Excuse my French that is not French but what the fuck is wrong with how people view relationships?
This is what I thought when walking home down Hollywood Blvd tonight (Yes. I live off of Hollywood Blvd) to two African American Men actually stopping myself and my husband of twenty years and congratulating us. They even *applauded us* for being an interracial couple.
Oh look, they are holding hands and EVERYTHING one said in a way that was not particularly congratulatory and actually quite snarky. He was tipsy sliding down Hollywood Blvd. Drunk and apparently upset at the world for not finding a mate and instead being with his friend who is probably equally as inept at finding anyone to be with. These brothers were quite pissy that a black woman was walking down the street with her white mate. In my mind they had to find something...ANYTHING to wonder why they are woefully lacking in base relationship skills.
Excuse my French that is not French...but maybe you two brothers don't have anyone because you are fucked up drunk and dickheads. I don't think it's a race thing.
I think its a drunk dickhead thing. =====================================================================================
It was the stun-ness of it all. Hans and I have been together so long it has never even crossed our minds for a good decade. We lived in San Francisco. Nobody cares in San Francisco. In my world...what a lot of people want what we have: Just to be married, happy and legal. What we were granted back the year I was born as an interracial couple.
Granted, it was different in the mid eighties in Chicago where every once in a while we get that odd stare that lingered longer than what it should have. I always had snarky retorts back then. Things like "He's my accountant" or "He's my pimp" just to play off that strange stereotype of how me (this black woman) can end up with him (the most pigment challenged man in the entire world.) And to make them awkwardly stop staring and instead, awkwardly *leave*
Keep in mind too, it was not all peaches and cream with us either. My family was really sort of happy I was not "All that lesbian" His family? Well. That was really different. His mother was a war bride from Berlin. His mother was a Nazi Youth. Hans mom met Adolph Hitler. Twice.
Sufficed to say she was pretty stunned to know that her baby was actively boinking me. She disowned Hans for one week. A week later she called and screamed into the phone: HANSY...WHY HAVEN'T YOU CALLED ME. When quietly informed by Hans "Welll you disowned me last week, the object of disownment is to not talk to each other" She does what anyone who looks like a cross of Marlene Dietrich and Lucille Ball would do: Cry a lot then take us out for dinner and apologize to me profusely screaming (because she has no internal sound level) "I LIKED YOU BEFORE I KNEW YOU WERE DATING..WHY NOT LIKE YOU NOW?"
...and so began a lovely relationship with her where I found out that it was not me being black she did not like. It was just *everyone who was not her* she did not like. Yea. Hitler and The Nazi Party did a good number on her.
Keep in mind what people have said to us have not been peaches and cream either. We had a beat cop in Chicago when we owned our comic book store (Hep Cat Comics) tell me with all the sincerity in the world: Well if you have children, they will be considered bastards.
Even married. In his world my children would be bastards because they would come from an interracial couple. As a Chicagoan (Chicago: one of the most segregated cities in the U.S.) I calmly pulled out a dictionary from behind the counter and let him read the definition of the word bastard. After reading, flushed Irish red he said to me: Oh. I said to him: "You like me and I dig you. Now why in god's name would you say anything like that to me? Tell me. Why?"
The topic was never broached again. Keep in mind, this man was a police officer. I cannot even imagine the other theories on other topics of race that I hopefully quelled from having some person who wasn't like him getting pulled over by him speeding or...for no reason whatsoever.
Can't even put into comprehensible words the movie Jungle Fever.
There was a nice lull there from the mid 90's to about a year ago. No one cared. No one. It made us feel normal and cool. We never thought our relationship was anything different, unusual, strange or odd. We are just two actors who improvise who actually love each other. That was until the focus hit on Gay Marriage. Surreal racism coming from the worst places. Mostly from the worst place in my mind imaginable: Black Baptist Churches.
How the hell did this happen? How the hell can this be coming from my *own people* How can our struggle be so blatantly thrown aside? I was (and still am) adamant at this disgusting dilemma in my *own race* on how we can turn away from our own race who are GBLT and say "No, you cannot be happy".
The same incredible stupidity that has been thrown at myself and Hans and our relationship was thrown towards Gay Marriage: Bastard Children. Against God's will. If you marry interracially what is next? Marrying a Sheep? The same incredible shit that was thrown out when it was still illegal to marry a black man to a white woman was thrown out with Gay Marriage. I was personally horrified by my own race.
Now that the passing of Gay Marriage of New York has joyously taken birth in New York people are starting to focus off of Gay Marriage again for a while. So what is there to occupy their time? What other strange pairing can you focus in on to make a news story?
Well...Let's stare at the black woman with the white guy again.
It seems the term "Interracial Dating" has become the new "Buzz Word" for the last few years. I'm sorry. I have been busy doing things like living and eating and going to Amoeba to pick up the Stars Wars Collection we forgot to have in our movie archives to care about what the new buzz words are lately.
Oh. I'm sorry. We have been busy washing our car from Southern California Smog and having BBQ Smackdowns with our friends to realize there is an actual book out with the almost incredulous title: "Is Marriage For White People".
Really? Honestly, Ralph Richard Banks? Isn't there a festival somewhere around Stanford or Litquake you can attend instead of writing something this obnoxious? I hate to tell you this baby, but the answer to black women to have a successful relationship is not particularly to marry outside of race.
The object of having a good relationship is to not be a dickhead.
This is coming from a woman in an interracial relationship. Trust me on this one darling: You can "Date Out" until the cows come home and you have your last drink with the man who is Polish. It does not mean that man is sitting there thinking "What a self absorbed horror this one is" Maybe then that realization hits: Maybe this black woman should be a better person. Maybe it really isn't about race.
Maybe she is a dickhead.
There are enough interracial couples that don't work as much as ones that do. That is because they were not compatible as a couple. It did not work because one is black and the other is white. Or both are black. Or both are white. Or one is not financially sound/better community standing/better power position than the other.
It might be that one was a dick and the other was not. Or both were.
Hope you make money off your salacious book. Thanks a lot dumbass. Thanks for having people stare at us again for turning what me and my husband have for almost thirty years into a "Catch Phrase" Thinking I did something as ineptly shallow as "Marrying Out"
Meanwhile back on the street by Hollywood and Highland walking home these two African American Men are now applauding us for "Holding Hands". One did not seem happy about the whole situation. It could have been whatever libations he just had before he ran into us. Nothing worse than your truth on a few shots of...*whatever*
Generally I have something quippy like "He's my accountant" or "He's my pimp" But that was the 80's. This was 2011 on a Monday Night coming back from bowling.
It was my stun-ness of it all. Why is this happening, I thought. Why is this happening AGAIN? And more importantly...why has it become so much more *combative* In 1984 the brothers would have just stared at us. Now? He is sarcastically applauding us. As though I had just read this horrible book and decided to "Date Out".
I guess I would be angry too after all of this Buzz Word Interracial Marriage turned into the hip thing to do to "Date Out".
I had 25 years of quippy quotes. None of them fit towards these men in this time and space. So very succinctly and very calmly with all the love in my voice for these two brothers I said to them something very simple and clear to prove that we were not some flash in the pan "Buzz Couple":
Yeah. Twenty Five Years, No less.
One brother looked shocked. (I think mostly due to him not thinking I could be that old). The other brother was sincerely shocked. His face turned from "What the fuck" to "Wow" and there he was dumbfounded. Drunk and on the corner close to Hollywood and Highland...he started to *applaud us more".
It was possibly the strangest moment of my entire life. Even Hans seemed taken aback. As actors/comedians hearing applause all I could say back was "Thank you very much...we will be here for the rest of our lives."
A young man on a bike behind us pulled over to the side of us. Filled with tats and hair that looked liked it was combed with buttered bread, he asked the both of us how long we had been married. He was a Caucasian man who was actually interested in knowing. I told him twenty years.
He nodded his head in approval and said "That's cool" smiled a sweet smile and peddled off on his rickety bike.
I'm convinced he will find a nice girl of any race one of these days. He didn't seem like a dickhead.
He just needed to wash his hair .
Causes Shaun Landry Supports
The Alzheimer's Foundation, NAACP, Breast Cancer Foundation, Gilda's Club.