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13 February, 2006

Color Blind

D. is white and I'm Asian. We hardly think about it, yet barely four decades ago, we couldn't legally marry.

Of course, the country is more openminded about interracial relationships today. I'm proud to call California home; it was the first state to legalize interracial marriage and recognize both our right to marry whom we choose and our right to equal protection under the law. I move in intelligent, multi-cultural circles which recognize and appreciate diversity. However, there are still pockets of resistance and resentment because certain stereotypes persist.

Some still think Asians like me who date/marry outside of our race are sellouts, ashamed of our ethnicity and suffering from self loathing or colonial mentality. In private, they call us "bananas" or "twinkies" [yellow on the outside, white on the inside], "coconuts" [brown on the outside, white on the inside] or even "whiggies" [white groupies].

Others assume, by virtue of my features and racial origin, that I'm the stereotypical subservient Asian woman eager to please and defer to my partner. This would've been funny if it wasn't so off the mark. In spite of my traditional Catholic upbringing, my parents encouraged independent thinking and self pride; I'm definitely not lacking in either one.

D. is not safe from unfair judgment either. There are people who assume he has a need to be dominant in relationships or that he has an aberrant attraction to Asian women.

Whatever the misconception, it's offensive to us both.

The bottom line is, compatibility, affection and mutual respect trumps color. I don't care if someone is white, black, yellow, brown or pink with polka dots. D. feels the same way and frankly, it's high time the rest of the world stop the nonsense and feel the same way, too.

posted at 5:46 PM by City Muse


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