Happy MLK Day Everyone!
I've been thinking about writing this post for a while now and today seems like the perfect day to share it. On a day where we celebrate a man who devoted his life to equal treatment for African Americans; it's another opportunity for husband and I to celebrate our marriage.
Interracial marriage amongst "blacks and whites" was illegal until 1967. When you really think about it, that wasn't all that long ago. Even after being legalized, their was still a social stigma associated with interracial marriage. And to some degree, there still is. I actually get asked questions about it fairly often. Many people are sheepish about asking me, perhaps they are afraid of my reaction but I am an open book folks! If there's something you want to know, just ask. I think discussing and understanding our differences is what really helps us to grow. So on that note, I've decided to answer some of the questions that I get asked most!
How did your family react?
Tom is the only boyfriend that I have ever "brought home". I knew fairly early on in our relationship that he was the one. And my family reacted the way that they should...cautiously. Not because he was a white guy, but simply because he was a boy. But once they realized how happy he makes me and how well he treats me, they welcomed him with open arms. My father especially has quite an admiration for Tom. He cried at our wedding as Tom recited his vows to me. My grandmother thinks he's handsome, my mother thinks he's smart, and my nieces and nephews love playing with Uncle Tom. There are several generations in my family (myself included) who have had to contend with racial prejudice. But I was raised not to see color and never to judge a group of people based on the actions of a few.
How did his family react?
I have to be honest and say that I was terrified to meet Tom's family. As I've had the misfortune to learn firsthand, racism is still strong in this country and you just never know what you may encounter. But how could the people who were responsible for such an amazing man not be wonderful? I have the most amazing in-laws in the world. Thanks to all of the horror stories you hear, I never imagined having such an amazing relationship with my future in-laws: black or white. But they have been so welcoming...I'm tearing up right now just thinking about how amazingly supportive they have been; not just of our relationship, but of me as an individual. I love having another Mom and Dad.
Tom's grandparents were in their 90's when I met them. They lived during a different time, but they too accepted me without question. While his sweet Grandma gave me the warmest hug, Grandpa told me that I was too pretty to be dating their grandson.
This is not everyone's experience...so I'm extremely grateful that both of our families have been behind us from Day One.
Do people ever say anything to you in public?
Yes people do, but we have never received any negative comments. Tom has definitely been high fived by more then a few black guys while we walked down the street. And I certainly don't mind it when strangers come up to us to say that we are a beautiful couple and that we are going to have beautiful children (aren't mixed babies the cutest?)
What's it like to be in an Interracial Marriage?
Our marriage is no different than anyone else's. Tom and I don't see our different races as this big colossal thing between us. In fact, it rarely comes up at all and when it does, it's certainly never uncomfortable. But then again, I could never feel uncomfortable around Tom.
So that's our story.
If you have any questions of your own and don't feel comfortable commenting below-please feel free to email me at email@example.com