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I am a woman of color who has participated in interracial dating. I have dated white men, Hispanic men, Arab men and Asian men. I live in New York City, where there are plenty of viable men to date outside of my race. And I never wrote them off because our ethnic backgrounds are different. Now, I am in a committed relationship with a wonderful African-American man and couldn’t be happier.

Though I have dated men of different races, I never swore off black men. And it wasn’t a situation where I dated outside of my race but would only settle down with a black man. I was simply a young woman who was open to love in whatever form it came in. That’s a hard concept for some people to grasp.

Garcelle Beauvais, an actress of Haitian descent, married a white man, Mike Nilon, in 2001. They divorced nine years later after Beauvais uncovered a cheating scandal.

The 45 year-old newly-single mother of 3, who will appear on USA’s hit show “Franklin & Bash,” sat down with Kreyolicious and the topic of dating came up. Here’s an excerpt from their interview:

Some people are wondering…would Garcelle date a Haitian man?
Um. [Tremendous laughter] I am open to dating a good man, so whatever forms he comes in, then great. I would have to date a Haitian man who’s more Americanized. A traditional Haitian man would probably not go for the way my life is…in terms of what I do. I’m only speaking of that in terms of my sisters’ husbands. I’m open to all nationalities. It would actually be fun to date somebody Haitian. We can speak in Creole. He’d understand my background and culture. Yeah, I’m totally open.

You never had a Haitian boyfriend or anything like that?
I did, I did; I did. Back in the days when I was younger, I did.

You said you had a Haitian boyfriend before. Was it something about them that turned you off to marriage?
No, no. I never dated—I was so young then. It wasn’t about getting married. We were just dating. I haven’t yet met a Haitian man who’s asked asked me out. [Laughter]

Say for example, say a Haitian man who wants to romance Garcelle…
Have fun, I think. [Long stream of laughter]. Great dinners and nights, you know. Someone who’s honest and fun. Who loves God too.

Can it be anybody, career-wise? Like a carpenter? A blue-collar worker?
Yeah. [Laughs] Well, yeah. I’m not, you know, he has to have six figures; you have to have to have this and that. I’m looking for somebody who’s fun, loving, honest. It doesn’t matter what he does.

God, I hope this doesn’t come out wrong. Has the fact that you’ve dated two men who were outside your culture and “race”, made you more open to dating a black man?
I’ve always been open to dating black men. Oliver’s dad is black. I’m not opposed to it. It’s that the right people have to approach me. I love who loves me; I love who comes to me. I’m accessible to everybody. I’m receptive to everybody. I can’t just go out and look for only one type of man. Life is tough enough. I love who loves me; who approaches me.

While her comments about Americanized Haitians are rubbing people the wrong way, I was most frustrated by the line of questioning. Garcelle has a son with a black man. Why assume just because she married a white man that she’s not open to dating men of the same ethnicity or that Haitian men did something to turn her off from marriage? Can’t it just be that she fell in love with a white man?

And it’s even more egregious to imply that a failed interracial relationship could make her more open to going back to black.

What are your thoughts, Clutchettes? When it comes to interracial dating, why do people have to pick sides?

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  • Whoever you want or find attractive is your choice. You do not have to be with someone because he or she is the same race you are or even a different race. Just follow your heart.