I often wonder what people think about this southern white girl living in New York City married to an African American “Yankee”. When I think about our two worlds coming together, they are so different yet the blending is beautiful. I grew up in Asheville, North Carolina and went to quite possibly the least diverse private school for 7 years. After high school I moved to Columbia, SC where, again was surrounded by mainly white, southern people. Justin grew up in New Jersey, went to a catholic school with 400 people in his graduating class (far bigger and more diverse than my 48). After eventually moving to NYC it was a bit of a cultural shock, but in the best way. I never knew that my body craved being around such different people, where in a matter of 4 minutes walking down the sidewalk you can hear 6 different languages. It is incredible how this city attracts such diverse groups of people.
After living here for a few months, I met (my current husband), Justin Taylor. He is the most attractive, confident and funny guy I had ever met let alone been on a date with. We instantly hit it off and moved pretty quickly in our relationship. The first night we met he walked me home, kissed me on the cheek and said goodbye. My heart melted. I was completely and utterly smitten and did not stop smiling the next day at work. He was and is the only black guy I have ever been with. In 2018 this should not even be “a thing” and honestly for me and him it wasn’t. I fell in love with his personality, the way he carried himself, how he can talk to anyone and make them laugh. The color of his skin didn’t matter to me (except for thinking about how cute our babies would be).
Telling my family on the other hand was something I had to think about. I knew that if I used “black” as an attribute to describe this incredible person it would turn into “Kate’s dating a black guy”. Oh really? You would NEVER say “Kate has a new caucasian boyfriend”. But I knew it was a change for my grandmother (who was born in 1925 and grew up in Greensboro, NC) as well as my mom who grew up in the 60’s in Asheville, NC. In NO way is my family racist or would not “allow” me to date a black guy but at the same time it was something they weren’t used to. And you know what I said? “Good.” You need to be pushed out of your comfort zone. It’s 2015. So obviously I had to tell my mom at some point that Justin was black and she seemed to be fine with it. It has been a transition for her (but she will never say anything). My grandmother has made a few comments (not to me..how southern of her) but is way more honest about feeling a certain way than my mom is. Overall, it has been a transition but it’s a good thing for my family. They needed to be pushed out of their comfort zone and be able to open up to different possibilities.
I would not change the last three years for anything. Justin and I have built our home together and have been very candid about our interracial relationship. As we are start our family it is something we think about constantly. “How will we raise our children?” “Will they consider themselves whites or black?” “Will people treat them different because of that?”. We are excited and anxious to meet our first baby and could not be more proud that he has such a diverse background. We could not live in a better, more accepting city.
So, if anyone were to have an issue with us being together I would simply say “love is love”.