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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.
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.
The first time I had ever questioned my physical appearance was before I even began first grade.
I was pushed out of my comfort zone and I learned more than I ever would have had I been with some someone who grew up just as I did.
Where friends from home had laughed in my face, believing my taste in guys had somehow done a 180 as a result of moving to the city, black guys I currently went to school with were intrigued.
I began receiving attention from darker skinned guys, one even proclaiming with a wink that he had “never had a white girl before” as if conquering a white girl is some badge of honor or just something to check off a list.
Friends asked me what it was like dating someone who is black and giggled asking if it was true about “what they say about size.” One friend admitted “I could never date a black guy because I wouldn’t be able to understand what he was saying.” All stereotypes I had been used to hearing about this unchartered territory.
When my relationship eventually ended, the phrase “once you go black, you never go back” rang in my ears.