In my hometown, the guys who were genuinely attracted to me (beyond mere lust) would never admit it to their peers—they’d have been ridiculed for actually liking a black girl.
So in order to feel the touch of a man in my adolescence, I played the role of a "Jezebel."I grew up black in a mostly white area, so I was accustomed to casual racism.
As part of Committed, we're exploring partnerships ranging from a textbook marriage between high-school sweethearts to a gay couple creating a life together in the conservative deep South.
I love my husband unconditionally, and we have amazing chemistry, but we’re also definite proof that opposites attract. None of these differences were deal breakers as we fell deeper and deeper in love, but even before America appeared to be on the verge of collapse, being in an interracial relationship came with its fair share of challenges.
I was also under the illusion that because people thought I "sounded white," it was possible for me to transcend racial stereotypes.
As the weeks passed, I slowly started to realize that I hadn’t seen any black people since we’d arrived.
Because my husband is white, the lens through which he views the world had allowed him to visit Portland and never think twice about the fact that it was such an overwhelmingly white city.
I figured that as long as I was able to abide by respectability politics and not be lumped together with those "other lazy Negroes," I could just be the token black girl.
So I hid my natural hair under Brazilian bundles—not as a way to protect the beautiful kink that grew beneath it, but to assimilate more closely to European beauty standards.