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The store had some, but none that matched my skin tone. Once, in my late 20s, my boyfriend and I were stopped by police, and I quickly became frantic about the weed in the car.He put his hand on my knee and reminded me that I was safe with him. Racism isn’t something white people to face every day.Communication is necessary for any healthy relationship, and in an interracial relationship it’s paramount.Every white man I’ve dated has, sometimes consciously and sometimes not, asked me to explain to them some aspect of blackness.In those moments, I’ve wished to be sitting in front of someone who could relate.Despite knowing I can feel intimacy with white guys, right now what divides us feels like a chasm.
While I tried to explain to this man why what he was saying was offensive, my boyfriend stood there in silence.In every relationship I have with a white man, there comes a moment when they come to understand a simple fact of my life: that racism is an intimate part of my daily existence.Sometimes, they’re enraged — like the time when I called my last boyfriend after I left American Apparel in search of nipple covers for a white bodysuit. And then there are the quieter times, the ones that weigh more heavily, that bring us closer together.No matter how close I held the mirror up to their faces, sometimes their good and liberal wells of understanding and compassion were simply inaccessible.On election night, I thought about all those moments, and I felt overwhelmed at the possibility of taking that on over the next four years.