Tuesday, January 25, 2011

On Being...In An Interracial Relationship

I'm a firm believer in love being colored blind. True love is formed from within the heart. I've had the greatest pleasure of talking to Rebekah of Life With Kaishon and my daughter, Ev'Yan of apricot-tea about their special relationship with their husbands and most of all On Being..In An Interracial Relationship. I hope you enjoy it just as much as I have.


Becky and Gary



Jonathan and Ev'Yan

1) How did you meet your husband?

Rebekah:

I was working as a social worker and my co worker asked if I would be interested in a blind date with her brother. I said 'yes.' She did wonder if I minded he was black. I told her that was CRAZY. I actually preferred to date black men even though I had never done so before.

Ev'Yan:

Jonathan & I met on Myspace of all places. I saw his profile, thought he was charming, told him so, & within a few days we had our first date. We've been inseparable ever since.

2) Before meeting and marrying your husband, did you date guys of other nationalities?

Rebekah:

Neither of us had. I always wanted to and so did he. I was always fascinated with the black culture. The Cosby show did that to me.

Ev'Yan:

I dated guys from several races. I never discriminated; I only went out with people that seemingly had great chemistry with me.

3) Were there any objections from family or friends as far as dating someone outside of your race?

Rebekah:

No. Both of our families were excited for us and didn't mind. My Mom was just thrilled to pieces that I might get married and move out of her house : ) She was tired of me living there. Now, my Daddy, on the other hand- he would have let Kaishon and I stay forever!

Ev'Yan:

My family have always been very supportive of the guys I brought in to meet them. The only time they were ever especially hard on someone was because of their character, not the color of their skin. I'm very fortunate to have such open-minded & loving parents (& a sister!). Friends were a little trickier. A lot of them had preconceived notions of who THEY thought I should be with, so if I mentioned that I was "seeing" so-&-so, they would get slightly pretentious & hung up on the fact of who he was, rather than how he made me feel. None of my friends were particularly closed to my dating outside of my race, but they for some reason continued to set me up with black guys only.

4) What have you found to be the most challenging in being in an interracial relationship?

Rebekah:

We really haven't had any issues at all. People seem to treat us kindly wherever we go. I think that is because we are both nice people and we treat people nicely. In the beginning I assumed people would have issues but they never did.

Ev'Yan:

No challenges have been presented to Jonathan & I because of our being in an interracial relationship. (Not yet, at least.) The challenges that we've had in our relationship are standard ones: trust, communication, honesty, letting down walls. We've never had any problems with the fact that he is white & I am black. I realize that I am quite lucky in this sense.

5) When you're out in the public together, have you ever encountered any reactions, negative or positive?

Rebekah:

We never had any issues.

Ev'Yan:

When we first started dating, Jonathan got some rather nasty stares from black men, & I from black women. We still do sometimes, & I find this kind of odd. You'd think we'd get it from all races (white especially). But it's usually black people that seem to give us the most sideways glances. We've never let it bother us. We kind of just laugh it off. Other races don't pay us much attention.

6) What do you love the most about your man?

Rebekah:

There are so many great things about him. It is hard to pick one favorite thing. I love that he cares so deeply about Kaishon. That is the most beautiful thing in the world to me! Can I say a few more great things about him? He is very kind. He will help people whenever he can. He is a great singer. He is shy and doesn't talk a lot. He laughs all the time. He gives all that he can for our family. He works 7 days a week. He is a very good man. I pray that Kaishon will grow up to be good and kind like Gary. I also pray that Kaishon will go to college so he never has to work 7 days a week unless he wants to.

Ev'Yan:

I love his sense of humor. I love his unadulterated kindness. I love his wisdom that goes well beyond his 25 years. I love his tenacity, his courage to move past limitations, his ability to make friends with just about anyone. I especially love how romantic & sensual he is. Having been raised with 4 sisters, he's beautifully in touch with his feminine side (& this is a very good thing!). There is truly no one like him.

7) Have you had to blend any of your differences to make your relationship work and if so, what were those differences?

Rebekah:

I was surprised when we got married how hard marriage is. I don't think it is because of our skin color though. It is so hard to put another person before you constantly. It has been difficult to learn how to make our marriage work.

Ev'Yan:

We've blended our cultural differences but not because we had to make our relationship work. One thing that Jonathan & I firmly believe in is not perpetuating "racism" & the scare-mongering that comes from that. When I look at him, I do not see a white man. I see a human being I am deeply in love with (& he in turn sees a human being he is deeply in love with). Yes, there are differences amongst us -- namely, he is a man & I am woman. (Haha!) But... we feel that to point out & severely analyze our cultural differences maintains the thought process that our union is unnatural, grueling, & difficult to manage. But really, our relationship is no different from any others. Which isn't to say that we are 100% blind to the fact that we are different people of different races; we do realize this. We just don't make it a big deal; we don't see what all the fuss is about & therefore it keeps it in perspective for us.

8) Were/Are there fears in having children? If so, what are/were they?

Rebekah:

We don't have any fears about it. Well, Gary fears having children in general : ) I don't think he is worried about them being mixed. I feel badly for Kaishon because we live in a mostly white area so Kaishon told me he always feels different. We don't want to move into the city because of the schools. I fear we need to have children soon because we are getting so old. Gary always worries about money. I say, 'Does anyone ever have enough money for kids?' We just have to have some : ) and soon! Maybe I will have a different answer when we do have some. I hope not though. I hope they grow up knowing that each person in the world is special and wonderful no matter what color their skin is!

Ev'Yan:

We don't really have any fears about having children. Maybe it's because we're not really sure we even WANT children. Regardless, the apprehensions we do have have little to nothing to do with our "children" being mixed.

9) Are there traditions that have evolved as a result of your interracial relationship? If yes, what are they?

Rebekah:

None at all. I wish I was more exciting for you : )
.
Ev'Yan:

I've exposed Jonathan to a lot of things that encompass black culture; namely, food (the way to a man's heart!). He loves soul food -- greens & cornbread, especially. He loves grits, too; it's becoming a permanent fixture in our house to have them for breakfast. The things I introduce to him are the things that my mom brought me up on. So it's just comes naturally. As for Jonathan... he hasn't really introduced me to new traditions involved in his culture. Maybe because his family wasn't all that traditional. But he has taught me so much about other things, things that surpass racial "habits."

10) What is the funniest story you can share about your interracial relationship?

Rebekah:

Gary and I laugh about how different the Baptist Church I grew up in and the Baptist Church he grew up in are. My church didn't believe in dancing or secular music or girls wearing pants. Gary's church fully supported dancing. They danced AT church. Gary grew up singing all sorts of songs. His Mom and sister wore pants all the time. I love that we both grew up believing in Jesus. None of that other stuff matters. I laugh when people make a big deal about things that are inconsequential like that. Life is too short.

Ev'Yan:

I can't think of a story that relates specifically to that. Funny things happen to us all the time, but they have absolutely nothing to do with our interracial relationship.

Please feel free to add your thoughts and anything else you would like others to know.

Rebekah:

I wish I had something profound or interesting to add. We truly haven't had any bad experiences because of our color differences. I think so much of that is due to the fact that we got married in a time where skin color doesn't seem to matter that much. At least in this area, we blend in nicely. There aren't any other mixed couples in our neighborhood but we don't stick out. At least not because of our skin colors. We might stick out because we have one of the loudest houses. There are always neighbor kids playing in our house. I love it!
Our neighborhood is awesome because we have people from Bangladesh, India, France, Colombia, Germany and Poland all dwelling here. It is a perfect blend. There aren't too many African American families here, but there are some. We love all the neighbors. We are abundantly thankful for the life we have.

Thank you so much for taking time out to talk with me about the love of your lives. I look forward to following you on your never ending adventure in this thing called LOVE.

26 comments:

Buckeroomama said...

Oh, Simone -- I SO enjoyed reading this!

LOL, and I love the fact that Becky is on the other side of an interview. :)

Nezzy said...

What lovely couples who seem to have truly made their relationship work. I too believe that love is colorblind. If we truly believe the Bible...we are all brothers and sisters anyway.

I so enjoyed readin' this beautifully written post Simone and meeting these two lovely couples.

God bless you day girl!!! :o)

Sharon said...

Oh yes, it was great to see Becky on the other side of the interview! Great couples. Loved reading about both.

allisonhoffman said...

It's so nice to see Becky as the "interviewee." It's encouraging to hear that both women are experiencing a different America than existed a few decades ago!

Kathy said...

I was glad to see how positive this world has been for the couples. My middle daughter is in an interracial relationship too. It's only been a few months and so far, "he's the best boyfriend ever". All I ask is that he love her as much as I do. And, I'm sure his mother feels the same way. :) That's what matters, right?

Mari said...

I loved this! It's so great to hear from both couples that race hasn't really been a problem, because that means we've made progress!
I know several interracial couples who say they have had no trouble because of it.
I love Becky and it was nice to see her interviewed.
Your daughter is gorgeous!

Life with Kaishon said...

It was fun to be interviewed! Thanks Simone. I agree with Mari. Your daughter is gorgeous. She looks like Halle Barry!

Joanna Jenkins said...

Hey Simone, GREAT interviews-- Thanks to all for taking the time to share so much with us. I learned more about both woman and you as a mom for raising such an awesome daughter.

I have one question for you-- Ev'Yan is such a unique name. Does it have a family history behind it?

Cheers, jj

Ⓙ @ $ € € ₦$ ₣®0₥... said...

What a GREAT post, Simone! Love IS color blind. If the world population would realize we're all the same, what a different place it would be.

Brian Miller said...

nice...this is great insight...and becky is a great blogger i met through the journey...

Kwana said...

Thanks so much for this great post. I wish the couples all the best in the world.

ethelmaepotter! said...

FANTASTIC!!!!

I was in an interracial relationship when I was a teen...didn't last long because we moved out of state...but we had a TERRIBLE time of it. Not us - other people, particularly because of the little town we lived in at the time...divided right down Main Street - whites on one side, blacks on the other, NO MIXING. We broke a time-honored Southern code, and people didn't take kindly to it.

Grits and greens and cornbread is soul food? I thought that was just good Southern eatin'! Give me some collard greens with neck bones and a pan of cornbread any old day!

Rona's Home Page said...

In our household multi-ethnic and culture rules.
My husband is Mexican Hispanic, I'm black, Marcus, our son is a blend and Kiana, our adopt daughter, is Italian.
We're a mix of New England, Calfornia, Christian, Mexican Catholic,spirtual and everything in between makes this a fun and loving home.
Oh, I have comment how much I love your daughter's hairstyle.
Beautiful couples!

Anonymous said...

Sorry for the stupid question. What is the best search engine http://google.com or http://yahoo.com?

Debbie said...

I am a huge fan of Becky's and I loved this post! Honestly, I wouldn't mind if my kids were in an interracial relationship except I would have worried about how they would be treated by others. This post gives me hope for our society!

Anita said...

Another fantastic interview Simone!

Coincidentally, I was sitting in church this past Sunday, behind an interracial couple and thought about posting on the subject. Don't be surprised if you see it come up on my blog this year. :)

These Three Kings said...

I really enjoyed this! Loove Rebecca and her beautiful photos!! So glad I came by for a visit :)

Rona's Home Page said...

I just wanted you to know that provided a link to your post.
I loved it!

Inter Racial Dating said...

I really enjoyed reading this... wow! Wanna know more about inter racial dating, just click on the link!

Ayesha Monique said...

I loved this interview

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