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.
Sometimes I don’t want to chat with someone who only has a theoretical understanding of gender oppression.
Sometimes I want to talk to someone who just gets it.
The one thing I didn’t really understand was how it would play out between us. I wrote about how I’d desensitized myself to a lot of casual racism in my life as a survival tactic. Then I wrote about retuning myself to hear the anti-Blackness in my relationship, and subsequently having to address it with my white spouse before we ruined our marriage. I read about the white person’s bravery and their struggle. Just yesterday I read a blog about an interracial family. Then we hold up a mirror so that we can see ourselves, together, because honesty and accountability are everything.
I’m lucky because even though it’s hard for him, he admits his racism and actively works to dismantle it. He accepts that there were things he supported in the past that were disgusting. When I read the blogs of other interracial couples, I rarely hear about the ugly. I also liked the shout out to Darrien Hunt, the young Black man who was murdered for cosplaying with an ornamental sword. How scared white people kill Black people asking for help. I wonder if he questions himself when he hears her dismiss the hundreds of laws that explicitly forbade Black people from accessing the same benefits as white people. It was more than I would do now; my patience was in a different place then, but it’s less than other people think it should be, as evidenced by every person asking if Kevin is okay with my essays. He supports what I do and accepts that sometimes my writing will be about our relationship.
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.
So, whether you’re years deep in a charmingly fairy tale-esque romance with your beau or you’re just now firing up to dive into your first, here are seven things to remember as a white person involved with a person of color.
Furthermore, if a white man only dated white women, no one would look twice.
If a white man only dates Asian women, though, everyone seems to assume he is a ‘creep.’ That’s not fair.
Although they do in fact exist, not all interracial relationships are fetishes.
Sometimes you fall for someone for more than their skin colour and it's not an intense fascination at all, it's simply because you love them.
Sometimes the reactions my partner and I get are just plain annoying; other times, people say some seriously hurtful things that make us feel like we don't belong together.