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The closest person in the public eye I could identify as looking remotely like my mother (and her ’80s perm) was Miles, a four-year-old black boy on Sesame Street.
They would gladly kiss me in the dark, and then nitpick every part of my body.
I felt I was always failing to meet their white standards of beauty.
I began to see what reverence and passion are possible between two bodies, even when (and especially when) those same bodies will be judged harshly in the light of day based on the color of their skin.
These uniquely special partnerships catalyzed the beginning of my faith in relationships where more expansive definitions of physical beauty could be uplifted. I was able to be nothing but my nerdy b-girl self when a man of color chose me.
My paternal grandparents are first and second generation Americans of Eastern European ancestry with firmly established Jewish identities.
Because I was raised in the racially intolerant Southwest, the fact that I developed my own strong Asian American identity is somewhat of a miracle.
After all, Phoenix, Arizona is home to the nation’s strictest anti-immigration policies and state university fraternities that host “dress like black people”- themed MLK celebrations. C., my current home of 14 years, nearly 70 percent of the Phoenician population self-identified as white as of the 2010 Census.
Fortunately for me, I was immersed in a loving community of Asian Americans as early as kindergarten.
Here’s how it all began: My mother and my maternal grandparents were born in Burma.Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating