Real Life Story
Things Interracial Couples Are Tired Of Hearing
Topics: Starting Out,Getting Serious,Dating,Inter-racial
Alexander Perez and Kristen Hack have been together for four years. Photo: Courtesy of Alexander Perez and Kristen Hack
We asked an interracial couple about how they deal with microaggressions head-on.
Aspiring teacher Kristen Hack, 24, grew up with Serbian food and tradition. Her partner, graphic designer Alexander Perez, 26, grew up in a traditional Filipino household in Canada. The couple met while they were both working as counselors at a kids’ camp, teaching dance and art.
“From the beginning, we had everything in common and saw each other as the other half to a whole,” the couple said.
Being in an interracial relationship allows them to try new food, experience other traditions, and learn new cultures. Their families welcomed their partners with open arms. But they also quickly realized that many still hold on to misconceptions about couples like them.
“Of course there are some hardships we have needed to face together,” they said. “However, it has only made us stronger.”
Below, they share a few things they’re tired of hearing from other people about their relationship, and how they make their love win through it all.
“How did you get a white girl?”
It’s fetishized both ways, as if it’s a life game and goal for Filipino men to find white women. Some people play it off in a joking way, but in reality, it’s irritating and annoying to constantly hear things like “you won the lottery” or to be asked because people are curious, as if you were not good enough to begin with. It hurts.
“I thought you didn’t want to date a white person?”
This sounds awful, and saying you don’t want to date someone because of their skin color is racist and outright hurtful. What makes someone want to date someone should be their personality and connection with each other.
“Do you ever wonder what your babies are going to look like?” or “You guys are going to have good looking kids, mixed kids are always cute.”
It sounds like the only reason we care to be with each other is to see what our “mixed” child would look like. It doesn’t matter what our future children look like so long as they are healthy and happy with who they are. We overlook this and try our best to drive away from the subject by saying, “We don’t care as long as [they are] healthy.”
“Isn’t it weird dating someone outside your culture?”
As much as culture surrounds us, it doesn’t define us or who we are expected to be with. All over the world, people celebrate and believe in different things, but all cultures are beautiful to experience. When people ask us this, we tend to talk about embracing each other and allowing the other to experience the other’s culture, because when you bring two different people and cultures together, you equalize a celebration of both.
For Hack and Perez, love trumps all of these misconceptions.
“Being an interracial couple takes compassion, understanding, sacrifice, kindness, and, above all, true unconditional love,” they said.
“If you find this in someone, don’t let it go. It is a special thing. Instead, cultivate, grow, and trust it to lead you to where you are meant to be.”
Interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Source: Romano Santos, VICE
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