While I’m happily married to what I’ll say is a Caucasian man, you would never know that I wasn’t interested in dating him seriously. Why? Because he is white? Yes.
It’s embarrassing to admit. It makes me cringe internally every time I think about it. To think I almost rejected the greatest love of my life all because of something so insignificant. Let me explain why. I’m a proud Mexican-American woman. As a woman of color growing up in the United States, it has always been real to me that racism exists. It’s not something we have made up to help ourselves feel better. I really could have lived without the blatant and quiet racism I have experienced from children growing up and now as an adult from other adults.
Since all of my racism had been experienced from white people, I believe a part of me thought a white person could never understand my struggle as a Latina living in today’s society.
I would be the 1st person to say, “I could never marry a white guy!” Seriously. Bring on the internal cringe, again. Why would I say that? In my imagination, my dream marriage would have been with a fellow Mexican-American, Catholic, and someone who basically had the same life story as that of my own. We could connect and understand one another on every level; physically, spiritually, emotionally, politically, and mentally. I was convinced that my soulmate could be no one else other than a Mexican-American man. How could I be so wrong? I was. How could I be so close minded? I was.
As my husband and I started to date, I couldn’t stop myself from falling in love with him. If I could’ve I would’ve. He wasn’t my “ideal” person. He is everything no one else ever was and everything I never knew I was looking for. I tried to fight the idea of falling in love with him, but once I submitted to love, my entire life has changed and my heart opened like never before. I stopped to think: What if the shoe was on the other foot? What if he was discriminating against me because I am Latina? How would I feel about that? I would feel like garbage! Obviously, I got over it and let it go. Thank you, Jesus! Life has never been sweeter than it has been with him in my life.
The funny thing is I no longer look at my husband and think, this is my white husband, nor does he look at me and think this is my Mexican wife. We are simply husband and wife. I forget or it’s not on the forefront of my mind ever when I think of him or us together. It’s not usually until someone else brings it up, not ever in an offensive way, either. I think more people are interested in how we’ve been able to seamlessly tie our two families and cultures together.
While my husband may be considered white/Caucasian he has his own culture, as well. Which people of color tend to downplay the cultures of many white Americans. While many may not even know or understand where they come from, I married into a culturally proud German, French, and Hungarian family. I’ve learned new family traditions. I’ve learned new family recipes. I’ve learned a lot about world history. I’ve learned that love is universal and people of all colors are accepting and kind. I have never ever experienced a bit of racism or prejudice from anyone in my husband’s entire family. They have been completely loving and 100% accepting of me and my entire family from day 1.
At the end of the day, we’re two Midwest kids. We come from two loving parents, who wanted more for their children than what they had. Two families that understand and embrace the immigrant experience. Two middle class and working class families. Two families that fiercely and unapologetically love one another. Two families that believe in love, family, and God before everything else. Instead of focusing on our differences, that really don’t matter, we have consciously or subconsciously chosen to focus on what has brought us together. That is love, unconditional, soulful, colorblind love.
Are you in an interracial relationship or ever have been in one? How has your experience been?