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  • Writer's pictureHeather Dirckze

Love Isn't Black and White


I met my partner 3 years ago and basically fell in love on our first date. He’d just gotten to Canada from The Bahamas to attend school, and now that he’s finished, I’ve somehow managed to keep him here, much to my delight. The past few years have been amazing getting to know him and his culture, and I’ve even visited his home in The Bahamas. I, myself, am genetically half Sri Lankan but, unless I’ve been sitting in the sun for a few hours, you would never guess it. My complexion is fairer, taking more of my mom’s side which is quite pale. My partner and I are basically complete opposites when it comes to our mix of skin colours (me being white and brown and him being black).



There are definitely difficult things about being in an interracial relationship. For starters, it’s so difficult to get the lighting right when taking a selfie. Click on my face and he’s too dark. Click on his face and I become a ghost. Sometimes I don’t understand some of the slang he uses or the jokes or videos he finds hilarious. We cook food differently - I rarely use spices and he couldn’t live without them. And yes, people look at us.


Luckily, both my partner and I are somewhat naive to the world and people around us. In fact, when I brought this up with him, he had no idea people stare at us. On top of that, we just don’t really care about what other people think about our relationship. But when a group of black women is staring at you with disgusted looks on their faces, it’s hard to not let it ruin your day.


And I get it. I really do. I recognize the oppression that coloured people have to go through on a daily basis. I can hypothetically imagine the feeling of betrayal when someone from a minority race is in a relationship with a white person. As a white woman, I will never understand what it’s like to be black. All I understand is that I love this man with every fiber of my being and I will support him and stand up for him no matter what. To me, anyone who looks at us and thinks “he should be with a black woman” is shallow and inconsiderate and completely disregarding the human experience of love. In my head, I’m not trying to replace the struggles of the black community or take him away from that, but rather stand alongside him.



Throughout history, the human race has created power dynamics that make people believe others are the enemy. When race becomes an issue in relationships, those power dynamics are repeatedly introduced rather than contributing to their erosion. Like I said, my partner and I are slightly oblivious to those around us most of the time, but we have also been very fortunate that all the people that matter to us don’t care what race the other is. My partner and I completely disregard societal norms to do with race and gender and when we do that we are able to love each other’s souls in the most complete way. And isn’t that what we’re all trying to achieve when we strive for equality?


It can be hard, but at the same time, I love almost every part of being in an interracial relationship. I love getting to learn about his culture. I love our little arguments about whether mac n cheese is a main dish or a side (it’s a main). I love joking that his dark skin will keep me warm at night because it retains more heat. I prefer not to say that I’d love him no matter what colour he is, but rather that the colour of his skin is part of my love for him because it’s part of who he is. And while it isn’t a part of who I am, it could potentially be a part of my children one day, who will be a part of me.


We are all living on the same planet and regardless of where we are from, and the differences in the struggles we go through, it is important to love each other, be open, be accepting, and understand that we are all in this together.


Heather


*This post is based solely on my own experiences and beliefs and not those of other people.

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