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Interracial vs Intraracial dating, loving and fucking: Part 3

When we talk about interracial dating in the new millennium, we are facing a new reality in America. In the above clip at UNC Chapel Hill, we see how youth feel about interracial dating. Unsurprisingly we find that many are open to interracial dating, except for the two black women Litesha and Ally.  Additionally, Si-on lm, an interviewee, admits that her parents would be concerned especially if her chosen partner was black.  Yet the prevailing feelings (or at least the director’s closing statements) were that the “deciding factor” should be about love between two people regardless of race.

Interracial dating (read: inter-human dating) (when and if) you so choose is the preferred reality for me (and possibly for many other young people).  I mean why not explore your options. This is not to suggest that intra-racial dating is passé (because it is very much still the norm), but it is to say that we are in a new period in history. It is now more so than ever a time to live life, explore options, cultures, the world and to celebrate our hard-won freedoms. To that end, the data is starting to reflect this new awareness of our freedoms to be happy with whomever we want (within reason).

 According to the PEW Research Center’s 2006 report, 22 percent of Americans have a relative in a mixed-race marriage. Moreover, the Population Reference Bureau reports that more than one-half of Americans have “interdated.”  A 2002 Gallup poll finds that “86 percent of people ages 18 to 29 approved of marriages between blacks and whites, but just 30 percent of those ages 65 and older approved of such marriages. A 1997 gallup national survey of people 13 to 19 – found that nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of black, Hispanic or Asian teens who had ever dated someone and who attended schools with students of more than one race said they had dated someone who was white.” Basically, the numbers are suggesting that interracial dating is growing increasingly acceptable for younger groups of people.   

Why wouldn’t it be with all of the hit shows cashing in on this modern day example of love conquering all particularly racial biases? Michael Russnow, Professor and screenwriter, wrote in the Huffington Post about interracial coupling on TV. He provides an extensive (but partial) list of shows across several Network channels. He makes a very interesting point that the Network channels might be exaggerating the number of inter-human relationships out there. However, to prove his point he looks at Census data regarding interracial marriage and folks’ shackin’ as opposed to interracial relationships/dating overall.  He (and the Network channels) both by and large neglect to talk specifically about LGBTQ “inter-human dating.”

  

 On Cable channels, we see the same pattern emerging, but with more interesting inter-human ‘interaction’.  For instance in 2004, the L-Word (one of my favorite shows of my early coming out years) changed the game for me in terms of inter-human dating. Inter-human partnering never looked so hot. I remember wanting to be Bette Porter. I wanted to be sleek, commanding and in charge in the office (and in the bedroom). Her partnership with Tina Kennard was passionate and sensual in a way that allowed me to celebrate same-sex couples having sex. At the time, it allowed me to take ownership of what I was creating in my own space in terms of dating and attraction.

If you (or I) find an individual that is outside of our race that fulfills our requirements, why not be open to that possibility?           

loving couple

Loving couple

What is the harm in being happy?   Still like Si-on lm and Ally the Korean and Black women at UNC, we do have to appreciate both self-held traditional values as well as ones imparted to us by our parents, but those values/traditions have to be brought into alignment with present realities.  Miscegenation is no longer illegal, and interracial marriage has been a constitutionally protected right since Loving vs. Virginia in 1967.