I am in love with a Black Man.
At restaurants, there is no doubt we are a couple. In the homes of our families and friends we are respected and embraced partners. We hold hands. We touch. Our love is apparent. Arm and arm we walk blatantly down the broad streets of NYC and the tiny streets that criss-cross Ohio, kissing, laughing, smiling.
I am not naive. There are some that do not approve of our choice in each other, but we do not hide our relationship or temper our affection to make others more comfortable. Nor do we have anything to prove.
He is not a trendy fad for me. He is not a rebellion. He is not a conquest. He is my choice. He is my Man.
I am not a trophy. I am not a step up. I am not a denial of His heritage. I am simply His choice. His soft spot. His woman.
Are there looks from strangers as we openly demonstrate our love? Sometimes. Sure. Of course. From white men, white women, black men and black women, old crusty jewish women, and young matching silent couples that don't touch or smile. However, no stereotypical haters have ever made an issue of us. No bitter Black Woman has accosted us to rant. No hostile white man has ever condemned us. No offended Black Man has railed our choice in each other. No snotty white woman has spit out vitriol. No one has ever said a damn thing. Except once...
Last summer on a very crowded train, humming through the underground tunnels of busy Manhattan, M and I sat side by side. No one speaks on the subway. Every New Yorker's eyes automatically glaze over once they find their spot, conserving strength for the next part of their day's journey and simply falling into a dull lull. That is except for me. When I'm alone I people watch. When I'm with M I am focused on Him. That ride, He was in pain, and my hands were slowly working the knots in His shoulder, bicep, neck, and back. I soothed. I rubbed. I loved on my Man in patient silence, determine to ease Him in any way I could.
After a number of stops the crowd finally shifted, and a good portion of of the riders readied themselves to exit. The train slowed, and the middle aged white woman standing above me, whose hip would have been directly in my line of sight had I been facing forward, spoke to us. "Thank you. That was beautiful. To watch you love on him this whole time...it made my day." And with swish of the doors, she was gone. Her words almost surreal amid the hustle, bustle, and typical remote detachment of NYC's masses.
Maybe I should have been embarrassed, but I wasn't. I love my Man well, always doing what I can. M was a bit surprised as nothing like that had ever happened to him before. But looking back, I'm beginning to understand the importance of that moment and of what we do for each other and the world when M and I hold hands or kiss or laugh a quiet laugh between lovers.
There is no shame in love. No matter who you love. Claim your love with pride and respect and all the honor it deserves. Love is a beacon of light that most wish they could find and hold on to. Love is a strong, fragile, flame you should nurture and hold high to the world, so that you warm the hearts, minds, and souls of others as well.
Anyone that finds fault with love is a fool. And I pity them.
I am a white woman, and I proudly love a strong, intelligent, beautiful Black Man.