Above photo: Despite the normality of interracial couples, our differences are still questioned by others. What matters most is your happiness regardless of what others think. Brianna Rodriguez | The Crow’s Nest
By Brianna Rodriguez
When I met my boyfriend, I was struck by his smile, his intelligence and his character.
As a young adult in the 21st century, dating someone from a different background didn’t seem taboo. I grew up mostly in south Florida and had friends of all different backgrounds.
Dating someone of a different race or ethnicity never felt wrong to me. The idea of spending my life with someone who comes from a different background has never mattered to me.
Interracial couples are often represented in commercials, TV shows and movies. They are depicted as normal.
Despite how accepted interracial couples appear to be in the media, the first thing that my boyfriend and I noticed when we started dating was the constant stares.
Some would gaze at us in awe or tell us how cute we look, while others would look at us like we were a science experiment gone wrong.
In the short time that we have been together, our physical differences have been pointed out numerous times.
While his family accepted me with open arms, some of my family weren’t as tolerant. I didn’t realize that dating someone with a different background would cause some members of my family to look at me differently.
I felt as if I came out of the closet.
I remember reading a Huffington Post article a few months ago about the assumptions that people make about interracial couples, and it baffled me that people could have such thoughts.
When I began dating someone of a different background, I witnessed some of these assumptions firsthand.
The disapproval of some of my family has actually strengthened the bond between us. It led to questions of identity and race, questions that I never thought about. It also posed the question: who decided that racial differences were so important, and why?
A Timeline story called “Europeans invented the concept of race as we know it,” describes the legacy of interpreting skin color as a sign of worth.
The focus on racial lines was implemented by Europeans to distinguish themselves as superior to others, and bringing this ideology to the United States led to prejudice and racism.
A PBS story called “Origin of the Idea of Race” explains how race has more to do with social realities rather than physical variations. Color is only skin-deep, while the social implications that ethnicity carries are much heavier.
In reality, race is completely made up. It was imagined. We are all human. We may carry different DNA, but we all are created equal.
It shouldn’t matter who you love. What matters is if you and your partner are happy.