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.
Don’t expect to win over families at your first meeting.
Long-standing attitudes and prejudices won’t be cast aside immediately just because you’re a great person.
Others will make it even more personal, questioning their child’s motives in picking a potential mate who looks nothing like them. ”) Try to determine what their actual objections to interracial relationships are so that you can carefully tackle the specifics head-on.
Even if your parents don’t come around, at least you’ll have people you can lean on who aren’t concerned about the non-matching skin tones.If you know of any outright opposition to the relationship, try to prep your date with any background information — understanding perspectives can help soften attitudes — that might explain why your parents feel the way they do.If your date doesn’t freely offer this information, ask specific questions that will best help prep you for your first encounter.You might be frustrated by their expectations, but they likely feel the same about your decisions.Be gentle, quick to forgive, and generous with your conversation. If your parents can’t get onboard with your interracial relationship, consider recruiting a bit of a support team.
It can be an intimidating experience, even when meeting the most accepting of families.