Culture

In My Own, I’ve Learned That Interracial Relationships Won’t Work If You Run From The Hard Stuff

In a sea of olive skin and dark eyes, there’s a tuft of blonde hair with baby blues. That guy with blue eyes is my person. At every christening, wedding, or birthday party, where there’s me, there’s my boyfriend. We go together without thinking, and I feel fortunate that I’m at a point in my life where bringing my boyfriend to family events is a given.

Throughout my dating life I’ve been asked “What you don’t like Latinos?” and “Will you ever date someone who isn’t white?” by friends and family alike.

Wandy Felicita Ortiz

For those asking: I do, and I have, but not with the frequency that the people asking those questions would like.

My grandparents came to the mainland in the 1950s and my great-grandfather, though born in Puerto Rico, was still considered a citizen of Spain. In comparison, his family lineage in the U.S. goes so far back that you can trace it to the Mayflower.

Often, I get called an “Oreo,” too white-minded to be Latina, and too dark-skinned to be white. I’m conscious of our differences, but I don’t date my boyfriend to be a living educational exhibit. I refuse to be fetishized or exoticized. I am who I am.

Even so, I have a lot to learn in terms of how I project some old cultural customs, be they sexist or racist, onto people I love.

Wandy Felicita Ortiz

My boyfriend and I aren’t afraid to talk about it as a couple or as friends.

The upbringing I have had, as traditional as it is, has led me to be judgmental, private, and less open. Meanwhile, he is open to my family and my culture. Where he jumps head-first, I’m hesitant to do the same because I’m afraid to lose sight of who I am.

Comments on my being one half of an interracial couple have always made me feel like my romantic relationships aren’t my own, and that to be in one, it had to please the people around me.

Yes, I do believe that your friends and family ultimately want the best for you. And yes, Latino families are sometimes so on our cases we don’t know where we end and they begin. It’s the positive danger of coming from a culture that’s close-knit, regardless of whether or not you want it to be. But, you learn to work with and around it.

I’m sure that when my loved ones ask me these questions, they do so less out of malice, and more of concern. Maybe to them, by being with someone who doesn’t share my cultural upbringing, I’m missing out on the best parts of my heritage.

In this relationship, I do see color.

Wandy Felicita Ortiz

We are two completely different people. Racially, and in turn socioeconomically. These two things play a key role in our relationship. Our interactions consist in “we don’t do that” or “you can’t say that,” and “when you say that, you sound like,” fill in the blank.

I call him out when he says something culturally insensitive or racially charged. I tell him when his privilege is showing. He lets me know when my upbringing doesn’t allow me to express thoughts and ideas I have due to fear or being shut out by others in my Latino community.

My boyfriend was never a dance partner at a quinceanera, he has never seen a quenepa up-close, and bendiciones to the elders was a foreign concept that he’s continually being introduced to. But although he’s new to all of those things, he embraces them.

When I say that, I don’t mean that he works to be or act Latino.

I do mean that he works to see the value in these things that are foreign to him, but non-negotiable as part of my life, and in turn, our partnership.

He seeks out this understanding. He asks questions about what he can’t relate to through personal experience and admits that there’s more to the Latino community than he realizes.

Together, we are on a journey to unlearn the bad and embrace the good in both of us. It’s hard, it’s messy, and there are fights. But this is the future, one of color-conscious love that, as a result, allows the best of us to shine through.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Announced They Were “Stepping Back” From Royal Life, Sending Twitter Into An Uproar

Entertainment

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Announced They Were “Stepping Back” From Royal Life, Sending Twitter Into An Uproar

@um_bamar / Twitter

In a bombshell announcement, Duke and Duchess of Sussex–more affectionately known to the public as Harry and Meghan–released a statement on Wednesday revealing that they would be “stepping back” from their official duties as senior members of the British royal family. 

The announcement came after months of speculations as to how the famous couple would respond to the maelstrom of negative press the duo–and especially Meghan–have been facing from the British tabloids. 

The Sussexes revealed that they would be “balancing” their time between the UK and North America, and that they are doing so to “provide their family with the space to focus on the next chapter”.

“After many months of reflection and internal discussions, we have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution,” the Sussexes said via multiple social media channels. “We intend to step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen”.

And while the abrupt announcement was surprising for everyone, the move also comes after Harry and Meghan have long hinted at their discontent with their roles in the spotlight. 

The dissatisfaction seemed to reach a fever-pitch around the time that the couple appeared in the ITV documentary “Harry & Meghan: An African Journey”.  Both Harry and Meghan were candid about their struggle to endure the British media spotlight, with Harry saying, “…Every single time I see a camera, every single time I hear a click, every single time I see a flash, it takes me straight back [to my mother’s death]”.

As for Queen Elizabeth, the monarch released a statement saying that the discussions with the Sussexes are still in an “early stage” and the issue is “complicated”.

Since then, multiple outlets have reported that the entirety of Buckingham palace was “caught off guard” by the Sussexes’ decision. The British media is reporting that the Sussexes did not consult with Buckingham palace before either making the decision or announcing it. Sources close to the royal family say that while the queen is “sad”, Prince Charles (who is next in line to inherit the throne), is “furious”.

“There is fury over how they’ve done this without any thought for the implications for the institution,” a source recently told Page Six. “The Queen is deeply upset. The Prince of Wales and Duke of Cambridge are incandescent with rage.”

As for England’s reaction to the shocking news, the public opinion seems to be firmly divided into camps both “pro” and “against” “Megxit”.

While one Londoner expressed her support for Meghan and Harry to NBC News, saying she “can’t really blame them” for their decision to leave, another expressed their disappointment.  “It’s like, ‘We’ve now given you a ton of money, what do we get in return?,'” said a student named Frederick Bathurst, adding that his mother found their decision “disgraceful”. 

And while the Sussexes’ decision to step down from royal duties is surprising, it is not unprecedented. As any devotee of royalist media like “The King’s Speech” and “The Crown” will tell you, a similar situation to this has happened before, when King Edward abdicated the throne in 1936 in order to live in peace with his American girlfriend, Wallis Simpson. And while that situation worked out in the end, the aftermath was difficult to deal with for the Royal family.

Within minutes of the Sussexes’ announcement, both Harry and Meghan’s names were trending on Twitter.

Although Americans like to pretend they’re above being invested in the British Royal Family, their reactions to “Megxit” told a completely different story. The hilarious Tweets and reaction memes were enough to keep us entertained for hours.

Here is actual footage of the Royal Family reading Meghan & Harry’s statement

While Harry and Meghan are hoping that this decision will protect them from the media, something tells us that the media scrutiny is going to be stronger than ever.

Of course, there was tons of speculation as to what Harry’s mother would think if she were still alive:

We wonder if lingering trauma over Diana’s death had anything to do with this decision.

This person imagined what #Megxit would be like as a Reddit post:

This couldn’t be more accurate. 

There were also tons of takes on the Sussexes desire to become “financially independent” from the Royal family:

If there’s one thing for sure, Prince Harry has a very particular set of skills that might not be useful to everyone.

Here’s How To Maintain A Long-Lasting And Healthy Relationship According To Advice From Reddit Grandmas

Fierce

Here’s How To Maintain A Long-Lasting And Healthy Relationship According To Advice From Reddit Grandmas

@Samkelwe14 / Twitter

When it comes to relationships, there’s no doubt that some good advice can go a long way. Whether you’re in your early days or headed down the aisle, we found the best advice Reddit could give for you to apply for your blossoming relationship.

Check it out below!

Do two tasks for your partner and don’t make a big deal out of it.

“For me, my grandfather gave me the best advice. He said, ‘choose two things to do around the house that she never has to ask you to do. Do the best job you can do and take pride in it but never draw attention to or complain about it. Just do it and expect nothing in return.’ I cook dinner and do the dishes/cleanup cooking messes. It took my wife almost a year to notice. When she did however I would find my laundry was magically done on its own, folded and put away. When I told her she doesn’t have to do my laundry she stated “you always cook and clean for me! I figured it was the least I could do!” – u/Ironwolf9876

Be selfless between the sheets

” I feel like this same goes for sex – do that little bit extra to make your partner feel sexy and special every time. A little bit of selflessness on both sides adds up to a world of extra pleasure for each.” – philipjeremypatrick

Don’t always go for 50/50.

“The one I heard is “healthy relationships are not 50/50. Each person should be putting in 100%.” – reddit user

Give your S.O. the benefit of the doubt.

“The best relationship advice I have heard came from an interview Michael J Fox did where he talked about how his marriage had lasted so long. He said ‘We give each other the benefit of the doubt.’ If your SO does something thatakes you worried, angry or sad, ask them to tell you their side of the story before you let your emotions run wild. There is probably a reasonable explanation and a good reason for how he/she acted. That will help avoid a lot of conflicts and foster trust.” – Loive

If you’re arguing to win you’ve already lost.

“You shouldn’t be arguing trying to prove that you’re right or that she is wrong. You should be communicating what you each see the situation as and come to a mutual understanding or agreement. Relationships aren’t a competition. Even if you guys end up not agreeing, at least you’ll know why it upsets the other person and will know not to do that because it negatively affects them.” – cdotace

Be sure they’re the one.

“My mother asked me the night i proposed to my wife if i was sure i wanted to be with her. It made me mad in the moment, but i realized she made a valid point. 6 years and twin boys later, I have never been more sure about a decision in my life. Thanks mom.” – sillysimon12

Get married when you’re poor.

“I was fortunate enough to be invited to a party where there were several elderly couples. At the time, I was in my early twenties, and decided to take advantage of the opportunity. A couple in attendance had been married for over 60 years. I asked them, “What advice do you have for a young person like me? The woman said, ‘Get married when you’re dirt poor…’ My mind was blown. I thought to myself, “Wow, that is some incredible advice. Literally start a life together, and build it up from nothing. That would create an unbreakable bond and friendship.’ Then she finished with ‘… so you can’t afford to get divorced!'” – MutantCoach

Say I love you before you leave for work in the morning.

“1. Say I love you (and mean it) every morning before you leave for work. You may not see them again. 2. If they regularly do something small that annoys you, first see if you are able to stop being annoyed by it before asking them to change.” – Reddit user 

How do you do the little things.

“To achieve an amazing relationship, you need to consider what you do in the little things. What your girlfriend/wife is like when she greets you at the front door, over the table at breakfast, etc. These little things add up to 80% of the success of your relationship. Dedicate yourself and be focused completely in the moment in these little moments and you will achieve the best relationship that you have ever had.” – ImpulseTee

Carry the load. Know it’s like moving a sofa.

“I heard a comic once say a relationship is like moving a heavy, awkward sofa up 3 flights of stairs. The whole time you’re talking to the other person, and you wonder if they’re carrying their load, and it can be tough. But its easier than doing it alone.”  – beingtwiceasnice

Be on the same page before you get married.

“Being in love with someone is a good reason to date them, but not necessarily marry them. People fall in love all the time but if the two of you don’t agree on the important life decisions (kids, religion, fiscal responsibility, etc.) then your marriage is likely to face some serious challenges.” – bdd1001