I grew up in an extremely non-traditional household, raised by a gay father who befriended a diverse group of people from various cultural backgrounds. Because of this, I was able to view human beings as individuals, taking things like skin color into account only peripherally.
Interracial dating was a no brainer and as soon as I was of age, I became an equal opportunity dater, hooking up with whomever I took a fancy to no matter his race.
In a less than tolerant world, my dating choices raised a few eyebrows, especially considering the fact that I grew up in the South, where dating anyone other than your “own kind” was an admission of self-loathing and treason.
I didn’t let such attitudes deter me and continued to date people from all walks of life, a fact that fostered an openness that has greatly enriched my worldview.
My husband, on the other hand, wasn’t as lucky.
He was a blond haired, blue-eyed country boy with a slight drawl and a good nature. In his neck of the words, interracial dating was practically unheard of and dating “black” was considered a step down.
Nonetheless, he was intensely attracted to black women.
Despite this, he pursued cheerleader type blonds although never felt satisfied in his relationships with them.
One fateful day, he had an epiphany.
He realized that he didn’t have to apologize for his likes and dislikes and that he was only hurting himself by denying his true passions. This enabled him to no longer fear the stigma of dating “outside his race.”
Luckily for me, he took the plunge and never looked back.
Many people are where my husband was, afraid to rock the proverbial boat, even coming up with handy barriers, like cultural differences.
In the modern age, more and more blacks and minorities are starting to embrace the pervasive culture that they were born into. Boundaries that were once in place are breaking down. For instance, many of my white ex-boyfriends were surprised to learn I enjoy sci-fi, listen to rock music and quote Nietzsche.
Why the surprise? I am the product of the land in which I grew up. A dark skinned person raised in China would adopt the ways of the Chinese. Skin color wouldn’t dictate whether or not a person spoke a certain language or dictate interests.
Cultural differences are fast becoming non-existent and therefore, no longer an excuse.
Simply put, interracial dating is about choices, the choice to be attracted to a person for any number of reasons, without apology. The world will soon catch up to this idea, in the interim, my hubby and those like us will continue to move forward in dignity and love.