Interracial Couples Are Not Exotic

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My wife and I are an interracial couple.

We are not alone.  I know this because each week, the Multiracial Media website receives countless submissions of photos from other interracial couples (and their Multiracial families).

I also know it because of what census data tells us.

So, fine.  We’re an interracial couple.  “Big whoop,” as they say.

Well, to the “them” who are “they” I say it is a “big whoop.”  Until 1967 (just 50 years ago), interracial marriage was illegal in 17 states.  And, even after that was dispatched with by the landmark Supreme Court decision of Loving v. Virginia, interracial still was not commonplace.  Indeed, until very recently, seeing an interracial couple in movies or on tv was so uncommon that it would literally have people pointing and staring.  Now, it seems almost every day, we see an interracial couple in a movie or on tv or in a commercial.  In fact, being in an interracial couple is becoming positively ordinary.

But, not quite.

Interracial relationships are still not quite commonplace enough to go unnoticed.  Rather, it still is the case that when folks see an interracial couple, their first thought almost always is: “I wonder what’s up there” as if the members of the interracial couple aren’t together simply out of genuine affection for one another, but, instead, because of some weird fetishistic sensibilities.

In other words, people don’t believe that a Black person and a White person could be dating or married simply because they love each other.  No, they can only be together because they want to do that which is not allowed and taste the “forbidden fruits.”

Let me assure you as a member of an interracial marriage.  There’s nothing exotic about us, and there definitely are no fruits, forbidden or otherwise.  We’re just as boring as anyone and everyone else, and the only reason we got together and stayed together is that we love each enough to be together and not to kill each other or break up.

Do we know that we have skin colors that are different?  Sure, of course.  We have eyes, and we live in a reasonably well-lit apartment.  But we also are aware of myriad other differences between the two of us, including such mundane things like my wife doesn’t like spicy food and I do.  And, she likes forensic crime tv shows in a way that suggests she might be plotting an intricate and diabolical crime, and I, honestly, could live without yet another show about hard-bitten medical examiners, and DNA sampling, and guys who live in their mothers’ basements doing nefarious deeds by night.

So, yes, we know we are of different “races” but we also know that doesn’t matter at all, especially when compared to much more important issues in marriage, such as who gets to use the bathroom first in the morning.

Point is, we’re not exotic, if, for no other reason than “exotic” connotes sensuality and sexuality, and we’re a married couple which makes us about as far from sensual and sexual as one can possibly be.

On the other hand, if you want to go on believing that we’re “exotic” and, therefore” cool and mysterious, be my guest.  I love getting better service at restaurants when they think my wife is a R&B singer and I’m her agent.

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Published on: November 13, 2017

Filed Under: Voices of the Community

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