Interracial Relationships: Black Sex Educator Explains Considerations As a White Person

by | May 24, 2023 | All about Love

Sometimes we can forget to check ourselves in what racism can mean in different parts of our lives. This includes being in interracial relationships. In order to be anti-racist, we need to consider how the world around us affects people of colour in comparison to those in more privileged positions.

What is an interracial relationships?

Interracial relationships refer to a relationships between two people of different racial backgrounds.

Tara Michaela Jones is a queer black sex educator based in New York.

She spoke about the things that should be considered by a person of privilege in an interracial relationship.

Racism is institutional and interpersonal. It comes in all forms for people of colour in their everyday lives. 

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What are the Issues?

“Things like police brutality, white privilege and western beauty standards, those are all kinds of things that play into your relationships and sex life.”

“White people don't think about that. I think black people and people of colour, have to go through those interactions and constantly be thinking about that,” Tara explained. “They're getting it from both ends.

“There is going through interpersonal race racism within their own relationship and also experiencing criticism on the other end from my culture and my community who sees me dating somebody outside of my race. “

Tara also explained how past relationships with those who do not value her identity would affect their romantic experiences.

“It can feel like a minefield. You get into this relationship and everything's going great. But all of a sudden, you realise that this person's fetishizing you or that this person really prefers people who don't look like you or that this person really has these opinions that they probably shouldn't and how painful that can be, because of the fact that I've already built up love, affection intimacy, with this person. 

Tara Michaela Jones

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Tara has first hand experience of how it feels to realise someone's underlying beliefs going against their identity.

Tara's experiences with interracial relationships as a black woman

"Knowing and understanding that in a lot of these conversations, your opinion matters less. That sounds maybe unfortunate, but that's the reality. 

"I think being into interracial relationships always adds a level of complication. 

"That's not to say that the complication isn't worth it. But that complication often falls on the marginalised person in the relationship. And so, be sympathetic and understanding.

“Check yourself on certain viewpoints and opinions before they have the ability to hurt somebody else.”

What should you do?

In terms of actions, it's crucial to learn about how institutional racism affects your partner.

Tara said, “To make that person's life easier, the least that you could do when you're in a position of privilege, is just delve into that education as much as possible.

“Work is done more easily now than ever, especially in terms of social media, where I spend the vast majority of my time.”

“Google is free. The Internet is free. Social media is free. Find places that are having these conversations and do that on your own time. 

“That's what it means to be an anti-racist white person, generally, but people don't think about the fact that this can impact your dating and your sex lives. 

Listening in Interracial relationships

Tara also mentioned to avoid the colourblind approach. It's okay to acknowledge the fact that your partner is a person beyond their race.

It's also not an issue to say 'I love my partner and their racial identity.' That's part of who they are. Tara think that's beautiful and wonderful as well.

She added, “Taking the stance and the effort to be as informed and be as open to conversation and in that also recognizing your place and your privilege. 

If there's one thing to take away from this piece, please do recognise that if your partner is a person of colour and sharing their experience with you,  you need to recognise that they're coming from a place of lived experience, and you're coming from a place of reading a book or watching a movie.

Edited by Audrey Chow

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