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8 Questions Interracial Couples Are Tired of Hearing

As the "white" half of a Japanese-American couple, I noticed some of the same questions keep popping up again and again.
 
 
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Dating is tricky -- even more so when you don't follow the cookie-cutter mold of what a relationship  should look like. Less than 50 years ago, interracial marriage was illegal in the United States and even when the anti-miscegenation laws were deemed illegal by the Supreme Court in 1967, interracial couples were harassed and discriminated against for decades. 

Now we live in a new, global era with more tolerance and understanding for couples that exist outside the "norms" for relationships... yet many interracial couples still attract stares. As the "white" half of a Japanese-American couple, I noticed some of the same questions keep popping up again and again. 

After a quick chat with some other interracial couples, I realized my experiences were not unique. These are eight seemingly innocent questions that have deeper, darker implications for interracial couples.

1. How does your family feel about your partner's race?
Do you want the long version or the short version? Race is surprisingly difficult to talk about -- you can't just ask an interracial couple about their family's reaction to the race of their partner and expect a single-sentence answer.

If you seriously want to know the struggles interracial couples go through, you can go ahead and ask this question. If you're simply asking for formality (or because it is the first thing you can think of), skip this question.

2. You're dating a [insert race or ethnicity]? Aren't you worried about [insert country/ethnic stereotype here]?
Here's the thing about stereotypes: they are usually offensive and misplaced. Not all African-American men end up in jail; not all Japanese men are emotionally unavailable; not all Mexican men cheat on their spouses; not all white women are loose; not all Arabic women are docile. The Internet is full of all sorts of untrue stereotypes that are passed off as "facts."

Don't ask me if my Japanese fiancé is a work-a-holic with a small penis who loves to drink sake, kill whales and pressure his wife (me) to do housework all day. 
Answer: No

3. Wouldn't it be easier to just date your own race?
I understand the intentions behind this question are pure, but it always comes off a bit racist. By only dating white men, I would be cutting out a whole group of viable dating candidates.

Answer: Dating (and deciding to marry) someone outside my culture was one of the best decisions I ever made.

4. But think of the children! Aren't you worried they will be bullied?
In this day and age where divorce is becoming the norm, I'm more worried about making it to our 10-year anniversary than whether or not my possible future children will get bullied because of their mixed heritage.

Of course I'm worried about racism. I grew up all over the globe (Texas, Ghana, Japan) and saw racism in all sorts of forms. Sometimes I was the recipient; sometimes I was not.

Answer: I would rather my hypothetical children grow up as interesting, deep and charismatic bi-racial children in a loving home than to be just another statistic.

5. Do you  only date [insert ethnic group]?
There is no way to ask about someone's dating "fetishes" and not come off as rude. No, I do not have "Yellow fever" (inappropriate slang for someone who is only attracted to someone of an Asian diaspora), "Jungle fever" (likewise for dating people of an African diaspora) or any other fetishes you can think of. Furthermore, even if I did have a preference toward a specific race, I am free to love whomever I want..

 
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