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 incidentals like skin color into account only peripherally.
Interracial dating was a no brainer for me, and as soon as I was of age, I became an equal opportunity dater, hooking up with whomever I took a fancy to (and I was very picky), 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 country boy, a blond haired, blue-eyed cutie with a slight drawl and a good nature, who was raised in a traditional Southern home -
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, was particularly drawn to their shape and what he lovingly refers to as a fiery, sassy attitude.
Despite this, he pursued cheerleader type blonds, but never felt satisfied in his relationships with them.
Then one 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. Example, many of my white boyfriends were surprised to learn I enjoyed sci fi, listened to rock music and could quote Nietzsche.
Why the surprise? I am the product of the land in which I grew up. A dark skinned person who is raised in China would adopt the ways of the Chinese. Skin color wouldn’t dictate whether or not the person would speak the language or assume the customs-education would.
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, to like what one likes, without apology. The world will soon catch up to this idea, in the interim, me, my hubby and those like us will continue to move forward.