How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

Readers on interracial dating and parents' rules

Photo by jude hill/Flickr (Creative Commons)

A post yesterday highlighted author Diane Farr's new memoir about interracial romance titled “Kissing Outside the Lines: A True Story of Love and Race and Happily Ever After,” and her accompanying recent essay for the New York Times about the early days of her relationship with her Korean American husband.

After he warned her that his parents would likely not accept her, the Irish-Italian Farr recalled her own mother's admonition: She could marry a man who was German, Irish, French or Jewish, but “No blacks and no Puerto Ricans, though, or you are out of my house.” Friends of various ethnic backgrounds told her they had all been handed similar rules about who they couldn't date.

In the post, I asked readers to recall conversations that took place in their households regarding interracial relationships - if their parents imposed rules, and how these rules played out in real life. There have been a couple of interesting responses, including this unusual one:


A girlfriend from the 'wrong' race: New memoir takes on interracial romance

Photo by WolfS♡ul/Flickr (Creative Commons)

Over the past few months we've presented a few different takes on interracial relationships, social territory that even in an increasingly multiethnic country remains full of unexpected land mines.

We've learned about how Internet daters prefer to stick with their own race, and have read the reflections of a biracial father - ridiculed for his own name as a child - as he searched for the right name to give his multiracial baby. In one popular post, KPCC's OnCentral blog editor Kim Bui let us in on the uncomfortable questions directed at Asian women with white partners.

But what about white women who date outside their race? Writer and actress Diane Farr was on the other side of that coin when she began her relationship with her now-husband Seung Yong Chung, a Korean American who told her early on in their romance that their relationship would not go over well with his family. Their story, which had a happy ending, is the basis for Farr's new memoir, titled “Kissing Outside the Lines: A True Story of Love and Race and Happily Ever After,” published last month by Seal Press.


Mixed name, mixed child: A biracial father reflects upon naming his newborn

Photo by Chiceaux Lynch/Flickr (Creative Commons)

A few posts in the past weeks have discussed interracial relationships, drawing several comments from readers who shared their thoughts and personal stories.

One reader, Guybe Slangen, went a step further, writing an essay about his own upbringing as the son of Belgian and Filipino immigrants and his unique name, which reflects his mixed heritage. Slangen and his wife, who is Korean American, recently had to decide on a name for their newborn daughter, who he describes as a "Kore-Belgi-Pino." The process prompted Slangen to reflect on his name and identity, and wonder what his child's experience will be. Here's his story.

I used to despise the first day of school.

Teachers would go down the class list calling out names, and I could tell when they got to mine by their confused looks and their long, silent pause. I would instantly raise my hand, but what would follow would be the inevitable name slaughtering, making me the instant target of relentless teasing from my peers.


On the Internet, there's still no such thing as a post-racial America

Most of the data out there on interracial relationships doesn't come from online dating sites, but it's high time more of it did, because the results are fascinating.

The online dating website OkCupid's dating-trends research component, OkTrends, posted a dizzying set of graphics with analysis the other day illustrating how, in spite of new census data telling us that the United States is becoming more diverse, there is still no such thing as a post-racial America in the selective world of online dating.

According to the post, the dating service analyzed 82 million messages sent in recent months, running the numbers in different ways. On its face, the result showed white dating-service users receiving more messages per capita than non-whites, even from non-white users. But OkCupid, the majority of whose users are white, did an interesting experiment, redoing the math on the hypothetical assumption that white users weren't the dominant majority.