While interracial relationships are only becoming more and more common, people who date or marry someone of a different race still face discrimination — or at the very least, uncomfortable, often offensive comments about their relationship.
After years of dealing with comments about being an Asian woman in a relationship with a white man, YouTuber Natalie Tran set out to respond to them by unpacking the racial bias and stereotypes behind them.
"You're such a white man's bitch, Natalie," one of her commenters once wrote.
"A mentally colonized white worshipping bed wench sell-out," someone else said.
What she found disappointing was that many of the comments were from other Asian people, something that relationship experts and matchmakers that Tran interviewed pointed to as a sign of the insecurities around the way society treats Asian people — specifically, Asian men.
"There is sexual discrimination in the West when it comes to Asian men, and it's something we have to work against," Jerry Tran, a dating coach for Asian men, told Tran. So in a sense, some commenters might be projecting the pain of the stereotypes they suffer from onto Tram and her relationship.
Of course, some commenters may just be racially biased, but Tran's video sets out to explore why interracial relationships can still be so stigmatized.
"This video was a weird experience because it started with my being hurt and angry, and ended up with me wanting to help and learn more," she says in the video. While she doesn't condone leaving hateful comments when you're hurt, she says that if the experience of making the video has taught her anything, it's that we need to spend more time discussing the nuances of interracial relationships.
"The more we talk, the more we learn that there are a lot more parallels in our experiences and feelings than we might think, and then perhaps we can discuss things in a less hostile environment," she says.
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