My boyfriend broke up with me because of my race. He loves me and doesn’t have a problem with my skin color, but his old-fashioned family does. We have been close for a long time and I was becoming close to his family, too, but when they found out I was his girlfriend and not just his friend, everything changed. I’m just “not who they wanted for him.”
When I asked him what that meant at first he wouldn’t tell me, then finally he confessed that his parents would be embarrassed to tell their families and to bring me to family reunions and “What would everyone think?” because I’m black.
I’m ashamed to admit that right now I wish I wasn’t black. I hate being deemed “not good enough” because of it. I love this boy; what can I do to prove myself to his family?
Dear Broken Heart,
Do not waste any of your energy trying to prove yourself to his family.
It’s crazy that this type of thing still happens. I almost want to tell you to just get away from these people altogether, the guy included. Because you know what it’s going to make you do? It’s going to make you think things like this: "My race is a problem." “How can I overcome this obstacle?” “How can I show that I’m good enough?” And you will begin to view your ethnicity and your heritage in a negative way — which is a tragic way of thinking.
Your race, your skin, is a beautiful gift from God. Situations like these may make you feel otherwise, but your skin is part of the body that God gave you to do your work on the Earth — it’s sacred; it's part of your temple. Now, I don’t know if you’re a religious person, but I honestly believe that to be true. And I believe that if you can hold on to those truths and remember them, they will help protect you in a world that won’t always be friendly.
I’m also wondering how old you two are. Why hasn’t this man done the adult thing and told his family to go somewhere with that “what would everyone else think” talk? Is everyone else marrying you? Or is he? Why is he allowing his family’s racist attitudes to dictate how he conducts his love life?
Yes, love yourself enough to leave this relationship, to leave that family and to not look back. You have nothing to prove.
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Angela Trusty is a millennial writer who lives and writes about the young single adult Mormon experience. Twitter: askange_column