Here's What NOT To Say To Interracial Couples

Photographed by Natalia Mantini.
Update: We are republishing this piece due to the current conversation around interracial dating, thanks to this season of The Bachelor.

Now that every American has the privilege to marry whom they choose (and please, please, let's hope it stays that way), it's mind-boggling to realize that interracial marriage wasn't legalized in America until 1967 — less than 50 years ago. After all, since then, interracial relationships have only become more common, and we're generally much more progressive than we were back then.

But while we've come a long way since the days of gross anti-miscegenation laws that forbade couples of different races to marry, we've still got work to do.

Take, for example, some of the inappropriate things that people say to interracial couples. It's generally an unspoken rule that other people's relationships are none of our business. But when it comes to interracial relationships, for some reason, people often ignore that line.

To be fair, they don't always mean to be as hurtful or offensive as they come off — that's why these are called microaggressions. But it's 2016, and it's time we stopped having to have the conversation about what's appropriate to say to people in interracial relationships.

So with that in mind, we talked to 15 Refinery29 staff members and readers about what they wish people would stop saying about their interracial relationships. Click ahead to see.
1 of 15
Illustrated by: Chloe Seroussi
"Is he [my boyfriend] into Asian girls?"

— Mi-Anne
2 of 15
Illustrated by: Chloe Seroussi
"'Your boyfriend's name is Alfredo? Seriously? Why wouldn't you date a white Italian person who looks/is exactly like you?! How do you communicate with his family?!'

I can go on and on."

— Cathy
3 of 15
Illustrated by: Chloe Seroussi
"'Did you have an Indian wedding? That is SO COOL! I love Indian weddings!'

I do love talking about my wedding, and it was special to me to honor my husband's family's culture and traditions — but when people highlight the Indian portions with such excitement, it makes me feel a little weird. I didn't put on a sari or get henna because it was 'cool' — and it's just icky to have a conversation where it's sort of implied that I'm more interesting or exotic because of my connection to a non-white tradition. Very problematic."

— Mary
4 of 15
Illustrated by: Chloe Seroussi
"'How did your parents take it?'"

— Cary
5 of 15
Illustrated by: Chloe Seroussi
"I'm Latina and my partner is white. And even though Latinx is an ethnicity, people still makes us feel like I'm from a different race.

"So that being said: I would really like for people to stop 'othering' me so blatantly. My partner gets asked if I'm 'feisty,' 'domineering,' 'spicy' and a lot of other annoying (and to be honest, harmful) stereotypes. Once we were even told 'jokingly' that he wouldn't be able to handle me because I was Latina — as in, referring to our sex life. Apparently being Latina = automatic sex goddess. This person wasn't even close to us and felt like he was able to comfortably make a comment like that. It was obviously unacceptable, but I'm afraid that other minority women have also had similar experiences if they're in interracial relationships — particularly because of media representation and porn.

"I also wish people would stop praising the fact that my partner is white, as if my ultimate accomplishment as a Latina woman is snagging him. This happens especially among Latinx circles, where there's still a prevalent internalized idea that white is better than Brown or Black.

"Finally, I think people should stop saying that we should have kids because they would make 'the cutest' mixed babies. I'm a white-presenting Latina — a.k.a. I'm pretty light-skinned — so I'm pretty sure that if we ever decide to procreate, our kids are going to be pale AF. Sorry not sorry."

— Rachel
6 of 15
Illustrated by: Chloe Seroussi
"'Oh, Black guys are totally your type, huh?'

"It invalidates [my relationship] as a really superficial, fetishizing scenario. It's not. My boyfriend (a Brooklyn-born Black man of Jamaican descent) is not just 'a Black guy,' but a human with personality traits, values, and attributes that align with my own.

"The last boyfriend I had who was this serious (i.e. I cohabited with for several years) was a white guy from Australia. It's not about 'types' or shallow cues."

— Andrea
7 of 15
Illustrated by: Chloe Seroussi
"How cute our mixed babies will be. I just think it's a weird societal expectation that women should want to have children, and if they are mixed, that the outcome to look forward to is that they will be cute. Not healthy, good people, but cute."

— Grace
8 of 15
Illustrated by: Chloe Seroussi
"I guess the stuff like, 'Oh, your children will be so beautiful' and/or 'Aren't you worried what people will say about your children?'

"I've also had people (read: mostly men) ask 'why don't I like white guys' and I know he's gotten similar questions because he's African-American and dating a white woman. I wish they'd stop saying anything, really. I'm certainly not asking for anyone's opinion."

— Kaitlin
9 of 15
Illustrated by: Chloe Seroussi
"That I must be going through a phase to date outside of my race."

— Ron
10 of 15
Illustrated by: Chloe Seroussi
"I wish people would stop asking me if Asian men have small penises. It's the dumbest question. I would say 'they don't,' but using the term 'they' feels problematic. So, he doesn't. Sorry to put you on blast!!"

— JR
11 of 15
Illustrated by: Chloe Seroussi
"People ask us about cultural differences. We are both American from my standpoint, and shockingly raised very similarly, despite the fact he's white and I'm Indian."

— Anissa
12 of 15
Illustrated by: Chloe Seroussi
"One time, someone asked me if I was only into Black girls because my girlfriend is Black. I think that's a really ignorant thing to say, because it implies that I'm fetishizing my girlfriend's race, rather than being attracted to her for her. Why is it that, in order for someone to be attracted to someone outside of their race, they must have some type of fetish? Why is race a fetish for some people?"

— HJ
13 of 15
Illustrated by: Chloe Seroussi
"That it takes bravery to be in one... No, it doesn't; it takes love."

— Nicole
14 of 15
Illustrated by: Chloe Seroussi
"It's very subtle things, like, 'Oh wow, you guys don't look like you would be together' or 'I couldn't see you guys together before this.'"

— Morgan
15 of 15
Illustrated by: Chloe Seroussi
"'What is your husband?'

Um. A human being?

'But like, where is he from?'

Um, this small beachside town in SoCal.

'But what country?'


— Nina