After my high school boyfriend and I broke up for the last time, he dated white girls. He is black.
One of my college boyfriends appears to be married to a white woman (don't you hate those tiny photos on Facebook that you're stuck with until you friend someone?!). He's also black.
My other primary college boyfriend married a woman who is half Cuban, half Spanish. As he, who is black, says, "In other words, a snobby, white Latina."
Several of the black men I've been with have teased me about being so fair, about having diverse interests ("That's the white in you" is a timeless favorite) and about having a parent who lives in Colorado (actually, that's the black parent; the white one lives in Idaho!).
And yet, most of these men either settled down with white women or have an ongoing preference for light-skinned black and mixed women. Which makes me say, "What is going on here?!"
Until recently, I wondered if I am a gateway girl. Like marijuana, am I the transition from the familiar and culturally acceptable to something a little whiter, a little edgier, a little more expensive seeming?
Now, I think it's something else. Maybe two somethings. First, it's not them, it's me! I'm the one who dates these dudes who think being mixed is a joke that they want in on. I'm the one who consistently dates private-school brothas who have very particular expectations around diction, presentation and fashion. While I might not appreciate my role in their eyes, I can't be mad when I'm a willing participant.
Second, it's possible that black men who aren't willing to date beyond the race may be less likely to date someone who looks like me. Maybe I don't go with their persona or maybe they assume a certain frivolity, lack of understanding of the hardships of being black or mixed uppedness (I know, not a word). Or, maybe, they think about having kids that could end up looking like members of a rainbow coalition! Whatever it is, I can live with it until they get to know me.
Lastly, for full disclosure, after dating that series of men who moved on to white and white Latina, I ended up temporarily marrying a white guy but that's a story for another day!