I asked a good friend who is mixed race, “How do I start dating black people?
” She laughed at me: I was living in the artsy, mostly white Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, and she gently suggested I try hanging out in other places as a first step.
From my first double date in sixth grade to a couple of women in college and various male “sleep friends” (a term my mom came up with because she finds f-ck buddy unsavory), none of my romantic encounters turned into a real relationship, despite my best efforts.
I met one of those sleep friends at a bar during my twenty-seventh birthday party.
On dates, we’ve talked about things like “code switching” (people taking on different personalities or dialects depending on who they’re with) and how to fit into the environment you’re in without having to erase who you really are. (I doubt decisions to date within one’s group are conscious for most people; racial bias is likely ingrained.