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11-Aug-2017 16:13

When he came back, he told tales of a magical land packed with breweries on every block and fine artisan cuisine spilling from food carts all over the city.

Then he produced an engagement ring and persuaded me to move west with him.

Relationships don’t look like they used to (and that's a good thing).

For starters, he seemed to express genuine interest in me as a person…Of course, he failed to mention that the first years of his life had actually taken place in Salt Lake City, Utah, which isn't exactly a melting pot of diversity.Luckily, he’d been exposed to a mélange of different people during his time in Chi-Town, and had gotten the chance to develop a more worldly view. But the second summer after we had moved in together, he went to visit a family member in Portland, Oregon.Prior to moving, I thought I had mastered the art of navigating white spaces—being surrounded by white people didn't strike me as something I’d need to prepare for.

However, after I moved, I became more and more aware of strangers’ inherent biases against and irrational fear of black people. Xavier thought perhaps I was being too sensitive... People we met were never overtly racist, but they seemed to tense up once they saw me approaching them, and they’d relax once they realized I was with Xavier.But for me, this lack of diversity came as a complete culture shock.