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12-May-2016 03:18

I can't pinpoint physical features or characteristics of black men because that's not only wrong, it's just not the entire case. Have I come across one that's caught my attention? I have strong Mexican men in my life, too—my father and my two brothers—that I hold close, respect, and admire.

What I'm attracted to can be found in men of all races: strong arms (sense of protection), a great smile, nice build (healthy), ambitious, passionate, a sense of humor—a touch of sarcasm helps—and a kind heart. My brothers never seemed to have an opinion as to the type of men I dated, and were only concerned with how each guy treated me. My dad has always been a quiet man, and his only insertion in conversations about my dating life: "Are you happy, ?

ran on Gawker earlier this month we received hundreds of comments and emails objecting to, agreeing with, or otherwise responding to Baker.

This week, we're publishing some of those responses as part of a conversation about race and relationships.

Thirteen years of dating boys outside my race and it took sitting down to write this essay to have the first, real conversation with my parents about interracial dating.

I used to say I didn't have a type, but if we go off consistency, I do.

I've dated other races aside from black men—my first and only boyfriend of two years was Korean. "My parents, I should say, have never forbidden me from dating black men, or a man of any race, but their silence, more so my mother's, has been felt—it rendered each guy invisible.

But I've never dated someone of my own ethnicity: Mexican. And I would say Colombian, but that courtship never blossomed into much after he came over my house and serenaded me with his acoustic guitar. Time and again, after being introduced to a black guy I was dating, my mother either let out heavy sighs or foretold my future under her breath. My dad used his seasonal, strictly temporary passport for work and came to Arizona to pick fruit.

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They settled in a largely Mexican neighborhood in San Jose, California.While I've dated other races, I'm mostly attracted to black men.My eyes and heart tend to steer me in that direction.Then, when I was five-years old, they moved to Tracy, about an hour drive east of San Jose, where the population was, and remains, predominantly white.

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"You're going to end up pregnant before you're married," she once said. But my grandfather—my mother's father—wasn't too fond of my dad.My dad knew that in order to ask for my mom's hand in marriage, he had to have a house ready for her. He also knew that the American Dream was the dream he wanted to achieve for them. She's always said that he's 'mi media naranja' (a Spanish saying for soul mate).



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