truthful. We sit it right beside the pretty and figure out how we’re going to live with it. Do what people say, but be proud of who you are, as long as it doesn’t look like any kind of protest or disobedience.”On top of that, she threw in a few gems about only doing legal things because robbing a gas station is every Black person’s aspiration unless they fight hard not to. What she forgot to mention, however, was how being respectful, productive, proud, and lawful can still get Black people “legally” murdered by police and scared white people. How Black people are refused medical care by the police until they die in custody. I wonder how he feels when he reads her statement that everyone has the same opportunities and choices, completely ignoring the hundreds of years that many choices were illegal for Black people. I asked myself how much work was I willing to do to stay and how much I was willing to compromise for him. We don’t have the additional stress of inadvertently encoding any children with racism or self-hate. I wonder how he feels when she dismisses his fears as “crazy paranoia.” I wonder if it bothers him that it took another Black man being murdered for her to begin to understand his legitimate concerns.That is, unless you count my first boyfriend – José – who, in the second grade, long-distance collect-called me from Puerto Rico and got me in a lot of trouble with my dad. But I think it’s worth revisiting these concepts within the context of romantic or sexual relationships. And the way we practice our allyship in those contexts should reflect that.

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