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I will not count off stares, glares, and eye rolls we get on the subway from white and black people alike, or waste my energy on our white gay acquaintances that reduce our interracial relationship to a wild Mandingo fantasy and a conversation about penis size.One evening not so long into our courtship, my fiancé and I went to a hipster restaurant located in a progressive Brooklyn neighborhood for dinner.As we entered, the hostess, who was white, asked how many people were in our party, to which I replied, and proceeded to sit us at a table by the window where the waitress, who happened to be white, promptly handed me our menus and asked if we wanted a drink.After listing the specials and pointing out some exceptional bottles of wine, she stepped away to give us a minute to choose.Ask almost any white person in America and they will tell you straight out that they are not racist.You will hear everything from, "I have black friends" to "I voted for Obama" as evidence of their inclusive viewpoints.
On the other hand, I equally refuse to delve into the Facebook post an African-American friend of mine recently wrote where he stated that a black man dating a white man is the ultimate slap in the face to black culture.This serves as a sobering reminder that despite the distance this country has traveled on a range of social issues, there is still an enormous amount of ground to cover in reconciling our nation's sinful past with its hopeful future.As a gay white man and drag queen who is engaged to an African-American man, my interracial same-sex relationship has given me unique insight into the fundamental mistrust, and often subconscious disdain, that people have for anyone different from themselves.Yet, in the five years that I have been with my black partner, I have been amazed by the profoundly different ways in which each of us is treated in similar situations.
I won't bore you with the endless stories of the white people who cross the street when they see my boyfriend walking by, or the countless women who clutch their purses tightly as he passes.
When I looked up from the menu smiling I saw that my boyfriend was totally ticked. My face fell as he sadly declared that "it" was happening again.