Everyone knows that “the gays” have a hidden agenda to take over world government and create a Utopian society where “it’s raining men” is a good thing. Somehow, we make that work and feel good for everyone who is in relationship with someone from his or her own nationality or race.
However, every now and then some long-haired hippie freak throws a wrench in the agenda by partnering with someone from a different race. Yes, I’m making this about being green — that is, different from all the rest.
In case you haven’t noticed, I’m Black. Yes, I know today’s politically correct term is “African-American” — whatever, I’m Black. My partner of 15 years is white (Caucasian). I confess that 90 percent of the people I have dated have been white. My partnering selections have met with resistance from family, friends and the world.
The first time I brought a white boy to my father’s church and said he was my date, my dad let it be known I was making a poor life choice. He called my mother and told her it was okay to be friends with, go to school with, and even hang out in a group with white people — however, dating/marriage was an entirely forbidden road. (Note that it was 1972 and my father later changed his response not long after that encounter).
After coming out as a lesbian, I continued my trend of dating white people. At some point, my stepsister said she was okay with the gay thing. She just wanted to know when I was going to give a “Black sister” a chance. Her concern was that I was being taken advantage of. On the other hand, that the white girl was just showing out for her family and would dump me at the first sign of trouble.
According to my oldest brother, I must have some unseen or unknown agenda that would drive me to do so many things that were against all the teachings of my parents. Dating white people and being a lesbian were at the top of his list on how I deliberately went out of my way to disappoint or disrupt the sanity of my parents.
A rash of crap is often dished out on anyone that dares to date/marry outside of his or her race. I warned my wife when we started dating that people will give us more of a hassle because we are an interracial couple than because we are two women together.
In restaurants, white servers will often talk to her and barely look at me. White servers will deliberately get the order wrong and seem to never know how to fix it so that I am happy. White servers will always give her the check. And when returning the credit card they will always give the card back to her. I have had more than one educational moment with a server about how to do the right thing.
If the server is Black, I get the hard look and my partner gets the “poor you” look. The order will be right, but the way the plate is set on the table can vary from a slam to a gentle touch. This is usually followed by a conversation about how approach determines response.
I stopped going to a specific Black-owned restaurant because the servers always gave me a hassle about who I brought with me. Never overt, but very clear that I was not welcome. Perhaps my unknown agenda is to end racial ignorance when it comes to whom I love.
This discriminatory treatment is no respecter of place, economic status, or sexual orientation. I have had people from the LGBTQ+ community tell me that they will not attend my church because either I am Black or because I am dating outside my race.
A quick glance at today’s headlines about interracial couples shows that not much has changed.
Interracial dating is not for the faint of heart or weak in spirit. It takes a certain amount of tenacity to go forward with deliberate boldness and break the taboos of society and live your best life.
For me, living my best life is about showing uninhibited love for the woman God gave me. I can’t help who I love — love is love.
It is not my intention to be a leader or role model about interracial love. It is my intention to show what it means to be in a long-term deliberate monogamous relationship.
I want to be the byproduct of the dream that Dr. King envisioned those 57 years ago. Perhaps my unknown agenda is to see the glory of God reflected in the relationships around me as consenting adults speak their truth of what relationship means for them.
Another piece of this battle is not being included because I am in an interracial relationship. There have been church conferences that hold workshops that focus on Black lives or issues related specifically to Black people and how we express our spirituality. My wife is not welcome in those sessions. A very good friend of mine created a drumming circle that was advertised as specifically for Black women. My wife was not welcome to join the group. When my friend asked why I did not attend this drumming circle, I responded that I would not deliberately go someplace where my wife was not welcome.
However, if I created a support group for people that are in interracial relationships, I would be singled out as being discriminatory or told that everyone has relationship issues and my group should be open to all couples. From Mildred and Richard Loving, who became reluctant activists in the 1960s to get the ban on interracial marriage removed, to Harry and Megan to Kanye and Kim — we all have issues that most people don’t understand.
In looking at how the world is shaped not much has changed from 1967 in Virginia to 2020 in England. Perhaps my hidden agenda is to put an end to the haters who refuse to see the depth of my love.
How can freedom ring if the peal of the bell is dull because interracial relationships are still seen as taboo? How can freedom ring through this land if no one wants to admit that it really does not matter whom we love as long as we love? How can the light of justice illuminate the world as long as someone is throwing shade about a relationship that is really none of their business?
There is no real solution to this situation beyond acceptance.
While I no longer must worry about being shot or arrested because I put my hands on a white woman, I still get the hard stares because I clearly put my hands on this white woman. I have even had someone tell me that they are not a racist, they just believe I should only date Black women (or stick to my own kind).
Perhaps my unknown agenda is to be true to my “green” self. It is not easy being green, but it certainly makes life interesting.
Serving as one of four Co-Pastors for Casa de Cristo Church and Apostolic Center in Phoenix, Ariz., an inner-city ministry that is Spirit-led and Bible-fed, Pastor Charlotte Strayhorne is a graduate of Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio, and has been in active ministry for more than 35 years.
Known in the LGBTQ community for her activism and leadership for equality and justice for all, she is a recipient of the City of Phoenix’s Martin Luther King Living the Dream Award. Her love for the theatre earned her an ariZoni for Best Supporting Actress as Calpurnia in the Hale Center production of “To Kill A Mockingbird”.
With deep family roots in Cincinnati, she is an ardent fan of her Cincinnati home teams but her heart bleeds purple for the WNBA Phoenix Mercury. With travel destinations from Indiana to Italy, she has been consistent in sharing her exciting message of love for God.