I was running around my house in a black one piece bathing suit and remember looking down at my stomach, thinking that it stuck out too much.
I immediately sprinted outside in the daylight to get a better look and make sure I wasn’t fat.
I began attending parties where I was one of the few white people.
Guys would approach me, rarely avoiding grabbing my butt or asking the question, “So you like black guys?
To them, Black men were filthy and diseased, which could only mean one thing: I was too.
As my luck with white men plummeted, I was inevitably pushed further towards black guys.This was the place I was born and raised; where nobody had to whisper the “n word” or hesitate to stick some feathers in their hair and paint their skin red as a sign of school spirit.Growing up in New Hampshire didn’t prevent me from making friends or dating guys who weren’t white.They seemed to be intimidated by my dozens of Facebook pictures with darker men, causing them to run before they even got to know me.“They’re riddled with sexually transmitted diseases” one ignorant guy messaged me on Tinder after seeing a single picture of me with black guys on my profile.While some people smiled at us as we held hands in D. or walked side by side around the Inner Harbor, others just stared with disapproving eyes.The thing is, people were tolerant, but they were not always accepting.In Rochester everyone appeared to me as clones, walking down school halls clad in American Eagle apparel with Aroma Joe’s coffee cups in hand, but at TU everything clicked.Gay, bisexual, straight, transgender, black, white, Asian, it was there and it was beautiful. “I can’t believe you dumped me for a n*%$#@.” Telling your parents about your new boyfriend is hard enough when his skin is the same color as yours, but it becomes even more difficult when he is at the opposite end of the color spectrum as you.I felt a certain pride in hanging out with people who were Dominican, Indonesian, Laos, Filipino, Hispanic, etc. My parents taught me good morals, like not judging others by their appearance, though I did have to keep my jaw clenched when I visited relatives.They would ask me about the “colored kids” at my job as a camp counselor and spoke the word “bi-racial” in hushed tones, as if it were something to be ashamed of.