“That makes sense” is the response I often got from friends and strangers alike when I explained that my long-time boyfriend was not a “brutha,” but a white man. I’m not sure why that “made sense” to some folks, but it didn’t matter because I was never one to give much attention to people who were too opinionated about my life.
I’m not sure why dating a white man was such a big deal to some of my close friends and family. I guess it was because I grew up within a “black community.” By this, I mean I went to a predominantly black high school and church and most, if not all of my friends, were black. Perhaps that’s why people were so thrown off by my choice.
In the early days, people were so interested in who I was dating, or not dating, that they would repeatedly ask me if I’d ever dated a black man before or if I was attracted to black men as a whole. I was often asked to name my favorite black actor, as if I had to prove I knew other options existed. I always found this to be a bit comical because my choice to date a white man wasn’t a conscious decision to slight black men because no good ones existed. I chose to date this person because we seemed to get along despite having nothing in common. And…he was CUTE! Still is!
We have been through our share of difficulties just like any other couple. I’ve even encountered several strangers who did not like the idea of me dating a white man. I’m not saying it was anything like us being stoned by the town hillbillies, but I do notice the occasional surprised stare. It’s probably more noticeable to me when I’m not in a well-mixed environment (i.e., I’m around a lot of white folks), but it has never gotten in the way of my relationship. In fact, it has made me realize that we have to really focus on the things in life that make us happy and I can say I certainly did!
Have you experienced any hostility because you’re in an interracial relationship? If so, what happened and how are you coping with it?