Panda

I’m in an interracial relationship with a woman. She’s pretty incredible, smart, makes me laugh, and takes care of me, always. Last week marked one year together and I kept saying that I was going to write a post about our discussions on race and it never got done. Now, this week being the week we are moving in together, I finally decided to make moves. Literally.
Since the first weekend we met, we were open to talking about race with each other which I think is important for any interracial couple because our experiences are different. There are also sensitivities that even I took for granted.
We were at the Washington, D.C. Zoo looking at the pandas in our first month of dating. I pointed at one of the pandas and said,
‘look honey, it’s us!’

She just walked away. I was trying to be funny which is ironic because I don’t particularly like humor at the expense of people or social justice topics. I remember her asking, ‘why would you say that?’ I didn’t have a good answer, but I did know that I have never wanted for my comments to make someone uncomfortable.

Since then we’ve had conversations on her experience being black in America, the n-word, especially how we would handle it if someone called our child that, black hair, among other topics. We know we are different and we are willing to hear each other and ask questions. Her first question, on our first date, was ‘have you dated outside your race before?’ ‘Yes.’ She nodded.

We see the news, we know what is happening in the world but living in New York we’ve been lucky enough not to experience any severe microagressions directed towards us. Sure there have been looks, but mostly we’ve been told we’re a cute couple.

Another cute couple ran into a friend of mine in the park who is also in an interracial relationship and told him about a project she is doing. Her parents aren’t happy that she is marrying a black man and are refusing to come to the wedding. Below are her questions that we filled out. I think my responses fully express how much race doesn’t matter to me when it comes to the person I love.

How would you describe your relationship? How do you and your partner make each other feel?

Kem – “Everything I’ve ever wanted. She takes care of me when I’m sick, always listens, I can trust her with anything. We both have the same relationship goals and we know where we want this to go.”
Geena – “She is what I deserve. After dating two handfuls of people (of all different ethnicities) who treated me less than I am worth, and allowing it, I finally have someone who treats me with respect, kindness, and overwhelming love.”

 

What would you and your partner say to me and Joe?

Kem – “I like what you’re doing with your project. I have a mom who doesn’t understand me being gay.”
Geena – “I admire your power of connection to learn about other couples and to stay connected to your family. It is a beautiful project. As two women in an interracial relationship I can only say that we relate.”

 

What would you and your partner say to my parents?

Kem – “Your daughter is the same daughter that you raised her to be. Who she is engaged to won’t change that.”
Geena – “Love is love is love. Love does not see color. I believe that love is the purest and only form of magic we have, don’t deny your daughter that.”
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