Loving Day this year was last Sunday. For those of you who don’t know what Loving Day is–don’t worry. I didn’t know either until last month–it’s the holiday celebrating interracial relationships/marriages after the 1967 landmark decision of Loving vs. Virginia. (For more details click the link)
Unfortunately, Seattle’s Loving Day celebration was the same day as my college graduation, and although I was ecstatic to be graduating, simultaneously, I was a little disappointed that I couldn’t go to this year’s party.
Being the child of an interracial couple, I’ve witnessed some of the cruel things people feel compelled to do or say in response to their relationship. Sometimes, those reactions have even come from members of the family. It wasn’t easy for my parents in the 1980s, and, depending on where you travel, it’s still not easy even in the year 2012.
Now that I’m older and have been in a couple of interracial relationships myself, I can understand the difficulties of bringing two cultures together for the sake of love or friendship. The questions: “Do your parents mind you dating a black girl?” or “Will you stick up for me if someone says something rude about me or us?” in regards to race have come up in past relationships, and thank goodness, it’s never had to come that far for me to find out the answers.
Living in and near the most diverse area code in the entire United States, 98118 , I’ve seen couples from every creed and color. And it’s beautiful. Absolutely beautiful. Every time I see an interracial couple, I always point them out to my friends and family and whisper, “That gives me hope!” Because, in reality, I know that, even living in Seattle, people still aren’t 100% ready to accept interracial relationships.
Having all this pride and hope for the future, you can see why I was disappointed to miss the celebration in West Seattle. But as soon as graduation was over, and I was taking pictures with all of my family and friends near the Seattle Center fountain, I realized that I was celebrating Loving Day…just in my own way.
To count the number of cultures represented in my graduation photos would be a task at hand but a wonderful task at that. From Japanese to Venezuelan, German to African-American, all of my closest friends and family came out on one of the most special days of my life. We enjoyed food, music, and each other’s company. Our cultures never clashed but rather mixed together like a cinnamon swirl, retaining our own while blending with the next.
By the end of the day, I was so incandescently happy, all my disappointment quickly disappeared. I had celebrated Loving Day in the best way possible: with my loved ones. Now, who could want any more than that?