Hello from New Orleans! My name is Hong and I am Vietnamese. I’ve never dated another Vietnamese guy – I actually prefer to date Black guys and I have been dating a Black guy for the past six years. I have learned so much about myself and how different and not-so-different it is to date someone who is not the same race as I am.
We learn a lot from each other and I realize that it can be somewhat different compared to same-race relationships considering people still think interracial dating is somewhat “taboo.”
For one reason or another, people may say that interracial dating isn’t “taboo” anymore making comments like, “It’s 2011, I don’t care” or “My uncle is White, I don’t mind at all.” Well, yes it is 2011, and yes, you may have one member in the family that is White, but consider seeing your own ethnicity date outside of his or her race. People tend to view interracial dating differently depending on which race is dating which and if it’s their own people or not. Consider how many people to this day look down on dating outside of their race and deeply consider how Asians, especially traditional ones, frown upon it.
What’s so intriguing about all of this is that many want to know what made me do it. And the answer is… “once you go Black, you never go back!” I’M KIDDING! I can not speak for anyone’s experiences except my own; therefore, all of this is written “in my opinion.” I continually learn from my relationship and from seeing other relationships, but no matter what – love is love.
I consider myself to be quite different in personality from the Asian women I see at school or in everyday life here in New Orleans. Not sure if this is the case in other areas of the country or the world, but Asians in New Orleans rarely date outside their race. The Vietnamese population here is tremendous, therefore it’s hard to account for any other ethnicity. Vietnamese people tend to date Vietnamese people here. On the other hand, I’ve always been attracted to different races than my own. I was madly infatuated with White guys when I lived in South Carolina, and moving down here has made me realize I’m more attracted to Black men. To find an Asian man attractive has been few and far between for one reason or another (that’ll be another post in itself). I’m not saying that all Asian men are unattractive, but that their physical features and demeanor make them less attractive to me.
I will start with my experiences from the beginning of my relationship and bring up the many difficulties and joys of being in an interracial relationship – and what many people may come across when dating interracially.
Meeting new people for the first time I get questions like:
“What do your parents think of him?”
“Why wouldn’t you date an Asian guy?”
“What does a Black guy have that an Asian guy doesn’t?”
“Would you consider dating a White guy or anything else?”
“Is he different than other Black guys I see around here?” (like what’s that supposed to mean?)
Through this blog, I’ll discuss these questions and similar ones like it and answer the many questions that are on peoples’ minds about dating interracially. This may include dating other races besides Blacks. It’ll also include the everyday things me and my boyfriend as a couple think about – from telling family members about your relationship to compromising religions to meeting each other’s families or how our future kids will be affected being biracial.
“Coming Out to the Parents”
To start – I began dating my boyfriend six years ago. I was still in high school, didn’t know the first thing about dating, and was deathly afraid of my parents finding out. He wasn’t Asian so it made it worse breaking the news to them. So to answer one of the common questions I get from people is “what do your parents think of him?” Well, they actually didn’t mind.
I didn’t officially tell my parents I was dating a Black guy until after a year of dating him. The following year, I decided to go through with it and tell my parents I was dating someone who wasn’t Asian. Surprisingly, my dad was fine with it. We had a long discussion about life and that the person I date should be someone who can take care of me. As long as he (or anyone else I date) was good, wholesome, and came from a good background, my dad was fine with it. With a sigh of relief – we left it at that, fast forward to six years later and my dad really likes my boyfriend. Luckily for me – telling my parents was quite easy once I explained to them that he came from a traditional Honduran background with tons of morals and traditions – just like the Vietnamese culture. My father made the connection and respects my boyfriend because of that.
Many times I think about other couples and their ability or inability to tell their family or even friends that they’re dating someone outside of their race. For some it can be very difficult, almost to the point of disowning the dissenter. Luckily, my family does not look at me differently and my boyfriend’s parents accept me as their own. I’ve had a good friend of mine hide her relationship for many years before they broke up (her boyfriend was Latino and she was Vietnamese) from her family because they were strict and very traditional. It amazed me how unaccepting they were, but didn’t surprise me. Tradition is so important I suppose.
To readers out there, have you found it easy or difficult to tell others about your interracial relationship, or that you prefer a different race? Let me know what you think.