Interracial couples: Why they aren’t as common as you think

Here’s a stat for you. Interracial couples account for 7% of all relationships in England and Wales.

You might not even think about interracial relationships, you might not even notice them in the street. But as someone in an interracial relationship I do. I wonder how they met, if they have any children, if they went any through any struggle to be together. You might be thinking ‘why I am so curious?’. But 7%. That should answer your question.

I needed to find out more.

This year marks 50 years since interracial couple Richard and Mildred Loving created history. Despite a law which banned marriage between what was described as “white” and “colored” people, the couple fought the system head on to be married. They were sent to prison and treated like criminals for simply being together, but in 1967 their nightmare finally ended. The decision was made to ban all race restrictions on marriages in America.

Me and my partner went to see the film ‘The Loving’ back in 2016, which tells the story of Richard and Mildred. If you’ve seen it, you’ll know just how heartbreaking it is. A story of love and hope laced with a horrible dose of struggle and pain. 50 years later and no longer a crime, the film’s subject matter is still a lingering theme in society.

Harry and Megan. You might have seen this as a breakthrough. The celebrities we see on social media, Kylie Jenner, Kim Kardashian to name two obvious ones. We’re almost warped to think being in an interracial relationship is a normal thing now. But it’s not. With what seems like an empowering and positive movement, like the royal wedding, there almost always seems to be space for discrimination.

 

Moving to a new area, an area that is less diverse than London, I was of course worried that we would face hostility from strangers, funny looks, off-ish behaviour. I’ve received funny looks, off-ish behaviour, whether it’s to do with being in an interracial couple, I’ll never really know- but it is a worry of mine.

With that said, when my partner and I first got together, we did experience a direct racist remark from being in an interracial relationship when a complete stranger said to me “is that your white boyfriend yeah?” as my partner and I passed him in the street in London. So many couples go through this kind of racism and hostility from complete strangers on a daily basis.

This blog is a space for me to talk about issues I think are important. Ones I think that should be spoken about. I’m a mum, I want to set an example. I want to show my son that we should never be afraid of speaking about our worries, our concerns and issues in the world we want to see a change in.

What interracial couples say

The BBC have done a few recent stories sharing the experiences of interracial couples when they first got together. Here I share two.

‘How do you know she’s not a man?’

The BBC said: “Ian, from Great Yarmouth, was introduced to Gigi, from the Philippines, by a friend. “I got mixed reviews, my mum didn’t speak to me for a bit, she thought I was being impulsive.”Ian’s friends also had their concerns.”

“They said things like, ‘She’s only marrying you for the money’, or ‘She might be a man, how do you know she’s not a man?'”

Despite the negative comments, Ian and Gigi, 32, got married and now live together in the UK with their two children.”

 

BBC news also interviewed a couple as part of another story. 

“You can’t live for other people, you have to live for you.”

The BBC said: “Shantania Beckford, 24, and Billy Clifford, 23, from Birmingham, are from Jamaican and English heritage.

The couple, who met online, collectively have a social media following of over 300,000, and they say their public mixed relationship has resulted in some insults and trolling.

“Some people don’t believe that black and white should be together, but we laugh it off.

“We can’t let negative stuff get to us, we delete the comments and get over it.

“You can’t live for other people, you have to live for you.”

 

And a tweet that will make you think twice

Interracial couple
See the tweet here.

The problem well and truly still exists today and I’ll be sharing your experiences and stories over the next couple of weeks. So if you have something to share, comment below or drop me an email.

I’ll leave you with a link to some pretty powerful photographs of interracial couples. A photographer has captured several couples and has labeled each photo with something racist, I know what I thought, see what you think. 

 

 

Share:

3 Comments

  1. November 26, 2018 / 8:12 pm

    Such a great post x

  2. Amy Brown
    November 26, 2018 / 10:17 pm

    I have a little girl with my (white) ex-husband and when my (Ghanaian) boyfriend and I are out together we often receive various ‘looks’. Some of confusion I suppose but my partner has sometimes felt (and particularly from older black women), that this look is a disapproving glare. Also he and I were on holiday in Lanzarote together and most definitely got stared at on numerous occasions there. We get the usual stereotypical comments ‘you guys are gna have the cutest babies’ and given the looks we get already I often wonder what looks we’ll receive when we do have kids and my little girl is also with us. Guaranteed other couples of the same race who have step-kids and half siblings never receive such looks. It’s sometimes hard but mostly I just think that they are the narrow minded people with the problem. I love my boyfriend more than I ever thought it was possible to love someone after a difficult previous relationship and the father figure he is to my daughter makes me insanely excited about starting our own family together. So screw the haters because our love goes WAY deeper than our skin colours xx

  3. Hayley
    November 27, 2018 / 8:44 pm

    Loved this! I always find other interracial couples fascinating esp other couples where the male is white and the women is mixed, or black as that’s is me and my husband! I love seeing different mixes of races and culture and often wonder how they met?, are they accepted in their families? Do they face rascism? We get racism even now 12 years down the line. I have found when we are out a lot comes from Black women the most.

    I can ignore them but I cannot ignore comments made towards my children. I often get glared at or people double take when they see my children. I hate comments about their pale or light skin. And whispers about me being their mum, that I might be a babysitter!! Thankfully my children are too young to understand BUT there is going to be a time that they will understand and this is something I never want to tackle. I do nott want them to see that myself and their dad have different colour skin to each other and to them. My children are at a beautiful tender age where the colour of your skin is not understood and it’s irrelevant and i wish it could stay like this forever!

    Great post xx

Leave a Reply