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Interracial Dating Series - MUST HAVE Apps to meet WHITE men

The celebrity world offers up plenty of examples. Actress Tika Sumpter, who is Black and engaged to a white man, tweeted that white people in relationships with Black people have a duty to fight racism on behalf of their partners. The landmark Supreme Court case Loving v. Virginia struck down state bans on interracial marriage in Now interracial relationships are growing in.

As of Every relationship, interracial or not, comes with its own issues. But now that so many more people are grappling with senseless killings of Black people and the legacy of racism in this country, interracial relationships—especially those involving Black and non-Black people—can feel more complex than ever.

Here, SELF spoke to three married interracial couples about what it feels like to love each other during this moment in history. Their responses have been edited and condensed for clarity. Lewis, 47, and Melissa, 41, have been married for 12 years and have two children. Lewis, an attorney, identifies as Black American, and Melissa, a former marketing director and current yoga instructor, identifies as Chinese American Cantonese. The two had a chance meeting in a clothing store in Philadelphia where Melissa was a sales associate.

Lewis: Nothing has changed in terms of our relationship. I think that the biggest impact has been explaining race issues to our. Melissa: By de, we have chosen to live, work, and raise our children in two very diverse cities where people tend to be less homogenous not only in terms of race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation but also in ways of thinking and living.

The biggest impact for us is balancing our innate duty as parents to protect and shield our children as much as possible with the equally important responsibility to educate them about the many harsh realities that exist today and that sadly have been perpetuated for far too long, especially in America.

For us, it is imperative for our children to be proud of who they are and where they came from. Do you think interracial relationships have made strides? Melissa: If not for the Loving decision, Lewis and I might not be married, and our beautiful children would not be here today. So, yes, in that regard I would like to think that strides have been made. I cannot believe that we actually live in a world where a law or person could forcibly tell me who I can and cannot love or marry.

Some days you can look back on history and see some strides that we have made, but then on far too many other days it sadly seems as if we have not moved forward even an inch toward equality and social justice for all. SELF: Have you ever experienced—especially at this critical time—negative reactions to your marriage because of your races?

We use these hurtful comments and experiences as teachable moments for our children. SELF: What are some of the cultural differences that you have noticed in your relationship? I am a third-generation Chinese American.

With each successive generation, some of my Chinese culture has become more diluted. To the extent that I can, we keep the traditions and celebrations that were important to my grandparents. We celebrate Chinese New Year and teach the kids how to make some traditional dishes.

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SELF: Marriage is tough. Do you think the added layer of race exacerbates marital issues? Melissa: I think that part of what initially attracted us to each other and what has sustained us through all of these years is our shared fundamental core values and the similar lenses through which we see the world. Yes, marriage is tough. But the challenges we deal with as a couple most often have more to do with the differences between our genders than the differences between our races—that is a completely different ball of wax.

SELF: What has been the most challenging aspect of your interracial relationship thus far? Those have been the most challenging moments for me. Lewis: Our kids are nine and seven. I would like to be more intentional about having them interact with Black people. I do make my son go to the barber, though. I wish there were more outlets like that.

Melissa: We have many ongoing conversations about race with our children and how that may impact them as they grow up.

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We are grateful that God made us that way. Lewis: I think about my son and how he is going to be viewed. The second thing that I have thought about in these times is that as an attorney, I feel like I have a responsibility to do something from a legal perspective. I feel like I need to pick up a pro bono matter related to criminal justice or police brutality and use that as a way to educate them about certain issues. If anything, our interracial bond makes us and our family unique.

We view ourselves as husband and wife.

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Others should view us no differently. Darrell, 40, and Emmanuel, 35, have been married for eight months. Darrell, a tech executive, identifies as Black. Emmanuel, a clinical therapist, identifies as Mexican. They like to say they met the old-fashion way: in the gym. Darrell: It has brought about much-needed conversations in our house. I was in shock, angry, numb, and frustrated. Emmanuel understood I was upset, but we had to have some conversations for him to understand the full gravity of what was behind my emotions.

So in the end, I believe it actually brought us closer. Darrell: I would like to say that interracial relationships have made strides, but I also can admit that I have only lived in mostly liberal metropolitan cities my entire adult life—New York and Los Angeles—which can provide a false sense of how the world views interracial relationships. Even so, this representation is limited in my opinion.

Fear and misunderstanding come from ignorance, so the more society can see that love between two people is just as valid and beautiful when it exists people from different backgrounds, the more people will be open to the idea. One issue we recently faced happened with the purchase of our first home. Being in an interracial gay relationship, we questioned the neighborhoods we were looking to buy in to ensure that it would be safe and comfortable not only for us, but also for our friends and family who visited. It was a new feeling for both of us. Darrell: My family is having a hard time coming to terms with it all.

They are extremely religious and traditional, so when I came out, it definitely took a toll on our relationship, and is still ongoing. Emmanuel: Fortunately, I have not experienced any negative reactions to our marriage. How do you navigate them?

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It only solidified our commitment to each other. Darrell: The most challenging thing for me, at times, is learning how to properly articulate some of the struggles I have as a Black man in this country. Emmanuel: I was very aware of the oppression of Black people in our country, but I never had a personal connection to the actual experience until I started dating Darrell. It was really eye-opening to understand some of the daily struggles he experiences. It does take some time for me to process everything. Why or why not? Darrell: No. I think I had more fears about simply marrying a man just given some of the hardships from my family.

Darrell: There are times, especially when we travel outside of our bubble in Los Angeles, that we are reminded of our differences. The stares and disregard of my humanity occur more often than not when we travel.

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Have you all had conversations about race as it relates to kids and if your cultures play into how you would raise your children? Darrell: We constantly talk about how we would raise our kids, especially if they are Black or brown. Emmanuel has a strong connection to his Mexican heritage, culture, and traditions, and we would definitely want to ensure that it is represented in the rearing of our children. Emmanuel: It is very rewarding to be able to expand and expose yourself to a different culture and being, be it positive or negative. But being in a gay interracial relationship is just as normal as any other relationship.

Jordan, 42, and Alina, 41, have been married for nearly 13 years and have two children. Jordan, a comedian and television writer, identifies as African American, and Alina, a professor of education, identifies as white, of Jewish and Scottish-Irish descent. Jordan: I feel like she has a lot of guilt and needs to apologize to me daily. I think I have the upper hand.

Alina grew up demographically more culturally enriched than I did. She was one of the only white children in her grammar school. I really think that diversity offers a certain kind of intellect. Like all relationships, we need to communicate, be able to disagree, and have shared values, particularly around raising our. There is then the added layer of us communicating across our distinct cultures and experiences. I do think class is a powerful shaper of worldview as well, and we happen to share a middle-class background, which I think le to us having certain shared experiences and values despite having different races.

Jordan: I do think interracial relationships have definitely made strides. It goes from it being acknowledged by the highest court in the land to where it is now. Our neighbors are an interracial couple. You should have these honest talks within an interracial relationship if you want it to last. But we are very careful about the places we go to. We go to major cities and places where you expect a little more open-mindedness.

Growing up in Texas, I have a Spidey sense, a tingle where I can tell what a situation is. I know how to take white people in every one of their moods.

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