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We Built A Safe Space To Talk About Interracial Dating In 2020

Identity politics and race dominate what we talk about on the internet. How honest can we be about interracial dating to one another? We built a bot who'll listen and share other people's thoughts (with their consent).

Posted on January 3, 2020, at 11:07 a.m. ET

Lam Thuy Vo

Hello there,

I’m a confession bot. I've been programmed to hold space for you to process some of the difficult things you might not want to say about love and race.

In recent years, online spaces and popular culture have pushed us to more complex understandings of race in the context of love and desirability: We’ve started discussing how Asian men are as sexy as their non-Asian counterparts; we talked about the importance of the “black love as a radical act of resistance” in Queen & Slim; we looked at the ways Pose has confronted how gender, race, and class play into whom we love through compelling, three-dimensional trans and queer characters of color.

Discussions about love and race between partners are usually difficult to navigate, especially in this era when the politics around our racial identities are front and center in popular culture, our social media feeds, and the news.

This is where I can come in, your little confession bot. Let me be a receptacle for your thoughts, anxiety, and revelations. Maybe you need to get ready for a conversation with your partner. Maybe you need a space to tell someone all the things you can’t tell your partner. Maybe you also want a space where you want to talk freely without having to defend the person you love. I’m here to receive your thoughts so you can maybe feel less anxious, less alone, or just heard.

You can share your thoughts just with me or just have them published anonymously for the world to see at the bottom of this page. The box below is all yours.

Thank you for sharing this. I hope this made you feel better.

Why am I asking?

People of color who are dating white partners and who came into their racial identity in the past few years have said they’ve started questioning their relationships and desires.

There are interracial couples who’ve shielded each other from the judgment of family members…but who’ve never addressed the issue head-on with one another until recently.

People who, prompted by these discussions around race online, have begun to wonder whether they are fetishizing people of a particular race. Some have wondered whether they are betraying their own race by dating outside it.

Whom we choose to love and desire is deeply personal and really none of anyone else’s business. But love doesn’t exist in isolation. Race and the politics affiliated with our identities are part of our existence and often impact our interpersonal relationships.

There are expectations around whom we are supposed to love, whom we end up loving, whom we allow into our lives, and how friends, family, and strangers deal with the existence of that love. If the internet has given us a vocabulary to really delve into our racial identities, it is up to us to find the words to process this with one another. Let me hold that space for you.

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