After deciding to enroll at Towson University, friends of mine joked about me going to “the hood” and the violence in the Baltimore area, but I was never worried.
Fitting into this lifestyle felt more natural to me than living in Rochester ever did.
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.
It put me in a box, limiting me in ways I didn’t realize until recently.
The more attention I received from black men, the less white men wanted to talk to me, as if I had been eternally branded as a traitor.
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.
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.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.All it took was one semester for me to breakup with my high school boyfriend and fall completely in love with a guy from my dorm. I called my mother up to tell her about my new boyfriend, and nervously came clean with the statement “I’m Seeing Someone New And He’s Black!” Though I knew my parents wouldn’t care, wouldn’t forbid be from seeing him, or treat him differently than my past boyfriends, the fact that I felt the need to admit he was black, as if it were a crime is absurd.Flo Rida’s “Can’t Believe It” flowed through party speakers with its lyrics “Damn that white girl got some a** I don’t believe it” and “black girl got some a** it ain’t no secret”, taking me back to feelings of insecurity I started having as a little kid.