“I wonder if you’ve addressed the interracial-couple dilemma: the questions, side glances, comments (‘You’re such a cute couple’), etc. I’m a black woman and have been with my boyfriend for five years. While I’ve inoculated myself against the stares and comments, I still struggle with the knowledge that our skin is all some people see. This has influenced where we eat and choose to live.
“Of course we didn’t enter into a relationship to make a statement, but that’s all we invite. Since the ‘problem group’ are strangers, how do we address this?” —Mixed Feelings
Scandal and its interracially dating (or affair-having, but whatever) protagonists may dominate Thursday-night television, Lupita may possibly have something going on with Jared Leto and New York City’s first family may be on “Team Swirl,” but alas, none of that means people aren’t going to look at you and your boyfriend. A lot. And say weird stuff. A lot.
“As much as we hear that interracial couples have become more common and are acceptable, people like to pretend that they don’t get stared at and get extra attention, but they do,” says Erica Chito Childs, associate professor of sociology at Hunter College and author of Navigating Interracial Borders: Black-White Couples and Their Social Worlds.
Plus, she adds, interracial couples, from a sociological perspective, are still considered “deviant.” The result? “The standards of behavior and etiquette when it comes to interacting with them can really often go out the window,” Childs says. Given that, we came up with a list of tips for how you can make the “interracial-couple dilemma” less of a dilemma.