All it took was one semester for me to breakup with my high school boyfriend and fall completely in love with a guy from my dorm. I called my mother up to tell her about my new boyfriend, and nervously came clean with the statement “I’m Seeing Someone New And He’s Black!” Though I knew my parents wouldn’t care, wouldn’t forbid be from seeing him, or treat him differently than my past boyfriends, the fact that I felt the need to admit he was black, as if it were a crime is absurd.In Rochester everyone appeared to me as clones, walking down school halls clad in American Eagle apparel with Aroma Joe’s coffee cups in hand, but at TU everything clicked.
How many times had I said “Mom, I met this guy, he’s white”?No matter how anxious I was to tell my family about my boyfriend, I felt proud of my interracial relationship, like we were the result of the world uniting and becoming a better place.Where friends from home had laughed in my face, believing my taste in guys had somehow done a 180 as a result of moving to the city, black guys I currently went to school with were intrigued.I began receiving attention from darker skinned guys, one even proclaiming with a wink that he had “never had a white girl before” as if conquering a white girl is some badge of honor or just something to check off a list.They seemed to be intimidated by my dozens of Facebook pictures with darker men, causing them to run before they even got to know me.
“They’re riddled with sexually transmitted diseases” one ignorant guy messaged me on Tinder after seeing a single picture of me with black guys on my profile.
I felt a certain pride in hanging out with people who were Dominican, Indonesian, Laos, Filipino, Hispanic, etc. My parents taught me good morals, like not judging others by their appearance, though I did have to keep my jaw clenched when I visited relatives.
They would ask me about the “colored kids” at my job as a camp counselor and spoke the word “bi-racial” in hushed tones, as if it were something to be ashamed of.
” I became known as that girl who was only interested in dark men and suddenly, the body that took me years to become comfortable with became one I was questioning again.
“You have no a**, Erica” one guy commented at one of these parties as LL Cool J’s “Big Ole Butt” blasted through speakers, while another told me he was willing to deal with my lack of a chest because I had “an a** like a dancer.” Many of the songs on the radio by black artists seemed to put emphasis on parts of the body that I was lacking.
He showed me new music, food, and gave me a new perspective to consider.