Biden/Harris Win Also a Proud Moment for Interracial Families

Wow, just wow. After a roller-coaster ride of an election day week (and a very long four years), I have been savoring this moment of learning that Joe Biden has been officially projected as the next president of the United States. And Kamala Harris will make history in the vice presidency as the first woman, the first woman of color, and the first child of immigrants to take office at that level.

But it feels a little sweeter knowing that, a little over 50 years since Loving v Virginia made interracial marriage legal across the US, we’re also going to see a woman who is part of an interracial couple and family in the office of the vice presidency. Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris, a black and South Asian woman, is married to Douglas Emhoff, a white man. It sends a powerful message to people across the country, if not the world, to have that kind of diversity reflected in the second-highest office in the US. I’d like to imagine that the Lovings are smiling down from heaven at this groundbreaking moment.

Four years ago, I braced for what a Trump presidency would portend for interracial couples (and found the results more chilling and cruel than I ever imagined). It’s been a long road, and this year’s election will not magically undo all the damage. But it’s an inspirational start, one which I will celebrate with smiles, laughter and maybe a little dancing to Mary J. Blige’s “Work That”. 😉


How do you feel about Joe Biden and Kamala Harris winning the US election?

Are China’s AMWF Couples Rarer Just Because Only 25% of Foreigners in China Are Women?

A couple weeks ago, I happened to share a Global Times article titled, “When a Chinese Man Loves a White Woman”, which mentioned me and this blog. Naturally, it generated some conversation on social media. One of the comments came from a guy, asking why the author hadn’t mentioned the preponderance of male foreigners as a reason for the rarity of couples of Western women and Chinese men in China.

For those of you who don’t know, approximately 75 percent of the foreign population in China is in fact male.

It would be tempting to point to this gender imbalance as the primary explanation for why couples of Western women and Asian men are such a minority. But if you did, you’d be missing the big picture.

After all, this gender imbalance fails to explain why there are so few AMWF couples around the world, and why even Chinese American men don’t feel the love from their fellow Americans (see the essay “Are Asian Men Undateable?”). If Asian men who were born and raised in the West have it tough in the dating world, we could hardly expect better for Asian foreign men who come to the West for work or education.

I would argue, then, that even if the foreign population in China was equally split among gender – 50 percent female and 50 percent male – you would still see an imbalance in the interracial dating world in China. You would still see far more couples of Western men and Asian women, and far fewer couples of Western women and Asian men.

The reality is, prejudices and stereotypes are slow to fade. Even 50 years after the Loving versus Virginia US Supreme Court decision, interracial couples still feel the sting of discrimination from their fellow Americans (as reported by NPR). Meanwhile, Hollywood has an abysmal record when it comes to featuring interracial romance on the screen overall (and we’re not even talking about just AMWF couples here).

It’s going to take a lot more than enticing more foreign women to come to China to boost the numbers of Western women and Asian men in love over here.

P.S.: If you’re wondering why couples of Western women and Asian men are so rare, have a look at On the Rarity of Foreign Women and Chinese Boyfriends/Chinese Husbands. See also my piece for the Huffington Post titled Why Won’t Western Women Date Chinese Men?

What Loving v. Virginia Means to Me, 50 Years On

As a white American woman married to a Chinese man, June 12 is not just another summer day. It’s Loving Day, a day commemorating the landmark US Supreme Court decision in Loving v. Virginia that finally struck down anti-miscegenation laws, granting interracial couples the legal right to marry.

But this year marks the 50th anniversary of Loving v. Virginia – and there’s nothing like a major anniversary to encourage reflection on this watershed court case. A new report from the Pew Research Center reveals a sharp increase in interracial marriages in the 50 years since the decision (see also this report by NPR). That’s great news. Meanwhile, the 2016 film Loving reignited our interest and fascination with the historic case, even garnering an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress.

So what about me? What does Loving v. Virginia mean to me?

You might think, since I’m in an interracial marriage, the answer is obvious: the right to love and marry anyone, regardless of race. Of course, I must acknowledge this. Without Loving v. Virginia, the United States would never have recognized my marriage to Jun as lawful.

But Loving v. Virginia means a lot more to me than just the right to love.

It means courage. The courage to move forward with what you know is right in your heart, even if the law isn’t on your side just yet. The courage to battle that injustice, all the way to the nation’s highest court.

It means determination. The determination to fight injustice, even if it means waiting years (or nearly a decade) for the relief you know you deserve.

It means sacrifice. The sacrifice that comes from two people so committed to staying together that you’re willing to risk jail time and penalties, and even willing to move far away from family just to remain a couple.

While interracial couples in America and the world over honor Richard and Mildred Loving, the historic Supreme Court decision bearing their name is only the beginning.

There is still so much injustice in our world, and there are still reasons for interracial couples to seek redress through the US Court system. I should know, because my husband and I are currently doing just that. When I look back on the day we first filed our lawsuit, in light of this upcoming anniversary of Loving Day, I remember that Richard and Mildred Loving made it possible for Jun and I to fight this unfathomable injustice together, as a legitimate couple. Their indomitable spirit and determination inspire me every day.

They proved there’s enormous power in Loving, together.

What does Loving v. Virginia mean to you?