Growing up in a small Kansas town, I had slim pickings when it came to the dating pool in high school. They were all similar versions of the same trope—white, handsome, and athletic. Diversity was hard to come by.
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My high school sweetheart was a wonderful All-American guy—but we had nothing in common, besides our taste in music. I felt understood. I even went out with a few Uruguayan guys—some who looked white, but none who won the approval of my father. You see, my old man always liked to tease me that he wanted me to end up with a white man—but it never quite felt like an actual joke. His reasoning varied over the years, most commonly ending with the fact that marrying my white, American mother was the best decision he ever made.
He was open about the fact that he wanted me to end up with someone educated with whom I could have an easy, safe, stable life. Sadly, this way of thinking is not uncommon in the Latino community.
Almonte can recall her own Dominican parents pushing her to date anyone more lighter skinned than she was. In high school, one of her fellow Afro-Dominican classmates was forbidden by her dark-skinned mother to date anyone who was not white.
White girls dating black guys - white people, only dating black people is not progressive – it’s racist
Many immigrant parents feel they are protecting their children by pushing them to marry white. These are feelings deeply ingrained within the culture—and some don't even know why they perpetuate them. For the better part of a decade, I mostly ignored his unsolicited advice and stereotypes about Latinos and men of color. I left the States and started traveling full-time, having my share of fun in countries like Morocco, Mexico, and beyond. I wound up in a relationship with a Spanish guy whose mother is from Honduras.
Dating a geeky girl
My father was less than pleased, constantly questioning whether or not he was good enough for me. It brings me shame to say it, but the truth is, my father has a deep prejudice against Central Americans. Things ended with the Spaniard about 2 years ago, while we were living together in Thailand.
At first, I laughed, but then, I burst into laughter—I was horrified. But after my dad made his wishes crystal clear, something changed.
Subconsciously, I began pursuing his wish and started dating only white or white-passing folks. Juriana Hernandez, a Bilingual d Family Therapist, says that children of immigrants constantly try to appease their parents. My father made an impossible journey on foot across South America in order to escape a dictatorship and start a family in a new country. He worked hard to make sure I had opportunities he never dreamed of in his youth. When I brought this up with my father while writing this article, he laughed, making the usual lewd remarks about Latino men.
My latino father wants me to marry a white man
But in the end, he did finally say that above all else, he just wants me to be happy. As for me? I also hope that happiness will be what brings me together with my future spouse—no matter their ethnicity. Your Best Life.
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