this has been the question of my lifetime, but also what i've been most reluctant to talk about. it's very shame based for me. i've learned that when i have a feeling like that, i'm probably not as alone as i think. so i'm putting it out there.
who am i supposed to date?
i understand that the question in itself is flawed. i can date whoever i want, and i have. but there's this extra element for me as a biracial woman. choosing (for me) black or white becomes a question of loyalty, allegiance, and consequently rejection of the other side.
in the past, my typical choice was white men. i was socialized into a white family, it seemed easier. but to be completely honest, these flings never really went anywhere. in my heart there was a twinge of attributing this lack of follow-through to my race, but i always pushed that away because all my life i have flat out refused to be disregarded because of my race. so i wouldn't let the idea into my mind.
recently, a good friend of mine (white woman) told me in a loving way that she always thought my dating problems were because i was mixed and that white men wouldn't really take a black woman seriously, that she's not an actual option. especially corporate white men. now, i've never been looking for a corporate white man, but that still stung. and made me sad.
over the past few years of identity exploration, i have broadened my horizons through some racial healing. i have done some healing on what i learned as a child about black people - that they would always reject me and ridicule me for not being black enough. white people - even if they couldn't empathize with me on life experience, even if they considered my "not like other black people," - at least they were more likely to accept me as an individual. this is what my child mind learned. this is what my adult mind had to heal.
i am an individual. but more and more important to me is my experience as a biracial woman. i am an individual having a mixed-race experience. my experience needed some balancing, and i'm proud of the work i have done to forgive the black kids (who became all black adults) for rejecting me on the playground.
my mixed-race experience very much affects dating and relationships.
in a relationship, i want to be understood and loved. but i guess i still believe deep down that no one can truly understand this experience if they haven't lived it. i guess my deepest terrified fear is that in a moment of anger and loss of control, a black or white man will make a comment that holds the other side against me. a white man will make an ignorant comment (it happened - old boyfriend tried to wake me up on valentines day by saying, "wake up, my negro!" up until that point he had been a rational human being), or a black man will throw my white side in my face (it happened - after i tried to politely break it off with the last guy i dated, he flew off the handle and told me to "go suck another white d**k!!" again - mild mannered rational human being up until this point).
i know, i know, everyone has their ignorance and their ass. mixed-race people are far from immune to being ignorant and racist. but like i said, those are my worst fears. still. i've come to a place where i'm focusing energy on what i want, and to me it's very important to find someone who really understands me. in getting to know a biracial male coworker, my eyes began to open. what i really want, what i've always wanted, was to date a biracial man. doesn't even have to be my same mix, but somebody who gets it.
if i'm honest, the reason i never actively wanted that before was because of my biases against mixed people, sadly. i knew myself, i knew my biases. i watched the mixed-race people i grew up with, and i saw that they mainly chose a side. they identified black and learned how to do it, or they identified white and put their blackness aside. and of the mixed guys i saw, they typically dated white women anyway. or sometimes black women. but i didn't see a lot of mixed people together. which is so ironic to me.
but like i said, racial healing. forgiveness. working through my own stereotypes and prejudice and becoming more comfortable with me. that's what it's really all about. i'm not an anomoly to black people, they know about mixed kids who grew up with their white parents. and i'm not chasing after white approval anymore, working tirelessly to convince white people that i'm not a stereotype and i'm not scary. i'm getting comfortable with me, all of me.
so now... to date...
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